Monday, the tenth day of the 2010 Tour de France, is the first rest day of this Tour, a much-needed break from the saddle after Sunday's brutal Stage 9, a ride through the Alps that featured two Category 1 climbs, the Col de la Ramaz which and the finish at Morzine-Avoriaz. So, the riders are now surely lounging around the hotel, taking advantage of hot tub and professional massages, right? Not quite. In fact, typically none of the riders actually "rest" on the rest day.
From our cycling blog, Podium Cafe:
I'll defer to the physios in attendance here, but everyone riding the Tour has to get on their bike Monday. If nothing else, there's a backup of lactic acid in the muscles that has to come out, or Tuesday will be one long, sorry day. Every day brings sore legs, but usually the solution is to just line up and ride the next stage. With no stage, the riders will stroll out in their groups for a couple hours of reasonably hard riding, enough to really work the muscles, but not too hard and not for too long.
Getting out on the bikes is also a good way for the riders to escape the media, especially for the big names of the Tour. Which likely explains why Lance Armstrong was opting for some time in his saddle.
Good ride on the rest day. The Haute Savoie is gorgeous. Went around and climbed my old friend Joux Plan - hard one.
The 2010 Tour is back at it on Tuesday with Stage 9, another ride in the Alps that features one of this year's most difficult climbs, the Col de la Madeleine, a climb that is hors catégorie, or "beyond categorization."
General Classification After Stage 8:
1. Cadel Evans, BMC
2. Andy Schleck, Saxo Bank (+ 00:20)
3. Alberto Contador, Astana (+ 01:01)
4. Jurgen Van Den Broeck, Omega Pharma-Lotto (+ 01:03)
5. Denis Menchov, Rabobank (+ 01:10)
8. Levi Leipheimer, Radioshack (+ 02:14)
39. Lance Armstrong, Radioshack (+ 13:26)
For more on all things Tour de France, head on over to Podium Cafe.