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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Reiki rider briefly leads pack in Tour de France Stage 11

Reiki moves to the front:

Reiki practitioner Hayden Roulston in the peloton (he's number 9 there in white). . .

and in the lead. . .

(screen shots from Versus HD TV)

The Tour de France is now going into Stage 13, and for most of the time since the world's most grueling sporting event began July 4, Reiki practitioner Hayden Roulston of New Zealand has been riding amid the crowded peloton, or on mountain stages, the grupetto trailing the peloton. He's now in 89th place out of 166 riders still on the tour, and rather than trying to win any stages himself, Roulston has concentrated on being helpful to his Cervelo teammates. But yesterday, as he was pushing forward to make way for his teammate Thor Hushovd (wearing the green jersey as leader in overall points), Roulston made it all the way to the front of the pack and stayed there for about half a kilometer. Unfortunately Hushovd got caught in traffic and wasn't able to take advantage of Roulston's slipstream, but Roulston got mentioned by name by the commentators on Versus HD's coverage. Roulston also made news when he weighed in against the tour's experimental radio-free days, and Cycling News featured a photo of his custom-made Australian shoes. He even got interviewed by Agence-France Press about what he eats on the tour. After a couple of pleasant days cycling past chateaux and sunflower fields, the riders will make their way back into the mountains, going on through the Alps and eventually into Paris.

It's our rookie season covering the event (via cable TV), and we've made some rookie mistakes. since last week's report we've learned that the yellow jersey is for the overall lead, not the stage win as we wrote last week. We also want to correct an incomplete sentence from last week's article: Wheels did exist in Japan before the 1850s, but their use was prohibited for all but the ruling class.

For those just joining our coverage, Roulston was forced to retire from cycling in 2006 after being diagnosed with a life-threatening heart condition, but after he discovered Reiki he was able to return to the sport. He won Silver and Bronze medals in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.


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