The suspense has been excruciating all day. We recorded the penultimate stage of the Tour de France this morning. We even watched it for a while but the kids got rangy so we did the grocery shopping and picked up coffee and donuts, and by the time we got home, the neighbour kid was awake and the kids were occupied so we could watch recording of the rest of the stage in peace. We watched Lance take off. We watched him pass Michael Rasmussen. We watched him 10 seconds behind at the first checkpoint, and 32 seconds ahead at the second. We saw the finish of two or three of the top five riders finish with impressive times. And then the recording stopped. Yes, stopped recording. All over, no more Tour. No more Lance. Exactly two minutes from when Lance was to cross the finish line. I have no idea how he did. He might have crashed metres from the line. Or he might have cleaned up and finished a minute faster than the next fastest (my preferred scenario, of course).
This was the most exciting stage. I was, literally, on the edge of my seat. It was positively thrilling. I know what I wanted to happen but not what actually happened. This was the day Lance was to consolidate his seventh win. The first stage win for this Tour (still not entirely sure how he managed to win it without winning a stage… good luck, I guess, or bad depending on if you are Lance or someone who crashed). I am dying to know what happened.
Trevor ran for the internet and informed himself quite promply. I stuck my fingers in my ears and sang loudly. It was my plan to watch it tonight without any idea of what happened so I could be excited and surprised. One night this week I made the mistake of looking at a website distantly related to the Tour, while I was watching it, and found out the winner. The punch was just not there at the end. No surprise. Still a great finish, but not as thrilling as if I hadn’t known what would happen. So I made a concerted effort all day to avoid any coverage whatsoever.
Trevor kept making comments designed to make me think he’d let something slip but I trust him not a whit in these matters and I still have no idea what did transpire. So here I sit, re-watching coverage I’ve already seen, so I don’t miss anything. I’m recording it too, in case of disaster (or parenting, whichever). I will watch in self-imposed suspense until the bitter end. I consider it a mark of my maturity level that I have been able to stretch my meagre patience this long. Good for me for not caving. I did, however, bite all my fingernails off today. I still have most of my hair, but I shot about 1000 at mini-golf this afternoon. There is nothing now that will stop me from seeing the end of the stage, in one way or another. I’ll let you know what happens, although I figure I am the only person on the world with any remote interest in the sport of cycling or the Tour de France, or Lance Armstromg himself, who doesn’t know.
So don’t bother calling for the next few hours. I won’t be answering the phone. Can’t risk the state of my innocence in this matter. Someone might let something slip. I’ll check in later.