Thursday, July 12, 2007

Geoffroy LeQuatre, the man of the day

There is a beautifully moving tribute to Geoffroy LeQuatre, Cofidis's brave rider, here. (Thanks to Frank of TdFBlog for the tip!) In part:

"What really struck me on Thursday, though, was the incredible guts displayed by a man who crossed the line three quarters of an hour after the winner. Geoffroy Lequatre, a 26 year old Frenchman with not a single career victory to his name since turning pro in 2004, was my rider of the day. With around 70km to go, Lequatre came off heavily just after the feed zone. It looked like he’d got his musette (food bag) tangled up in his spokes. Despite his obvious discomfort by the side of the road, we all managed to have a chuckle about poor old Geoffroy being brought down by his own sandwiches. The cameras didn’t linger on him too long and we were quickly taken back to the action at the front of the race. The Cofidis rider was soon forgotten. Having packed up our equipment at the end of our broadcast, we were just leaving when Graham pointed out that there was still a rider on the course. The crowd had dwindled away and not many people were there to witness the single bravest moment of stage five, 44 minutes after stage winner Filippo Pozzato nosed across the line and 21 minutes after the penultimate finisher. His face contorted with agony, shorts ripped to shreds, thigh looking like a side of meat, and fingertips all stripped of skin, Lequatre crossed the line and simply collapsed in tears. These are tough, tough boys here."

And that, dear readers, is why I write this blog -- so that their efforts will not be forgotten.

Another nice tribute to LeQuatre is here.

I should also point out that LeQuatre covered the 182.5 km of the hilly stage in 5:23:05, much of it solo. To us Americans, that's 113.4 miles at 21.06 mph average (33.89 km/hr), including his time spent in the crash - not a bad day's work for any cyclist.

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