In July, I wrote about the Tour de France. More accurately, I lamented the Tour’s postponement from the traditional schedule. The twenty-one stages of the Tour have run primarily in July since 1903 with the exception of several years over two world wars. I’ve watched most stages over the last two decades.

The pandemic put the Tour in serious difficulty. France and the surrounding countries were hammered last spring. The Tour organizers postponed it until late August, and I had little hope that it would run.

I was wrong. The Tour ended this past Saturday in dramatic fashion.

Primoz Roglic was favored to win from the beginning. He was the best rider with the best team throughout the Tour.

Going into the second to last stage (which is traditionally the last opportunity to change the standings), he had a fifty-seven second time advantage over Tadej Pogacar for the overall classification. Both men are from Slovenia and reportedly close friends.

Roglic’s lead seemed insurmountable. He only had to finish within fifty-six seconds of Pogacar’s time. The stage was an uphill time trial, and Roglic is good at time trials. Roglic did his part with a solid fifth place finish on the stage.

But, that was not enough against one of the most remarkable individual performances ever.

Pogacar won the stage by twenty-six seconds over the second placed rider, Tom Domoulin, who is a former a world time trial champion. He finished more than a minute faster than Roglic. His performance will go down as one of the greatest in a race full of great performances.

An August Tour de France surpassed all expectations. Scheduling, health restrictions, and limitations on fans were no match for the spirit that makes the Tour one of the world’s greatest sporting events.

Maybe, it offers a little inspiration to get us through the coming months.

I am writing from my family farm on the banks of the White Oak River near Emerald Isle. My father lived here as a little boy and an old man. Much of his life was tied to the land and tidal river.

He died on September 2nd. His presence in our lives was large. His absence is overwhelming.

Still, my mom, my siblings, and I are starting the practice of managing without him, figuring out when to plant winter seeds, where to rotate the horses, and who to call for a hay delivery.

It is not the way we scheduled it, but we have our obligations. Thad the cat greets us at the barn every morning. The horses eat the grass, wherever you put them. And, Heidi the goat appears for food every day.

Things have changed, and not just around our farm. The balance that keeps the Republic alive is in danger. Many suffer from financial consequences of the pandemic. Leaders continue to highlight our differences over the things that unite us. We don’t know when we will try a case to a jury again.

Maybe, Pogacar’s statement is a bold challenge for us. Whether it’s July, the middle of a Pandemic, or in the midst of grief, something remarkable just may happen.

We are criminal trial lawyers. We represent people accused of criminal offenses who risk losing everything. We work to get them their best results and back to leading productive lives.

Call if you need us, or if you just want to say hello.


P.S. Heidi broke out of her pen last Winter. She comes back everyday to eat, but refuses to be bound.