I’m on international soil with insane roaming charges. I promise no timely updates. But here is one great photo from my first day in Los Angeles.

If I had to pick a top three for the points classification, I’d go with Sagan, Cavendish and Griepel. There’s no way I’d try and predict their order though!

Mark Renshaw

I miss Cav and Renshaw on the same team together so much. I clicked this link to Renshaw’s blog post on Cycling News simply because I was hoping for a Cav mention. Because it wasn’t a break-up. It wasn’t their choice when HTC folded. Each rider has to find the best team for themselves, and it turned out the best team for themselves wasn’t the best team together. It means, though, that Mark Renshaw and Mark Cavendish are still friends, even if they’re no longer teammates.

It wasn’t a break-up. Now, it’s more like a long-distance relationship. We still see photos of the two of them chatting before races, riding next to each other in the peloton, and racing each other in the sprints. Cavendish is still the fastest, but Renshaw has been let off his leash a little. He’s the best sprinter on a team of climbers. It’s his turn to win some stages at the Tour. Just as Renshaw predicts Cav in the running to win the points jersey, I know Cav would be ecstatic to see Renshaw take his first stage at a Grand Tour. I think he would be happy to come second in that sprint.

I used to call them the best song-and-dance team in the peloton. The way they worked together was magical. It was the best example of the selflessness that happens in road racing. When you’re at a big race like the Tour de France, the biggest of the big races, the biggest there is, you’re there for your team. Renshaw knew that he was there to get Cav across the finish line. Nine riders from each team, but only one can be the leader. Only one can stand on top of the podium in Paris.

But there are other victories to be won along the way. There are little sprints and big sprints, little mountains and big mountains, and there are jerseys for each stage and each climb and each day that a rider goes out and makes the most of his own race. There are a lot of little ways to win at the Tour, and one of those ways is to make sure the guy on your wheel crosses the line. Renshaw knows what the little victories are like. It would be nice to see him get a big one for himself.

All writers are vain, selfish, and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives there lies a mystery. Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.

George Orwell, on writing.

George gets me.

With one look into the steel arrogance behind Sorkin’s eyes, I am sure he considers his life’s tragedy that, in 50 years, there will be no Sorkin to write about him.

Sarah Nicole Prickett

There will be a lot of pieces written about Aaron Sorkin in the next few weeks. This is already the best one.

Wikipedia: Hammer of Thor (monument)

The monument was discovered in 1964 by archaeologist Thomas E. Lee, during an anthropological expedition to Ungava. It had been standing for many years, and no one in the area knew who had erected it. Inuit tradition held that it predated their arrival in the area. Lee considered it to be European in appearance, and considered it to be proof that the Norse inhabited the Ungava region about a thousand years before. Lee thought it looked like a hammer and named the monument “The Hammer of Thor”.

Given growing knowledge about and appreciation for Inuit culture, contemporary scholars believe this work is as likely to be an Inuksuk, a stone landmark, erected by Inuit.

White People Suck, part I-don’t-even-know-anymore.

I don’t get a lot of inspiration myself from nature. I’m a city girl, through and through. But I think that’s what I love about Andy Goldsworthy, the way he imposes a human order on sticks and leaves and stone and ice.