When I chose Lady Eleanor for my Tour de France KAL project, throwing my chapeau into the ring as a contender for the polka dot jersey, little did I realise how appropriate a project it really was. I just thought I was making an obvious choice – entrelac is a French word after all (I hope … ?), and it was something I’ve been planning to make for ages.
As I finished tier 21 last night – one tier for every stage – I thought it an appropriate place to stop and contemplate the scenery. Helloooo Paris!
I’ve loved watching Lady E grow as my knowledge of the Tour, the teams and the tactics grow. I’ve loved winding my way back and forth, back and forth, like the riders going slowly up the Pyrenees and the Alps. I’ve been fortunate to not have any spectacular crashes and the only scabs on my legs are from scratches where my cat has dug her claws in whilst watching the exciting bits of the race over the last three weeks. Travelling for work during the race has given me the luxury of being able to set my hotel room alarm for 7.15am to watch the race update on SBS from my bed before getting up for the day – and still being excited and cheering on Cadel and my team Silence-Lotto even though I was watching a repeat!
I’ve conquered the mountain that is remembering this pattern (finally! I think it was tier 19 that I felt confident enough to start a row without checking the pattern first!). Like Bernard Kohl, I’m a proud wearer of the polka dot jersey (only I’ve got better teeth! Sorry Bernard, but it had to be said!) although I can’t claim a podium finish, as I’ve still got a ways to go before finishing Lady E (hopefully while watching the cycling in the Olympics, perhaps!)
I’m so proud of my team Silence-Lotto leader Cadel Evans. He did it hard, our team didn’t give him as much support as he needed and he pretty much had to do it on his own, which shows what a great rider he really is. The pressure he must have been feeling must have been unbelievable and perhaps goes some way to explaining his somewhat odd behaviour off the bike during the tour (I hope so anyway). I almost shed a little tear for him last night as they were showing a retrospective of his race, as I felt his disappointment so much, but I hope he feels proud of himself, and that the experience of wearing the yellow jersey during the race will spur him on for next year.
Thanks so much to the KAL
organisers, Meg and Debby, and to all the other participants – I have loved the stage reports every day and watching everyone’s projects grow! And of course, to the race and the riders – bravo to you all!
As I wim my way down the Champs-Elysées, I’m standing up in my pedals, looking forward to the race again next year, and maybe some celebratory champagne!