Le Tour d' Alley

Tour de France viewing parties typically mean you, a party of one, sitting before the TV or computer screen. It's a lonely obsession, shared by a few at traffic lights or on the Burke Gilman Trail. ("How about Contador's attack on the Tourmalet?" "He broke his collarbone in how many places?") But for those with a generous lunch hour, there's a more social option at the new bike shop in Nord Alley. Back Alley Bike Repair is launching a TV recap gathering it calls Le Tour d' Alley, which runs weekdays through July 20 (except July 4, 10, and 17—the latter two dates being rest days, but you knew that already). Maybe you can't make every screening, but we recommend you bring your take-out lunch today to watch the rolling and potentially windy stage three from Orchies to Boulogne-sur-Mer. At only 197 kilometers (about 120 miles), the route runs west to the coast, just south of Calais, where ocean breezes and a twisty, bumpy finale await. Just as the peloton has likely caught the day's escapees, there are four unwelcome little climbs in the last 16 clicks. The sprint finish is uphill: 700 meters at a 7.4 percent grade, which may defeat Wenatchee's Tyler Farrar and Englishman Mark Cavendish (aka "The Manx Missile"). Instead, look for the Spaniards Samuel Sánchez and Alejandro Valverde and the Belgian Philippe Gilbert to be in the mix. And if you already know the results, put a burrito in it. (Back Alley Bike Repair, 314 First Ave. S., just east of First between Jackson and Main.) BRIAN MILLER

Mondays-Fridays, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Starts: July 2. Continues through July 20, 2012

 
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