Pedal power over horsepower as Tour de France hits Spa-Francorchamps (VIDEO)

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The Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps has established itself as one of the greatest and most fearsome circuits in world motorsport over the past 95 years, with its pronounced undulations and fast-flowing sections making it one of the ultimate challenges for racing drivers.

But the track played host to a very different kind of race on Monday as the Tour de France passed through as part of its third stage.

Riders started the day in Verviers, Belgium, around 30 km north of the track, and passed through en route to the finish in Longwy, France via Luxembourg.

Spa will host its next Formula 1 race at the end of August with the Belgian Grand Prix.

Reviewing Danica Patrick’s highs and lows at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

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So much of Danica Patrick’s fame can be traced to Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

It’s where she became a household name 13 years ago when she became the first woman to lead the Indianapolis 500 and emerged as a transcendent athlete.

It’s where everything started. This Sunday, it’s where everything will end, too.

In her last warmup before starting the final race of her career, Patrick had a bumpy final practice Friday on Carb Day. She was eighth fastest, but her Dallara-Chevrolet was in the garage most of the session because of an electrical problem in the engine. After returning during the final 10 minutes of the session, Patrick’s No. 13 seemed to be OK.

“At the end of the day, these are things you’re actually glad for, because if this had happened Sunday, we would have been done,” she said. “I’m glad to get the issues out of the way early on. Overall, today felt good. We made some changes when I went out the second time, and I’m feeling good about starting seventh on Sunday.”
Though she has had her share of success – along with a fourth in her debut, there was a third in 2009 and six top 10s in seven starts — Patrick has learned well how to handle frustration at the 2.5-mile track, too.

Fuel mileage might have kept her from winning her debut, a pit collision ruined 2008, and an unstable setup made 2010 a wild ride.

For a review of her up-and-down history at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and her legacy in racing, watch the video essay above that ran during Friday’s NASCAR America Motorsports Special on NBCSN.