A guide to the Tour de France
The BeSpoke podcast's headline for yesterday's edition was 'Cycling's Zlatan?'
The theory seems to be that we (the listeners) don't know anything about cycling, and will only be engaged if we are given analogies with other sports. Sagan is like Ibrahimovic - clunk! He is like Chris Gayle - clunk! He is like Frankie Dettori - clunk! The pantomime booing of Chris Froome is like that inflicted upon cricket's Ricky Ponting - clunk!
Anyway, thank goodness for Rob Hayles.
American Katusha rider Ian Boswell is doing an audio diary for the Cycling Podcast. Pondering the spate of crashes in the first couple of stages, he said that one of the factors is that it's not always easy to see where you're going. As he is quite tall, 'I can see what's coming up', but what about Pozzovivo?
Lawson Craddock told the Cycling Podcast that he is used to suffering on his bike, but on this Tour he is experiencing 'a different kind of pain'. He made it through another stage, though.
Ned Boulting (short, as you may know, for Edmund Boultingford) sometimes struggles on TT stages. There are usually several head-on cameras near the end, shortening perspective, and not showing us where the finish line is. It's easy to think a rider is near the line, when they are not. Mr B made a decent stab at it today. I feel certain that by the time Stage 20 comes around, he will have a system in place, and be terrific.
Boardman made a film about time trialling for the highlights programme. It's his area of expertise, and it was fascinating. We found out (among many other things) that TT socks give you an advantage, and are only allowed to come up to the calf.
Chris employs logic rather than emotion - not that fashionable at the moment - and works from first principles rather than assuming that the way it has always been done is best. He is bringing his logical approach to walking and cycling in Manchester - lucky them.
BMC won Stage 3 - my first correct prediction of the race.
There was a wait at the hairdressers today. The barber had his bike visible in the back (with a race number on it). Both customers ahead of me chatted to him about the Tour de France, and nobody mentioned football. Maybe Harrogate is becoming a cycling town.
Correct predictions of stage winners on this website: 1
Stage 3 of the Tour de France 2018 is a 35-km team time trial starting and finishing in Cholet.
Read about Stage 3 of the 2018 Tour de France.
Cholet is a town in an area historically called les Mauges, which is part of the modern-day Maine-et-Loire département of France.
Its name probably derives from the Latin cauletum, meaning cabbage, but it might be derived from a word for castle or rocky promontory.
The site was occupied in prehistoric times, and there's evidence of this, with three menhirs within the commune.
In the Middle Ages, Cholet belonged to Anjou, after Foulque Nerra, count of Anjou, added les Mauges to his territories in the C11th.
The old town is on the north (right) bank of the river Moine. The main shopping area there is known as the Arcades Rougé, after the Comte de Rougé who owned an estate which included Cholet (1763-1786).
Cholet was a centre for textiles, and in the C14th, it specialised in household cloth, in particular handkerchiefs.
The Battle of Cholet took place on 17th October 1793, during the War of the Vendée. One of the Vendéens, de la Rochejacquelein, wore three white handkerchiefs to show which side he was on. He used them to staunch the flow of blood from a wound, so they became red.
Le mouchoir rouge de Cholet (the red handkerchief of Cholet) became famous around 1900. It was the name of a song about the de la Rochejacquelein incident in the Battle of Cholet, sung by Théodore Botrel. Cholet industrialist Léon Maret started making the handkerchiefs described in the song. He sent a job lot to Botrel to give out wherever he went.
There's still some textile production in Cholet, but another big employer is Michelin tyres.
The Jardin du Mail in Cholet was created in the 1870s. The idea was that it should be there for the Choletais throughout their lives: for games as children, when they fell in love for the first time, and for family walks. It gets its name from the esplanade by the Palais de Justice, which was used for the jeu de mail - a precursor of croquet.
In the Jardin du Mail, you can walk on ramparts, to get a better view of the town centre; and discover the planets of the solar system, because there are models of them in the park which are to scale and the correct distance apart relative to each other.
There are lakes to the south east of Cholet, created by dams of the river Moine - the Lac de Ribou, and the Lac de Verdon.
Cholet is twinned with Solihull (UK) and Oldenburg (Germany).
La Romagne was first mentioned in 1107. It was part of the estates of monks of le Petit Saint-Laurent. The land was partly cleared of forest, and used for agriculture.
In the early C20th, a textile factory was built in la Romagne, and before the Second World War, shoes began to be produced in the town.
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