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« Prologue | Main | The Levi Train »

February 15, 2009

Comments

janann

I was cheering for Mancebo all the way to the line, too! Amazing day for him and so well-deserved. What an incredible chase group they had going today -- I was wishing that they had some (ANY) video of most of the stage.

You know, at first I was a bit irritated about the whole "Lance comeback" thing, but I've been changing my mind. The HUGE benefit for us, of course, is the added focus on and coverage of cycling - this is great! People who are drawn to watch just to see Lance's comeback may very well find themselves hooked on the sport and demanding more coverage in the future, which can't really be a bad thing. And while Lance certainly draws attention when he is not cycling, I think that this has really given his foundation a HUGE boost in interest among those who might not have otherwise known a lot about it and given him more of a platform than he has had in the past few years. I could hardly believe the crowds showing up there (in the RAIN) in CA. Maybe the thing that surprised me the most is that Lance truly seems like he is enjoying himself immensely and is ready to ride for the team, as he did today. I think that the sport as well as cancer research will ultimately benefit in many ways. So.......I guess my mind has been changed and I'm looking forward to another year with Lance :)

Bummer about Cancellara. I really would have liked to see if they tried to defend his jersey.

Does anyone else think that Astana is really taking a gamble by giving both Mancebo and someone like Nibali so much time? I was really surprised!

Dang Cat, I'd heard rumors since last fall that Floyd and Amber had split up, but had been hoping they'd be able to work things out. I noticed that Floyd refused to discuss it during the Velonews article in the mag last month. I can't imagine how much stress that family has had to handle the past couple of years, but it still makes me sad.

Rae


I had to tape the broadcast of the race yesterday & watch it after work. What struck me was, they (Versus) really seemed unprepared for the bad weather--but it had been forecast for a week! They were struggling to talk about anything except Lance it seemed to me--what an opportunity wasted to showcase other riders and cycling in general, or even past editions of the race with video clips.

I see that the tour tracker says it is already at its maximum capacity, and today's stage is an hour away from starting!

I do think until the weather clears, we will see the ProTour teams ride pretty conservatively. So it may be a gamble, letting Mancebo take so much time. It is looking like there might be snow on Palomar? I used to take my dtr. sledding up there when we lived in San Diego.

Did anyone else pick a fantasy team? I haven't done too well--already lost Cancellara, heard Rollin say that he wouldn't be permitted to go out for any stage wins, decided against any Rock riders (altho I suspected they will be very aggressive the whole race--they've got a lot on the line! I WAS cheering for Mancebo after that effort yesterday!)

I am glad that LA is unretired--we need all the attention we can get (to the sport) & I tend to think that it really IS about the bike for him--and I don't think that that is a bad thing. The fact that he still devotes so much time to cancer awareness is super,and really enhances the Amgen sponsorship of the race, but I bet it is not the deep down core reason he came back. I think not having him dominate right away makes it more interesting! Top ten in that group is nothing to scoff at!

susie b

(This is really a response to your previous post, but figured I should write it here :).


You know the the "college legend" about the Philosophy Final that consisted entirely of a single one word question? That question was "WHY?" The legend goes that one student wrote a two word response & aced it. He wrote : "WHY NOT?"

Thats' the way I feel about Lance coming back to pro-cycling. WHY NOT? If he was 45 & had absolutely NO chance of being competitive, then I would probably feel sad. As for feeling "sad" that he finished tenth in a Prologue in a field of the BEST pro riders on the planet in an early season race on the comeback trail? I second Cathy - Are you serious? Plus, in the past, Lance always seemed to use all pre-Tour races as training & that's what he's doing now, except I guess he's targeting the Giro (at least 1st). I think it is AMAZING he's doing as well as he is. Who else at that "advanced age" & who was not doing specific bike training the last 3 years could have done that? Floyd is not the only "one tough bitch" in the peloton. :)

Anyway, the reality is that pro cycling should be GETTING ON ITS KNEES & KISSING LANCE'S ASS as it is extremely probable that without him being in the peloton this year, many more teams & races would have disappeared from existence. I can guarantee you that some sponsors are not pulling out ONLY because they know Lance will bring a huge amount of publicity & sets of eyes to every event he shows up. Companies are going bankrupt around the globe &/or are laying off THOUSANDS. Whether the other teams or riders like all the hoopla around Lance, they better take their heads out of their asses & recognize the current economic reality.

As for we, the fans, we should also be singing hosannas to Lance. WHO ELSE would get Versus to cover the TDU & the ToC LIVE? Who else would get the mainstream media to write ANYthing about cycling these days without the words "pathetic", "circus", "FARCE", or "DOPING"?

I have actually read very little about cycling since last October. In fact, I've read & watched very little of any sport since then. Last week, I went to Velonews & Rant's to try to catch up & it was on the latter that I linked to an article about Floyd. I didn't think the article was that bad but Rant & Starbuk took great offense. I've actually been dying to know what's been happening with Floyd since the CAS hearing in 2007 & I definitely thought it was a HELL of a lot better than the last piece I read where Floyd just vented & spewed. Now, THAT one broke my heart. Anyway, in this article, it says Floyd filed for divorce last month. It also gave info on his mortgages & home equity loans, which was not necessary & I'm sure just thrilled Floyd & Amber, but I guess the reporter was trying to make his point that Floyd has lost much, if not everything.

In my catch-up reading, I did read that it seems we'll be throwing a PITI Party soon for Valverde... And what can you say about that 'Jarnydyce & Jarnydyce' case of the cycling world - Operacion Puerto? How can you not laugh when the Italian CONI is bringing charges against a SPANISH rider in that supposed put-to-rest Spanish case? Well, of COURSE it now makes sense that just the week before apparently, the Spanish judiciary decides that once, twice, THREE times is NOT ENOUGH? Am I the ONLY person who started channeling Katy Perry?

"You're hot then you're cold
You're YES then you're NO
You're IN then you're OUT
You're up then then you're down
You're WRONG when it's right
It's black (or is it) white?"


Does anybody know if the Spanish legal system is always such a FARCE or is that reserved for cycling cases?

I do have one question - WHY is Frank "I gave $10,000 to a gynecologist for TRAINING ADVICE" Schleck riding in the ToC & not suspended? Are YOU KIDDING ME?

Well, I was pinching myself Saturday, watching not just all the big names of the last year come down the ramp, but Floyd & Lance too. A year ago, I never thought I'd ever see either in a pro-cycling race again. I hope with all my heart that both get what they want from the experience. And if either or both could whup a little ass while doing it, that would be mighteee fine by me. ;) ;)

Theresa

I agree with everyone. This time having Lance around is fun, and I'm so grateful for the attention he's brought to cycling.
Mancebo was awesome, I'm thrilled he won yesterday. And Velo did a better job on following the race than Versus!

I knew it was true about Floyd when the team gave his home town. Not the same as Amber. Tyler's marriage didn't make it either, and they didn't have a child. So sad.

susie b

One more thing. I have three words (clean version) for Paul Kimmage - GET OVER YOURSELF.

I too want doping gone from this sport, but between Kimmage & LeMond, it's a freakin toss-up who is the more irritating. I've read several of Kimmage's articles the past few years & even enjoyed one of his Tour pieces last year very much, but his Lance hatred & JEALOUSY is tiresome. Plus, I read his book & while I thought parts were interesting, can I just say it is a SHOCK that this guy is a professional writer. "Rough Read" is the more accurate title.

Matt

Good Monday morning to the Asylum...I 'THOUGHT' I posted here, but somehow it ended up under Sara's earlier post (it's getting exciting)...OOPS! So anyway, here it is again:

Hey...I just saw on Velonews that Floyd had a flat coming down into the finishing circuits yesterday....which is why he dropped back. WHEW! I was wondering what happened...what with the sketchy (non-existant) video coverage and almost completly wrong time gaps from race radio about Mancebo at the front (what a HEROIC ride that was..congrats to him for a WELL EARNED victory under totally crappy conditions!) Anyway...back to Floyd...he was with the Astana chase group looking good, and then all of a sudden he was off the back by himself with no explanation. Sure glad everything is OK and I can look forward to him KICKING SOME SERIOUS BUTT in coming stages!

And did anybody else think that Hummer totally sucked? I 'kind of' liked him last year in lieu of Troutface. But to have him M-C'ing the race while Bobke did little stupid inverviews here and there was just plain dumb IMO.

And in case you don't have anything else to do, Fatty is going to do live blogupdates on his site..(I just read all thru the weekends...very humorous...wish I would have known that YESTERDAY when I sat watching people at the finish line, while Hummer kept saying totally dumb-ass things pretty much non-stop. I guess his job was to fill the void of NO race video. (and was it just me, or did Hummer, Phil AND Paul all look rather 'rode hard and put away wet'?) Tough day for VS...but still glad they have the coverage...so won't complain TOO loudly.

It was pretty cool to see Lance taking turns driving the chase group. And Horner...he is THE man! Apparently HE is the one who stirred the chase-pot and got them rocking when Mancebo's lead got too high...he sure is a classy rider! Would love to see him score a stage victory sometime.

Sure hope our weather picks up some..the early forecast I saw this morning calls for rain today and tomorrow...with partly couldy/mid-60's after that for the rest of the race. I'll take it.

Matt

Oh..forgot a few things...for one, I noticed that at work our stupid corporate servers have BLOCKED US Cycling report! Whats up with THAT? I can get to Ebay, and most any other place on the web and they block THAT? don't get it.

Also a shout out and welcome back to Susie! I KNEW it was you as soon as I started reading! Somehow I missed the part where Frank Schleck paid a Dr. $$...when did this come out? I must have been snoozing.

And finally...I hope they catch whoever stole the bikes. Lances bike alone must be worth more than both our cars put together...(actual cost). And then the other 3 bikes too...all not quite what you get at a bike store. Grand theft. Lock em up for about 10 years! Sure hope they get them back before Solvang. However I bet Trek is cracking the whips as I type getting another bike ready and out here by Fridays TT.

Matt

One more thing...I can't get a lot of sites lately on the work PC, however I found out I CAN get the live AMGEN tracker site...SWEET! Here's the link in case any are interested: http://tracker.amgentourofcalifornia.com/

ooh...one more thing: Fatty has organized a livestrong page for Bob Roll...to shave the 'fin' of hair on the top of his head...if Bob's donation page hits $5000 by the end of the ToC he will shave it..(see Fattys today for details and the link to Bob's page...I just donated).

janann

OH, I definitely have to check out Fatty's site about Bob! Thanks Matt.

I just watched the VN videos explaining the ruling made about the finishing circuits which, combined with the lack of radio contact and information, made it really difficult for the chase group to bring back the leaders by the official "finish time" when they entered the circuits. Makes it much more understandable why Astana didn't pull back more time before the finish.

Right after the race yesterday VN was reporting that not only did Floyd drop out of that chase group, but actually dropped out of the *RACE*. I was thrilled to see later that they removed that part of the story and he seems to be still in the mix. What a HORRIBLE place to flat out with no vehicles allowed in for support (even neutral!) though. BAD luck.

I taped the coverage today, so was glad not to see any results here yet. I'm looking forward to a great stage to watch tonight.

WELCOME BACK Susie! Glad you'll be along for the ride. I have a feeling its going to be an awesome season.

Rae, I did sign up for a fantasty team again on VS, but didn't know about it until it was too late to get in for the Prologue. I've already lost Cancellara too -- but Brad is on my team T!

susie b

Thanks, Matt. So nice to be back! I was able to listen & sneak peaks to the last 45 minutes of the Tour Tracker coverage & it seems Levi might just want a good result in this race.... ;) ;) ;) Whoo-hoo, go Levi! Can't wait to see the Versus repeat tonight. And thanks, Janann with the heads-up about my Sweetie Pie. So, now he's looking all professional behind a "sports desk". Is that guy adorable or what?!

I didn't previously talk about yesterday's Versus coverage as I was TRYING to live by the adage - "if you can't say something nice...." I know the weather is not their fault & I guess they never knew from second to second when they'd get the picture back, but yowza, not exactly scintillating filler.

And Matt, you must have repressed the memory - not long after the Tour last year, news broke about evidence that Frank Schleck was "connected" to OP. He SAYS he didn't know exactly who he was dealing with but that he only paid $10,000 to get "TRAINING ADVICE". Well, I guess he had to come up with SOMETHING as the "I was PLANNING to dope but never got the chance" excuse was already taken...

Cathy, tell us the truth, didn't Lance really want to SING his response to Kimmage?

"I wake up every morning, with a big smile on my face
And it never feels out of place
And you're still working at a 9 to 5 base
I wonder how that tastes

When you see my face
HOPE IT GIVES YOU HELL
HOPE IT GIVES YOU HELL
When you walk my way
HOPE IT GIVES YOU HELL
HOPE IT GIVES YOU HELL...
When you hear this song
I hope that it will GIVE YOU HELL
You can sing along
I hope that it will treat you 'well'"


Every upteenth time I hear that song now, I will laugh. Plus, it brings a whole new meaning to "give 'em Hell, Lance!"

By the way, did I mention the Westminster winner's nickname was STUMP? Sounds equivalent to "Uniballer" to me. ;)

Theresa

Okay, Neutralizing these circuits into Santa Rosa are screwing with the race. Floyd's DS is furious that the officals wouldn't let the cars up to service the riders. Two of the OUCH riders had flats, and lost 4-5mins waiting on wheel changes.
I know Levi would still have taken the lead today, but some of the other riders wouldn't have lost so much time. I'm just saying.....

btw, Janann, Brad is suffering with everyone else! If there ever is a sprint finish, he'll be there with Mark and Tom!

Theresa

Floyd interview at VeloNews.tv!!!!!
And watch Bob Stapleton and Mike Tamayo talk about the decision on stage 1 and how it changed the GC.

Floyd looks great!!! And so happy to be racing!!!

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