Le Tour: Pyrenees-Lourdes

Le Tour In Lourdes

[Gino Bartali - 1948]

[Thomas Voeckler]

[Jack Lemmon]

Maillot Jaune
[The Yellow Jersey]

At the end of the mayhem and carnage that was Stage 9, Thomas Voeckler of France managed to remain unscathed and secure himself the Yellow Jersey.. Back in the 2004 Le Tour, Voeckler held the Yellow Jersey for 10 straight days..  When asked a few days back if he could repeat this performance, he was quoted as saying  'I'm taking it day by day. What is sure is that I'm not going to keep it for 10 days'.

Well he might be happy to eat those words soon..  If he manages to retain the jersey after today's Stage 18 from Pinerolo to Galibier Serre-Chevalier he will have done just that!! Let's cross our fingers for him.. Each time I see his smiling face on the podium, I think he looks like a young Jack Lemmon.. don't you think? 

Here's hoping there is no more carnage of the likes we saw in the 2nd week and that Le Tour's pit stop at Lourdes will bring a bit of divine protection to the riders... I've been wanting to post these exquisite shots of La Madonna [by Annet van de Voort] for some time .. so today's collage of vintage Le Tour riders battling the mountains of the Pyrenees seemed like perfect timing... La Madonna watching over the riders as she did for Gino Bartali in 1948..


So back to the standings as at Stage 17.  No surprise Thomas Voeckler remains in 1st position, however Cadel Evans has moved himself back up to 2nd place and out of the Schleck brother sandwich he's been in lately.. [not that there's anything wrong with that!!] ... Go Cadel!!!

Have A Great Week Everyone
& to my fellow Sydneysiders - Stay Dry If You Can!!!


Le Tour Facts Info sourced from : wikipedia and letour.com

La Madonna: .annetvandervoort.com
Jack Lemmon: original colour shot: cineclap.free.fr
Thomas Voeckler: original colour shot: cyclisme2011uci.skyrock.com
Cyclist [current image]: original colour shot: reuters
Cyclists [vintage images]:  original colour shot: 1st - pdxk.com,
Others: various [sorry I've lost my references and will update soon]


Francine Gardner said...

Dear Ruby, A beautiful, fascinating post. I, of course (being french) am keeping my fingers crossed for Voeckler. your post brings so many memories as my children, my parents and i would watch every summer one of the most challenging ride in Saint Lary, Pyrenees where my parents have a ski place.I have never seen an athlete as powerful as Armstrong, who would arrive first, way ahead of the pack, then continue on riding on the Plaza, smile and very elegantly jump off his bike, while other racers would simply collapse on arrival.

beachcomber said...

hi julie
wonderful images & history!
let's hope cadel can do it this year!
cheryl x

alaine@éclectique said...

Great to see all of those old shots; boy, they certainly wouldn't have been geared up the way they are today!

I've got so much admiration for Thomas Voeckler; pity he spun off into that car park but at least he wasn't hurt.

Go Cadel!! Allez! Allez!

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Oh dearest Julie,

Your choices of images speak volumes of poetry. The somber look of the Madonna, an almost eery glance DOWN on her charges as these racers push their hardest to defeat, to victory. Oh, the splendor of artistic expression my dear...you know how to capture your heart, our hearts.


La Petite Gallery said...

very interesting
Julie great photo shots.
One of my big desires was to go to the Pyrenees, after reading about Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda.
I am not a big sports person. You can bet I would watch that race.
Do know about Armstrong, he was in the news alot..

michelle said...

These are beautiful photos and I had no idea how much history is behind Le Tour. He really does look like a young Jack Lemmon! It is amazing at how far they have come with the bikes and gear for the riders, these athletes just amaze me.

Have a wonderful day!

Laura @ 52 FLEA said...

Loved this post Julie! So rich with history and such fascinating photos!
I always learn so much from you!

rjerdee said...

Oh Julie, those Madonna faces are GORGEOUS. So touching and exquisitely made. And I loved the juxtaposition of them against the race landscapes...yes, so fitting.
Bless you and your passion for Le Tour.

Priscilla said...

Wonderful post! It is fascinating to see the styles of the past.

I'm sending you a humorous post I made some time ago. I hope you find it amusing.


Stephanie @ La Dolce Vita said...

What beautiful Madonna shots. I like the updates you give us, but I love the history and the old photos. Amazing! (and don't be jealous of our beach shots - remember you had a beautiful summer while we suffered through snow and the rainiest coldest spring I can remember. And you're always welcome to visit!!)

count it all joy said...

Such an interesting post Miss JulieRuby! I'm afraid our Cadel is back in the Schleck sandwich though...boo hiss. Go Cadel!!

Love the old photos - and the stories that go with them. Thanks for sharing your fascinating perspective.

How wet is it? I actually bought an umbrella - I haven't owned one for years! I usually have my arms full of babies/groceries/school bags and can't hold one. Hope you're staying warm and dry my friend. Meredy xo

Sharon said...

Julie, your posts are always perfection. Your choice of images is always so perfect, so beautiful and poignant, and the same for the stories you choose to share. You never cease to amaze me.

There is something so compelling about the old photos of this race, but the new image you chose, also, has a beautiful quality to it. These all, alternating with the images of the pensive, watchful Madonnas - magnificent.

Exchange 2007 said...


Exquisite Accessories said...

Hi Julie, So sorry not been over to say hi for ages loved the post cannot believe its the tour de France again & you still amaze me how you come up again with another load of interesting facts & great pictures, have a great weekend.
Lainey x

mermaid gallery said...

very cool....art and sport....love them both....getting coverage like that makes me want to see the race...the madonna, not so much....i almost felt an adrenaline rush reading that.....now i feel very elated and will carry that spirit for the day...it is rainy here too...we have not had three days of sunshine in a row yet....stormy weather be gone! great post! best, susan

Susan said...

I love your Tour posts every year. Thanks for the history lesson. Will dig deeper when I have the internet time. xo

Loree said...

Interesting snippets. I am learning a lot about Le Tour from you. I never really bothered about it before. I really like the way you put this post together with all the photos.

Carole said...

Think how fun it would be to be there in person photographing the tour. I'd have to brush up on my camera skills. WOuld definitely need a better camera:)


Design Elements said...

great poszt, Julie! These images are simply incredible. today is the last day on Tour de France and we are travelling to France for 2 weeks. BIG hugs

Splendid Sass said...

Oh my goodness, such beautiful images and stories, Julie!
The statues are stunning, and this story is very moving.
I hope that you are having a nice (and cool) weekend. Two more months of heat for us here (:.

simon said...

yes- and what about his time trial!! Brilliant! interesting guy too. Married to an Italian piano teacher I think, does quite a bit to support schools in Tibet as well

Bree Oliver said...

Great post. I just watched Cadel take the yellow jersey last night, what a ride!

Jennifer Beaudet said...

Hi Julie! Thank you so much for the birthday wishes! i don't know why but sometimes I can't comment on your blog. It may be because I use my dad's computer. Anyway, I'm sorry it took so long. I love your photos of La Madonna! They're so captivating and inspirational! I hope all is well with you now. Enjoy Le Tour!

Sharon said...

Julie, CONGRATULATIONS!!!! I just heard that Cadel Evans, your countryman, is this year's winner of Le Tour! You must - and should be - ecstatic. Your posts have been so interesting - I'm eagerly awaiting one more on this year's race! Cheers to Cadel Evans! And to the Aussie win!

rjerdee said...

Hey Julie!!!! An AUSSIE won the race!!!! Hip, hip, hooray!!! for Cadel Evans...you must be elated! I know I am thrilled for you and your country!!! KUDOS!

debra @ 5th and state said...

yeah australia!

another lovely post julie; those madonna images, the story and history.....thank you for all the research you did (fascinating) intertwining with stunning images

Ange said...

You need to join me over here in a toast! I tell ya Julie YOU DOOOO! And I can take you to the Pyrenees - they're only a bit over an hour away :)

Pearl Maple said...

simply fabulous, the images, the history, the art, all so beautifully blended

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful time! Have a ball!....smiles