Great stage race last night with huge amounts of drama ... sabotage on the course, killer hill climbs at 18%, death defying descents down wet slopes, chaos, drama, and sportsmanship. Wiggo is a true British champion !
Good stage to pull out some masses now and look at a Division on the table, all based up on battalion sabot bases.
Here is what an 1813 Division roughly looks like at 1:60 scale. This is modelled on the French 6th Division / II Corps on the Southern front at Leipzig in 1813.
Lucky for me ... the French units are quite 'understrength' for this campaign.
The leading brigade - 3 battalions of Legere with 3 battalions of ligne in the 2nd wave. 3 Battalions in column of divisions on each flank, and 2 batteries in the centre.
Note the lack of cavalry at the Division level. Not much more at Corps level for this unit either.
Great racing last nice with another long stage of over 100 miles, with lots of nasty hills ... and some more unfortunate accidents.
Was shocking to see Sanchez (defending Olympic gold medalist) crash out with a broken collar bone, so he is out for London 2012.
What we did see though was a memorable win for a young French rider in his first tour. It was one of these rare occasions where the risk of hopping onto the breakaway group actually pays off.
A memorable win for Thibaut Pinot - the youngest rider in the race !
What better way to capture that in miniature, than finish off a unit of French Ligne using some of the youngest (newest) figures available ... Eureka's own amazing late French in Bardin uniform in 18mm.
Well, its only stage 2 of a very long race .. and already Im wondering how on earth I am going to get out 1 French-related post per day ... for the next 3-4 weeks.
Ah wel, lets see how we go.
Last night saw the Tour head through the fortress of Namur, and towards the French border as it heads out of Belgium.
Just over the Rhine are a couple of German states - Baden and Hesse-Darmstadt, who formed an alliance with France, and loyally provided some good regiments from Jena in 1806, to Spain, to all the way out to Leipzig in 1813.
Here we have a small battalion sized contingent of Hessians and Badeners to add to the French forces at Jena.
Following on from the prolog with Stage 1 proper, we had an exciting race last night, featuring the yellow jersey making a bold statement up the front of the race .. a few crashes .. and a mad pace all the way to the line.
Right at the end, a young rider from Slovakia .. showing something short of contempt for the rest of the field, almost cruising past Spartacus to take the stage win in the final metres.
So Ill throw in some colourful French Legere to match the feel of that stage.
Following along with the bike race of the same name - a 3000km race all across France, through every single village and up every single mountain pass ..... equates to a lot of late night streaming video watching here in Australia.
Reasonably important down here in Australia, as one of 'our' blokes is defending the yellow jersey for the first time, so its a must watch for all of us.
A perfect excuse then to build up stock levels for the French Forces at Leipzig 2013, whilst staying up late every night to tune in on the race.
Stage 1 of the Tour is typically a short prologue event - a 6km time trial at sprint pace.
What better way to equate that short but fast dash of an event in miniature ... a Squadron of dashing French Hussars !
You can follow the real race HERE each day at cyclingtipsblog for more 2 pedalled mounted warrior action.