Saturday, July 5, 2014

Yellow sheep welcome at Tour de' France

One would think that the Tour de France would start in France. And one would be wrong. For the 2nd time in history (2007), “Le Tour” began across the British Channel in the United Kingdown, specifically Leeds to Harrogate. And England has tour fever, complete with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge(Prince William and Princess Kate that is) as well as Prince Harry and Prime Minister David Cameron on hand to congratulate the winners. When one thinks of England, one usually imagines hilly fields populated with 500+ year old homes and lots and lots of sheep. But not usually yellow sheep. The scene along the first stage route included yellow dyed sheep ( via Yorkshire resident Sarah Moriarty twitter): Loved the yellow sheep on the Tour de France! Good ol’ Yorkshire! #TDF2014 #GrandDepartYorkshire pic.twitter.com/kpvQG2nnmA — Sarah Moriarty (@MoriartySarah_) July 5, 2014 Yellow, of course, in honor of the Maillot Jaune (yellow jersey) worn by the General Classification leader. A series of ITV photoshave some of the background of the origin of the yellow sheep: Stage 1 was won by Germany’s Marcel Kittel for Team Giant-Shimano, who outpaced Peter Sagan after a gruesome crash in the last 500m took out several sprint favorites including Mark Cavendish. Most riders ended with the same time, but Kittel will don the Maillot Jaune on Sunday. Kittel won the first road stage last year, as well. Le Tour will continue for three weeks for the traditional Paris finish. In the meantime, fans, both human and sheep, will continue to pledge their fandom via creative costumes. - David Whitlock