Sure, Cav managed to liven up Stage 10 a little bit, but we all know that, a twitchy touch o' the wheels here or a satisfyingly GC-destroying cross-wind there, everything up to that last 5 k in a sprint stage is snooze-inducingly dull for the tifosi. So what to do for the other six hours it's on, and *still* feel like a loyal little Tour de France fan? Here, my suggestions for Stuff to Do During Those Big Boring Sprint Stages:
1. Compose Haiku: Shoulder and elbow/Meeting most unpleasantly/Veelers goes down hard. Take *that*, Shakespeare!
2. Learn a New Trade: Bust into the post-stage interviews and shout "Hey, FROOME, what kind of !@#$ are you ON!"
3. Unleash Your Inner Computer Whiz: hack into the info feed for the race commentators. "Well, I can't quite believe what I'm reading here, Phil, but it appears that Mark Cavendish has indeed led the front group over the top of Alpe d'Huez and is now the virtual maillot jaune on the road!"
4. Be a Race Volunteer: switch the sign-in magic markers with those little kids' scented ones. Wonder what chemicals'll show up in the riders' blood samples *tonight*!
5. Unleash Your Inner Artist: Paint "I HEART LANCE ARMSTRONG" all over the race course in huge white letters. Show the love, baby!
6. Meet Your Idols: Point out some random guy in the crowd and tell Bernard Hinault he's a political protester about to storm the podium right as the stage-win jersey's being presented. Excitement shall ensue!
7. Soigneur For a Day: Sneak into Cannondale trailer and replace Peter Sagan's "Hulk" bicycle with a "My Little Pony" one. Preeeeeety!
8. Rewrite the UCI Rules: the "attire" section clearly needs work. No polka-dot skinsuits, EVER!
9. Engage Your Faves: run up next to Andre Greipel holding a cup and wearing an official-looking vest and yell "mid-race doping control!"
10. Tifosi Contest: how many riders can *you* reach out and touch on the back before one of 'em slugs you? Last one standing wins!
Well, dear reader(s), it's that or end up on TV drunk as hell dressed in a Speedo and a cowboy hat while the gendarmes drag you off the mountainside. Either way, expand your horizons and enjoy the show!