paull's current selection is:
Sacha
by Les Rita Mitsouko
No summary of yesterday's stage, but a 9 minute recap of the first half of this Tour de France by the guys of the fantastic cycling channel GCN Racing. Who are the biggest winners and losers of the first ten days? https://youtu.be/Dtu_nfT1_cQ

So today starts the second half of this years Tour de France. We've had a quite exciting first week, with a few tremendous sprints, a hellish unpaved uphill finish and a few boring races with pretty exciting finales. And best of all, we haven't seen any of the general classification riders dominating the field yet. So the next one-and-a-half weeks, will be full of surprises and that all starts today.

Today, the 171 remaining riders (yes, only five went home in the first 10 stages) ride from Albi to Toulouse. In the first half of the stage, the riders will have to climb two rather interesting cols, the Tonnac and the Castenou-de-Montmiral. Both not very long and not very steep, but just enough to wake up the riders legs after a day of rest.

The second half of the stage looks flat, but has in fact a continuous uphill-downhill profile. In the final 100 km of this stage, I counted no less than 16 climbs of a few hundred meters each. This stage is definitely not for the full-blood sprinters, but for strong all-rounders like Sagan, Alaphillipe, Mollema and perhaps Valverde.

The pink city Toulouse was on the program of the very first edition of the Tour in 1903. In 1908, Lucien Petit-Breton won a stage there before conquering his second Grande Boucle overal win. Petit-Breton's real name was Georges Mazan, but he adapted the nickname Lucien Petit-Breton for races, to deceive his father who wanted him to do a 'real job'. Petit-Breton was killed in 1917 during the Great War. He was only 35 years old.

Today's music for #TourDeFranceWeeks is by one of the most acclaimed French musical acts of the 80s. Les Rita Mitsouko started as a duo formed by Fred Chichin and Catherine Ringer. They worked with producers like Conny Plank and Tony Visconti and recorded songs with The Sparks, Iggy Pop and System of a Down.

They scored international hits in the late 80s with songs like 'Marcia Baïla', 'Andy', 'C'est Comme Ça' and 'Le Petit Train'. Their video's were highly stylized and directed by the biggest names in music video's. Sadly, the band stopped in 2007 after Fred Chichin died of cancer.

'Sacha' was one of the tracks of their 2002 album 'La Femme Trombone'.
2002 - France - Virgin - at the start today, Paris is still 1502 km in 12 days to go.
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