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« Now That's What I Call A Bike Race | Main | I Was Sure Sastre Had That One »

July 22, 2009

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janann

WHAT A GREAT STAGE!! I LOVE the mountain stages!

Oh, Sara, your first paragraph is too cute - LOL. Seriously though, I love both your writing style and how you make me burst out laughing with comments and observations. Its so great to have you back!!!

The Schlecks were definitely the dynamic duo today and I was really pleased to see Frank take the stage win after doing all of that work and I also really enjoy seeing how happy Andy was to see Frank win. They were riding for Jens and he is probably thrilled for them!

LA did a great job playing a loyal teammate. I was wondering what was going through his head though...

AND even though they both ended up losing time today, I thought that CVV and Wiggins did an AWESOME job! Despite what could have been a career-ending injury a matter of weeks ago for CVV and the seemingly NEW strength of Wiggins in the mountains, they both rode extremely well. They distanced themselves further from some of the favorites for the overall - Sastre (BTW, I agree Susie about his comments), Evans, Menchov. Garmin had two strong riders up there until the end. The only teams to best them were Astana and Saxo Bank. I hope that the entire team is super proud of their performance.

Well, the next 2 days are indeed going to be exciting ones! Maybe one of the Schlecks can pull off a surprise in the TT (not winning -- but maybe not losing as much as usual)? I've got to say that I'd LOVE to see Lance take it to everyone in the TT with a stunning performance as in days of old. Stranger things have happened. Of course I'm also hoping for some kickin rides by our two Garmin boys in the top ten! That last hour should be a doozy!

Oh, I'm pretty sure that Susie brought us the Menchov=Bambi ;)
though I could be mistaken. It was one of my all-time favorites too.

CMehl

Everyone is free to fly in the time trial of course so I think we could see another shake up on the GC tomorrow. And Wiggins tweeted that some Brit journos were happy he was losing time--anyone know what that's about? That sucks, he's doing great, they should be freaking thrilled.

Regarding Di Luca, Tim Johnson (OUCH, rides with Floyd) tweeted something like "Well we know he didn't test positive for brains!" Priceless!

Agree on the pix of the two Schlecks winning--they really did both win today. I liked that everyone agreed Frank should win for his huge sacrifices to his bro. Liked it when AC patted him on the butt.

And I really don't think AC attacked Kloden. You could see them talking some. I was always a little concerned that Klodi was behind instead of in front of AC. And JB said he told AC he didn't need to attack but that's not the same as saying Don't attack....I don't care what language you're speaking, the two are different! I think it was after Paris Nice that LA said AC gets a little nervous when he races--I think we've seen that in this Tour. He really wants to win--don't forget he only won his first one because Chicken was a Cheater, so I think he'd like to outright win one on his own, but I don't believe he has a ruthless approach to it. He still needs his teammates, he knows that.

BTW, sometimes on Versus you see a Spanish guy with glasses near AC--that's his brother.

Tomorrow LA announces his new team--seriously, I am just as anxious to know as everyone else!!

Yes, Menchov/Bambi was Susie's original comment, I only revived it after the TTT (which seems like a very long time ago now--I am tired of getting up at 3:30AM)

jessica

So funny Sara! I think they'd be best as a matching pair - that would over the top cute!

It's possible I got too excited with the stage today; I looked down to find my cat was sitting by my foot, staring at me intently because I was talking at the tv and riders.

But it's in part because Susie's curse of commercial interruptions via Comcast has now cursed me!! Just as Phil says, "Lance is making a push, he's waited for the steepest part to make his move.."

...vvvppt. Cut to Pizza Pockets! Next time it was for ITT Tech. Grrrr-harrumph.

The live show started at 3:30am here today, so I look forward to repeats tonight, esp for interviews. Just too early for me.

jessica

Has anyone else noticed this?

I finally broke down and purchased Mens Journal today, the one with Lance staring out at you, the July/Aug issue. And as I opened to the article, I thought, will he be topless as always?

And he WAS!

The magazine pile is huge in our home so searching thru it confirmed that in the last two Outside magazine interviews it was the same thing - no shirt.

Pretty sure nearly every article I've ever seen has Lance sans shirt. And that includes during Sheryl and during the winning streak.

Not a very technical subject but since this tour hasn't seemed to be rife with accusations of drugs, maybe it feels like it's missing a bit of the soap opera.

CMehl

Bonnie Ford has a great piece on Jens at:

http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/tdf2009/columns/story?id=4344207

cat

Jessi, I too have received the Comcast Curse of commercial interruptions at horribly inopportune times!!! (susieb, what spell did you cast to get rid or yours?) I missed the transition from LA chasing Andy (or was it Frank?) to being dropped or, just letting them go. What the hell?!? Lance did look great though. So much more fun than the determined keeping pace.

Maybe I do this every Tour, but I can't seem to get the time to see a full stage. Something is always hanging me up. I must find a way to record - the VCR is now officially Kaput. Too late for this year, but next year-watch out!

I have been wondering when the first "positive" would come out (love the Twitter quote, that's just fabulous). I thought for sure it would be a F-fest like last year.

Wanna hear something funny? Hubby was the one to tell me about the positive and then proceed to excitedly and in uncharacteristic detail, spill the beans about today's stage. He then stopped and said, "did I say something wrong?" I couldn't decide whether to be angry that he told me when I hadn't watched yet, or thrilled that he's evidently caught the bug and watched before I got home! You know I AM talking about the Hubby who LUVs American football and thought TdF was only all LA all the time (we can blame OLN/Versus for that one). In past years he would walk in, stand behind me and say, "how's Lance doing? Is he winning?" Doh. But then came Floyd and that changed everything for him. Hubby's righteous anger came out and suddenly it was 'us' (the riders) against 'them' (cheese eating surrender monkeys -that's priceless BTW).

Ain't it wonderful to watch men grow? Being pissed off for a cause always helps.

cat

Jes, my favorite picture of Lance is still the one on the bike, wet and naked. *sigh* Yes, stimulates some fantasies.

Bobke looked pretty good naked too, in those 2005 OLN ads...

nakigrl

Yes, the Schlecks are adorable in a cute puppy dog kind of way. But don't you find yourself thinking "is he old enough to shave yet?" when you look at Andy?

nakigrl

I have just been shown something that made me laugh - maybe you have already seen it?

In google, type 'french military victories' and instead of pressing search, press 'I feel lucky'

It's laugh out loud good! Though I don't think the Cheese Eating Surrender Monkies would be very happy...

Matt

Well...I have watched (and re-watched) yesterdays stage and (sorry cathy) but I think AC made a HUGE mistake. All he did with that attack is do the work FOR the Schleck bro's (who were indeed AWESOME!) He had absolutly NO need to attack..he was sitting pretty, just ride their wheels WITH Kloden and let the Schlecks do all the work (which they were). I hear what you say Cath about how they 'discussed' it..but it's QUITE obvious that Klodi was taken by complete suprise by AC's attack. That was a move made by a man thinking of only ONE person...Himself. Sure Astana wants to win the yellow...but I don't really see that in jeapordy (unless AC falters badly in the TT and Wiggo goes ballistic). Sorry..thats just what I see. I really respect what he's done and is capable of...however that move really SUCKED from a team perspective. Maybe he DOES need to move onto another team if he feels the need to do moves like that. It seems he expects the full team to ride support FOR him, but I don't see it going the other way. They had a REAL chance to have at least 2 people on the podium in Paris...and he really tossed that out the window for no reason. It's a harsh assessment I know. Thats just how I see it. I bet the team dinner last night was quite tense. Andy and Frank...the dynamic duo..I LIKE that..as they SURELY are Dynamic! Frank working his tail off for Andy, Andy giving Frank the win..now THATS teamwork and support of the highest caliber!

And with all that said, todays TT and then Sats mt top finish on Ventoux will be real intersting for SURE!

darren

LA's TT not so good... Must find silver lining. Next year's tĂȘte-a-tĂȘte when we'll get to see LA not committed to supporting role. Sitting on Wiggo's wheel wasn't fun to watch either. I've spent this entire Tour wanting a different reality. Despite all that, I'm hoping for the Comeback on Ventoux - My Backpack o' Hope's chock-full of beers no matter the outcome.

darren

To clarify (just in case) "not so good" = not the one of heretofore mentioned/hoped for miracles. C'est la vie!

Yeah!!! Radio Shack & Nissan!!!!

cat

I can hardly conentrate on work, want to get home to watch TT!!

susie b

STAGE 16 - TUES, JUL 21
********************************
Theme Songs of the Day :
MERCY, MERCY ME
ONLY THE STRONG SURVIVE


SUSIE'S SWEETIES :
(1) Lance 'MY HEART WILL GO ON' Armstrong. I realize many (especially men) gag at this song &/or the singer, but I TELL YOU WHAT - when Lance soared up that mountain after being dropped from the select GC few, my heart & those millions of other hearts he drags along in this race, soared right with him. Darren talks about his "backpack of hope" & when Lance 1st started racing this year, there were "HOPE RIDES AGAIN" signs along the roads in California. Whether he wants it or not, whether he seeks it or not, the man IS a symbol of HOPE. On a bike, against the ravages of time, & most especially, for taking on cancer & beating it to a pulp. My heart soared today & yes, I cried like a baby at the freakin end of 'Titanic', listening to that song! ;)

(2) Jens 'HEARTACHE TONIGHT' Voight. Yes, there is heartache all over the world tonight that Jens crashed HARD & had to be airlifted to a hospital. Websites were clicked obsessively throughout the day, hoping for word, which finally came that it looks like he will be alright (broken cheekbone & concussion). Since it LOOKED & COULD have been much worse, we all breathed a sigh of relief. Get well soon, JENS! We're all expecting you at the "Jens Invitational" (Criterium) again next year!

(3) Andy 'WE'RE NOT GONNA TAKE IT' Schleck. That's pretty much what Andy & his big bro Frank have been saying since the Alps were but on the horizon. "We'll attack til we die" they said. And the boy walks the talk. Well, ok, he rides it! :)

(4) Mikel 'STARS IN MY EYES' Astarloza. Got himself into the huge break early, stuck it out, escaped with 2K to go & achieved not just his 1st Tour win but ANY road (stage) win. Maybe he didn't shed buckets of tears but the man was so excited you worried he would fall off his bike til he crossed the line. Love those 1st time winners.

(5) Franco 'HUNGRY HEART' Pellizotti. After some early problems in this year's Tour, Franco decided his GC goals were out of reach so he focused all his attention & appetite on the KOM & has tried almost every day since to rack up those points. Today he was riding in the polki-dot jersey (top only), but his hold on the precious garment was a bit tenuous, so Franco gets into the break & ends up 1ST over both huge mountains. In so doing, he's almost secured the KOM. And personally, I'm hoping this means tomorrow we'll see the FULL polki-dot kit! :)

(6) Neal 'AIN'T NO OTHER MAN (can stand up next to you)' Rogers. So, can someone please inform Andy Hood! ;)


HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT THE LONESOME LOSERS?
(1) The Kazakh 'DON'T BE STUPID' cycling federation. Well, too late for that. Johan announced today that 'IT'S TOO LATE, BABY, IT'S TOO LATE' as his association with Team Astana is over at the end of the season. But why, Johan, why? What's reneging on contractual obligations between best buds? So what that many riders & support staff went without pay for months. Causing worldwide humiliation & stress. And yeah, Vino shows up at the big dance uninvited & has a little press conference announcing it's his way or the highway for ya. This from a guy currently a pariah to at LEAST the ASO if not the rest of the sport, so he is NEVER gonna be seeing HIS ass go down the Start ramp in the TDF. And yeah, the VP of the Kazakh cycling federation was sitting right next to Vino when he called you out, but STILL, 'CAN'T WE BE FRIENDS?' I know Borat's movie made a point of showing Americans at their worst & yeah, we have more than our fair share of idiots, but, seriously, we got nuthin on the Kazakhs.


THEY CALL ME MR. PITIFUL :
Cadel 'A HUNDRED MILLION MIRACLES' Evans. Well, ok, maybe not THAT many, but surely at least ONE miracle would need to occur for Cadel to even be in the Top 5. He lost another 2 minutes today so that he is now over 7 minutes down. It's just sad - after that terrible TTT, I think all the hope drained from him. Sport is as much mental as physical & sometimes, once you start going down, the momentum picks up steam & before you know it, you're over the cliff. I hope he can salvage something for himSELF. If nothing but training for the Vuelta, Worlds, or his own self-esteem. And yes, Theresa, I agree - I think Cadel probably would have won last year but for that early crash. Of course, having NO teammates in the moutains didn't help him any. Turn up the Kings Of Leon, Cadel, & maybe your team management will pay ATTENTION.

susie b

Well, NOT my favorite day at the Tour. ;) Anyway, just read something & it made me chuckle. Apparently, Voldermort (GL) is at the Tour & has said he "doubts" Contador's performance. And WE thought Lance & Bert didn't have anything in common! Bond, boys, bond! Sheesh, doesn't EVERYbody know that NO ONE, not in the last 25 years & not EVER, could possibly win the Tour de France clean but GL! 'Cause he's freakin SPECIAL!

Here's my idea for a charity event : Hinault & LeMond in a cage match. Wouldn't you pay to watch these jerks beat each other senseless? Of course, for these two guys, that wouldn't take much...


Truth be told though, I am crossing my fingers (& toes) NObody in the Top 10 is 'dumb as Di Luca'...

CMehl

How come I can't get to the screen to read the other posts? It goes right to the screen to MAKE a post...anyone else having trouble?

JoEB

CMehl - I had the same problem. I ran the free download "CCleaner" on my computer and that cleaned out whatever was preventing the 'posts' to show.

On a separate note - are there more whiners at the Tour this year. Even Spartacus is whining. Everyone must be tired (of LA, Contador, Astana dominating the Tour).

jessica

So is Cancellara suggesting that Contador received benefit by having the motorcycles so close? Almost like drafting? Is that what he's grumbling about?

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/fabian-cancellara-speaks-out-at-preferential-treatment-for-alberto-contador

Thanks for the link to Bonnies article Cathy - such a nice read. Like that Jens even more.

And I'm feeling the same Darren! Sitting on Wiggo's wheel (blech) and kinda wishing for a different finish for LA. But I was just thinking how I've not shopped RadioShack in years but they've got all my business now.

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