It has been a very hot day here on the Costa Blanca with many thermometers showing 40 degrees. This, of course, will happen when the official figures are less and isolated spots are hotter. More worrying, however, are these dreadful fires raging everywhere, and our thoughts should always be with these heroes who fight the fires. Especially, our thoughts and prayers should be with the families of those lost in the fires in Cataloña.
The evening is still sultry and we need to take a look at the next few days. The temperatures are staying high for tomorrow and then we get a little respite. However, it is heading towards August and the really hot month will begin. Saturday and Sunday look a bit more reasonable for us and the temperatures climb again into the new week.
35° C | 24° C
34° C | 22° C
28° C | 20° C
30° C | 22° C
32° C | 22° C
The longer range forecast seems to indicate there will be no rain and the temperatures for the Costa Blanca will be around 32 degrees.
The Tour de France is also hotting up. Britain´s Bradley Wiggins gave himself a good chance of a podium finish at the Tour de France after making ground on his rivals in Thursday’s time trial. The British Garmin rider moved from sixth to fourth spot overall, just 11 seconds behind Lance Armstrong, who moved up one place to third. We are winners with or without Bradley Wiggins as Spain´s Champion-in-waiting, Alberto Contador, was fastest over the 40.5km course, finishing in 48 minutes 30.72 seconds.He seems a very likeable young man with bags of energy and a tremendous competitive edge.
For those still not convinced of the phenomenal work put in by all the riders you might regard this event as a leisurely 3,500 km (or 2,175 mile) bike ride around France and neighbouring countries. That’s roughly the distance from London to Cairo or Tel Aviv . In spectator terms around 15 million people line the route.Does this tarnish the idea that footballers always attract the biggest crowds. I don´t think I´ve seen 15 million at a match yet!
Up to 180 riders will have set off from Monaco in 20 teams. Many will have dropped out by the time the race finishes on the Champs Elysees in Paris on 26 July.This will come about from various events such as the odd horrific crash or an odd bout of exhaustion.
Now I know some footballers have had to play two games in a week and in comparison the survivors of the Tour will have taken part in 21 gruelling stages with only two rest days to nurse their aching limbs.They won´t have Sir Alex coming in to tuck them up and read them a bedtime story.
They will average a staggering 25 mph over the course which is around 40 kilometres per hour, often riding much faster than that. On mountain descents, some riders have claimed to have reached speeds of up to 110km/h (68 mph).That´s even faster than Ronaldo runs isn´t it?
Lance Armstrong isn’t turning up just to make up numbers. His stated goal may be raising cancer awareness but no-one doubts that he would passionately love to win an eighth Tour.The way he was riding yesterday and today suggests he still believes he can win this race.
This year’s Tour is being followed by one of the biggest press corps in its history.If he were to win it would be a phenomenal achievement and, although Contador is in his team, he would dearly love to beat the Spaniard. I don´t think he will win but everyone is aware of his remarkable achievent in this year´s tour.
The fastest man on the planet is Britain´s Mark Cavendish who could surpass Chris Boardman’s British record for professional race wins during the Tour. He’s the hottest property in cycling at the moment and, having won four stages last year, all eyes will be on the ‘Manx Express’ in every one of the 10 stages that could finish in a bunch sprint.
He claims his goal is simply to reach the finish line in Paris rather than be a contender for the green jersey, awarded to the winner of the points competition and frequently the prize for the best sprinter.Whichever way he finishes he has already earned the respect of the greats in his sport.
Most Tours are won in the mountains. Climbs come in all shapes and sizes and are rated four, three, two, one or “hors” category, the latter being the steepest. If you´ve ever driven in Cornwall there are a few steep hills around Sennen Cove but none compares with the Tour de France at its steepest. Climbing from sea level to 2,000m (often more than once in a day), separates the men from the boys and one bad day can cost huge chunks of lost time.
The main contenders have to be able to stay with the specialist climbers on the ascents while the sprinters rely on the descents to stay within the cut-off time for the stage. Hill-top finishes tend to create big gaps in the field as they expose the differences between those who can climb and those battling to stay within the time limit for the stage. From what I have been watching on Televison a combination of Batman and Spiderman would have found any of the descents a bit perilous. I would also like to see the likes of Rooney, Ronaldo and Fernando Torres coming down the mountains at such speeds. Please! I am only trying to show a perspective!
Many fitness experts rate the Tour de France as the toughest of all major sporting events. The cyclists burn up to 10, 000 calories per day just to get their hands on a yellow jersey. This I am reliably informed is the equivalent of 26 Mars Bars per day. The fewest number of finishers was in 1919 when just 10 riders managed to finish. As the First World War had just ended there might well have been a shortage of Mars Bars!
So, next time Ronaldo falls to the ground writhing in agony because someone nearly tripped him up please spare a thought for those who finish the Tour but get none of the glory. If Contador wins and Lance Armstrong has the role of helping him to win through team strategy, I will always see Ronaldo now in the role of the Milky Bar Kid.
With the papers full of the dreadful forest fires yesterday I am absolutely astounded to see that most have been started deliberately or through negligence. What kind of person becomes a firestarter? If it is some sort of demon in somebody´s psyche then I don´t think it can ever be prevented and we have a constant battle against the devil on this one. If it is more on the side of negligence, as has happened with the Foreign Legion troops in France, then where are all the adverts on television. I can´t remember the last time I saw a public service announcement about the care which must obviously be taken when burning materials. I was informed the laws here in Spain are adequately punitive already. let´s catch up on today´s Spanish news.
What the Doctor is Really saying…..….
“This should be taken care of right away.”
I’d planned a trip to Hawaii next month but this is so easy and profitable that I want to fix it before it cures itself.
“Welllllll, what have we here…”
Since he hasn’t the foggiest notion of what it is, the Doctor is hoping you will give him a clue.
“Let me check your medical history.”
I want to see if you’ve paid your last bill before spending any more time with you.
“Why don’t we make another appointment later in the week.”
I need the money, so I’m charging you for another office visit.
“We have some good news and some bad news.”
The good news is he’s going to buy that new BMW, and the bad news is you’re going to pay for it.
“If it doesn’t clear up in a week, give me a call.”
I don’t know what the heck it is. Maybe it will go away by itself.
“Everything seems to be normal.”
I guess I can’t buy that new beach condo after all.
“I’d like to run some more tests.”
I can’t figure out what’s wrong. Maybe the kid in the lab can solve this one
Join me later for today´s podcast