Sunday, July 11, 2010

A day of sports

Today is a fantastic day - sports-wize.

Probably not to most americans - because even though both pro-cycling and soccer has grown as sports in the last couple of decades, they are still minor sports compared to football and baseball (tiny, almost non-existant sports in a european mind).

But today is not only the World Championship final of the sport we call football (soccer, to americans) - it was also the first real mountain stage of the EPIC cycling event of the year ... the Tour de France.

I have been semi-watching todays mountain stage most of the day, turning on the tv every now and then to check on the event, doing the ironing while watching, and finally sitting down to watch the last 50 km. (oh ... 50 km ... equals in the area of 35 miles, I guess...)

The funny thing about a stage in the TdF is - the main thing is really not who wins the stage, even though it is a big thing. No, the main drama is ... how do the favourites end up? Does Schleck manage to take seconds from Cadel Evans and Contador? Who gets rubber legs and end up losing minutes? Who shows strength, and whose team can hang on to help their captain all the way?

Most danes cheer for Team Saxo Bank. It is a danish cycling team, led by once TdF-winner Bjarne Riis. This year we have no less than 4 danish riders out of 9 on that team - not riding as captains, but still! The captain of the team is a young guy named Andy Schleck. He is a huge talent, and today he actually managed to take seconds from the other favourite, and take the stage win as well!

So I am hopeful - he might yet climb the other favourites into the ground. And he has to do that, because he is bound to lose seconds on the time trial later in the race.


As for football, or soccer, if you wish - as a dane, I should cry (Denmark performed miserably and exited early), but as a european, I can snicker in the smuggest way. The final is - of course, I might say - between two european teams, Holland and Spain.

Problem is, I really don't know who to cheer for. They are both great teams playing lovely ball, so it is difficult.

Holland could be my favourite - just because Holland is a country that is very like Denmark. Not very big, quite flat, and with a very liberal and open mentality in a lot of ways. Dutch people are a lot like danish people, I believe.

But Spain ... Spain is kind of close to my heart too! My son loves Spain and all things spanish, and the language is just SO much lovelier than dutch (that actually sounds like a german with a throat disease - sorry, dear dutchies) - it is a gorgeous country with great food ... and the wine ... *sigh*

So I guess it is a tie, and no matter which team wins, I will be happy.

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