First Win = Yellow

fighting off the charging peloton
Is this really happening?
Woo Hoo!

I hate that I still love watching the Tour de France given the last year of doping scandals.  I just can’t help it.  It is such a great sport.  Stage 2 of the Tour was set in Corsica, and had some of the most beautiful scenery I’ve seen in a long time. It’s finish was the stuff that fairy tales are made of. 

Jan Bakelants is a 26-year old Belgian that rides for RadioShack. I’d never even heard of him before. He had never won a professional bike race.  On stage 2 he broke away from the peloton with 7 or 8 other riders with about 8 km to go.They had a small lead of up to 30 seconds but were slowly being reeled back  in.  When the peloton came charging up and swallowed up the others he refused to quit.  Somehow he hung on stayed ahead of the raging peloton to win by 1 second.  Not only did he win the stage, but he took the yellow jersey.  The look of disbelief as he crossed the line is priceless. His yellow jersey picture is pure jubilation.

After the stage win, he was thronged by reporters wanting to capture his reaction.  I found it fascinating that he said when he looked back with 500 meters to go, he knew he would win. As I watched I was certain he would somehow be caught by Peter Sagan at the line and lose.  Thankfully he was right and I was wrong. 

Another relative nobody on the tour has his unbelievable moment of glory and reward for such a great effort. It reminds me of another racer that was also confident of victory.

As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing. NLT 2 Timothy 4:6-8

Sometimes one big win is all you’ll ever get in life. These big wins don’t just happen. They happen to people that are willing to go for it in spite of all the adversity and negative odds against them.  

Once TDF starts, I find myself having weird dreams of me riding the Tour and occasionally winning a stage.  It’s great stuff but just dreams.  I need to somehow focus more intently on the real race that Paul was racing and won.  He knew he would win before he reached he finish line. It’s a race I can win, and the prize will be far more glorious.  Somehow, I think I’ll probably keep dreaming about stage wins at the TDF.

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