The Norman Transcript

National Sports

July 1, 2013

Five things to know about Tour de France


AJACCIO, Corsica —

Dog day that wasn’t: Cavendish wasn’t the only rider growling in cyberspace. The Tour’s website urged fans to keep their dogs at home after a small white pooch scurried into the road in front of the speeding pack with just about 2 1/2 miles to go. A roadside fan first tried to cajole the dog off the street, then darted out to shoo the interloper away. The lead rider in the pack missed ramming it by a few inches. A year ago at the Tour, current world champion Philippe Gilbert of Belgium was one of several riders who crashed because of a dog. He got back into the race after dispensing some harsh words to its owners.

Danger ahead: After Bakelants’ racing finesse Sunday and Saturday’s opening stage in which a team bus got stuck under framework at the finish line with minutes to go, Monday’s 91-mile leg from Ajaccio to Calvi features what some riders call the most treacherous of the three days in Corsica. French rider Jeremy Roy of the Francaise des Jeux team was quoted in France’s Velo magazine saying this was “the stage of all dangers.” It features winding roads along Corsica’s wild western coast and a speedy downhill from the Marsolino Pass, the last of four mid-grade climbs on the day.

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