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« I Want A Schleck Brother | Main | The Calm Before The Storm »

July 23, 2009

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darren

According to Pat McQuaid over at UCI, Team Radioshack submitted their documents in person on the 20th (which was the deadline, BTW, for applications) and apparently most of the team is named. He did however note
that he thought the press release was a bit presumptuous that they would get their Pro Tour license - saying that it will be reviewed and determined later in the year. Tough guy turf talk, ya know.

cat

Hey Jes, You were looking for some soap opera!! Today provided a little.

That post by Bike Snob was great. Thanks for linking us to it. My favorite part is the Hinault stage clearing. I never saw that side of him! At first I thought they were photoshopped or something so I clicked on the links...all true!

Sara do you agree with FC and think AC drafted? I missed that somehow. Well, you know how I miss a lot, but getting away with that seems a bit improbable.

Love your bit on Sastre. Too funny!

Elden and Susan. I cry at his honesty, at his unblinking way of facing his life and taking responsibility for his family and caring for his wife. Sometimes there are not words to fully express the amazing humble daily courage he exhibits.

cat

Ooops, forgot my most favoritest part:

Which loosely translates to "Not if it was a team of naked women covered in chocolate and handing out duffel bags of cash."

Good thing I wasn't drinking anything when I read that!

debi

WAHAHAHAHAHA !
too funny, sara! all of it. and i'm with you on sastre. he's SOO uninspiring.
cathy, thanks for the insider info on team astana. unlike susie b, contador has crept into my heart, even with the 'fingerbang' victory salute. i just avert my eyes when he looks set to do it. and i'm certain that when he's old and grey and nodding by the fire and watches reruns of his victories he'll blush, just a little bit. (god knows i cringe when i think that i sometimes went out in a side ponytail and white pumps!)

although i'm a bit impressed with cav as a sprinter, i find it oddly delightful that thor is fighting so hard for that green jersey. such tenacity. lovely.

nakigrl - what to watch live and what to record tomorrow? i think the tour wins, rugby can be watched later.

whaddaya know? as i type this, cuddles is in a break of 20, 2'15" up the road. how sad - to come into the tour as a favourite, and then be allowed to go up the road without being chased down. bet he never saw that one coming! (shame).

happy weekend IA. hope mt ventoux is scintillating and that sunday sees you all knocking back the champagne and brie as the peloton meanders into Gay Paree!

Barbara

I get to have champagne? Yippee!

Then I can drink the rest next week to assuage the post-Tour depression.

CMehl

Versus is having ONE HOUR commercial free tomorrow for Ventoux! Does this mean we have three hours of commercials every 30 seconds in preparation?

OH! And it's the opening day of that stellar movie Orphan that has been advertising all month on the Tour....pre-purchased my ticket for THAT one!

Regarding AC's gun salute--it's a private message to someone, he won't share the reasoning behind it except to say the person he does it for knows who they are. I loved it last year when the team was left out of races--everytime he'd win, POW! And point to the team name. Thought it was funny and appropriate but even that wasn't the reason he did it.

Matt

What a stage yesterday...AC winning the final TT, ala-Lance. Well..what can you say...it appears we have the NEXT Lance. Like it or not. He's talkin the talk, AND Walkin the walk. I didn't see him drafting the motorcycles thou...must be something to it or Fabian wouldn't have said it (Fabian IS in my top-3 fav riders). And Andy..what can you say...he did pretty much what AC did 2 years ago (except for the yellow jersey part)..he did a good enough TT to HOLD his position when everybody thought he would get knocked out. Good on Ya' Andy! (he's in my top-4 Favs). I think we have some battle-royale's coming down the pike in future years. If Andy works like a fiend over the next year on his TT, well..he has yellow jersey written all over him. Alberto and Andy...the battles will be legendary I believe! This year he's NOT QUITE there yet. And Sastre...LOVED your thoughts Sara! I was rootin for him last year but it was also apparent that had Astana been present he would have never gotten yellow. Both he and Cadel have really taken a shellacking this year.
I'm excited about the new Team Radio Shack too! I would assume most if not all of Lances guys will follow, and Astana will be a shell of a team with a convicted doper as their leader, and I don't see THEM getting an invite to the big dance by the ASO. But we shall see what politics play out here. IF Vino gets invited to next years tour (while LAST YEAR Astana DIDN'T get invited due to VINO'S transgressions)...well...that would smack of some serious BS indeed. But thats a long ways off...first Radio Shack needs a pro tour liscense. And then...team kit??? Hope they go back to something Postal like....always loved the Postal kits. The TTT, BIG BLUE TRAIN...ahh...those were the days!

susie b

STAGE 17 - WED, JUL 22
********************************
Theme Song of the Day :
WE WILL ROCK YOU


SUSIE'S SWEETIES :
(1) Lance 'WHAT I DID FOR LOVE' Armstrong. Yes, it at least painfully looked like Lance was once more getting dropped when the "youngsters" did one more acceleration on the Romme. However, what he did after that showed his LOVE of cycling, love of the team aspect of the sport, & most of all, love & respect for Johan Bruyneel. After Andy attacked again, with AC & Klodi following, Wiggo could not stay with them & fell back. I'm not sure if Lance intentionally stayed back WITH Wiggo or just couldn't go at that moment, but sat on Wiggo, he did. He then attacked at least twice (maybe more, as the cameras didn't stay on his group the entire time) but everytime he saw Wiggo going with him, he SHUT IT DOWN. From what I have read & watched/heard in various video interviews, the Astana team goals for the day were to put time into TT-threat Wiggins & not lose any time to Andy Schleck. And of course, if the opportunity presented itself, then and ONLY then, put time into Andy or any other NON-Astana GC threat. When the day started, not only was Astana in the Yellow jersey, they had the chance to make HISTORY - a team podium sweep in Paris. Was that the main goal? No, but if you have the chance to make history... Anyway, eventually the road steepened, Lance must have felt Wiggo tiring, he attacked & succeeded in getting away. Most of the Lance Haters have repeatedly brayed that LA would never stifle his own ambition for anyone. What utter fools. It might be too much to say that LANCE saved the Tour for his TEAMMATE today, but selfish & stupid THIS man is not.

(2) The "TAKIN IT TO THE STREETS" Schlecks. Did exactly what they set out to do today - put time into Lance, Wiggins, & win the stage. Of course, they had HELP from an unexpected source.... I imagine that in the Saxo car, after the initial shock, much hootin & hollerin ensued along with Riis crowing "Christmas has come early, boys!". Anyway, The Brothers were impressive; Andy's attacks & Frank's "laying it all on the line" domestique service for his little bro.

(3) Christian 'TAKE IT TO THE LIMIT' Vande Velde. He crushed himself to help Wiggo today. I teared up watching.

(4) Kenny 'THE THRILL IS GONE' van Hummel - the Lanterne Rouge, crashed out of the race today. I've actually never understood the LR & especially not why guys TRIED to have that distinction. Honestly, I thought it was pathetic. But with Kenny, a very likable guy who may not really have had the physical skills to take on the Tour, every DAY was a battle just to hang on. On most stages, he pretty much did solo Time Trials to the Finish. The guy had guts & most of all, heart & I FINALLY understand what the Lanterne Rouge should really represent.

(5) Neal 'PEACEFUL EASY FEELING' Rogers. After a day like today, that's how I feel ONLY after seeing my Sweetie on Velo-Tour TV. :)

Honorable Mention :
Thor 'YAKETY-YAK, DON'T TALK BACK' Hushovd. Although still quite disenchanted with Thor's cryin to the Race officials the other day, I give him props for something I don't remember another Green jersey doing - getting into the break (on the QUEEN stage!) & going on a SOLO attack over at least the 1st two mountains to secure points. Whether Cav actually confronted Thor & said his jersey had a "stain" on it, Thor didn't 'talk back', but decided to prove to one & all ON THE ROAD that he deserved to be wearing it. (I actually agreed with Cav over the situation & am angry for him & his team that the race officials robbed him of that potential prize. However, maybe Cav has now learned that giving your opponent any kind of INCENTIVE is NOT good tactics).


HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT THE LONESOME LOSERS?
(1) Bradley 'AND I'M TELLING YOU, I'M NOT GOING' Wiggins. Well, ok, maybe he didn't exactly TELL Lance, but he didn't/couldn't go. But, I'm certainly not counting out THIS guy. You don't win multiple Olympic Gold medals in anything being a quitter!

(2) Denis 'THE ENTERTAINER' Menchov. I'm almost at a loss for words anymore. Is this some Rabobank-Chicken voodoo? A Giro curse? Well, whatever is going on with Bambi, he was entertaining today in a train-wreck sort of way.

(3) 'EVERY LITTLE BIT HURTS'. After instigating the original attack on the Romme, Sastre faded badly & is now almost 8 minutes back. Cadel finished in the GRUPPETTO. Hopefully, he's just saving energy for, um, something.


THEY CALL ME MR. PITIFUL :
Alberto 'SOMETHING STUPID' Contador. Rarely, if ever, have I seen ANYthing so selfish & most of all STUPID, by the Yellow jersey-wearing GC favorite. On the final mountain, with only himself, the Schlecks & a TEAMMATE, all he had to do was sit on & let the Brothers kill themselves. But, no, his insecurity, myopic selfishness, & STUPIDTY led him to attack. Which basically opened the podium door to both Schlecks & killed the Sweep chances & WORST of all, put his OWN FREAKIN TOUR WIN in JEOPARDY. If he'd had a mechanical or overcooked a turn on the still remaining 20K to go, it could have been all over right there. And then he lies afterwards saying that Johan told him he could go. NO, he did not. He especially told him NOT to attack. This is exactly why this guy will NOT win all the future Tours his physical gifts promise. And I agree with Fatty - the guy does not know the MEANING of being a "TEAM" LEADER.


And here at the Tour Top Forty, another dedication has just come in; from The Whites Brothers to "their new best bud" :

"Ahhh...
Bertie, you're a boy makin big noise
Playing on the road
Gonna be a big man some day
You got mud on your face
Big DISGRACE
Kickin' your can all over the place
Singin'

WE will, WE will ROCK YOU
WE WILL, WE WILL ROCK YOU"
(courtesy QUEEN)

CMehl

Susie, I appreciate your take on the race--I read them all and many times laugh my ass off. But when you distort what was actually said to fit neatly into your scenario...then it's just plain wrong. I transcribed JB's words myself, I have the audio clip in my laptop: he said "I told him he didn't need to attack today to win the Tour." That is different from a direct order saying "Don't attack." It's like saying to your kids: "I don't want you to have candy before dinner" instead of "I'd better not see you eating candy before dinner, buddy." Whether you want to admit it or not, it is then open to interpretation, and if you watch the stage again you'll see Conta looked back no less than a dozen times when he saw AK didn't go with him. He realized he'd made a mistake, that his belief that Klodi was coming with him was wrong.

Spin it however you want as long as it's based on the facts, not your fiction. Was it a bright move? Absolutely not: it was unnecessary and hurtful to Klodi. It was not far-sighted, it didn't show a great depth of experience. He regretted it over and over in the press conference, but obviously he couldn't take it back at that point.While the attack was on purpose the results were not the intent. Those of us who are human make mistakes. This was a big one for him but it doesn't make him the devil incarnate.

jessica

Don't know how I always score this position but I seem to be posting right after Cathy. Maybe we keep similar hours =)

Anyhoo - thanks Sara, I wondered if I was correctly interpreting Cancellara's take on the benefit of motorcycles visa vi Contador. However, I think his final statement of "I was beat" was a gentlemanly, professional touch that I could appreciate.

And Cat - - I DID have coffee in my mouth when Sara dropped that "naked women dipped in chocolate" laugh line!!! Thank god I'm alone at work - embarrassing!

Has anyone else thought that the RadioShack team might be a very interesting mix? I mean, how can any of LA's old standby's, who've in essence been waiting their turn, return to an environment that by the mere existence of LA, negates their potential options for wearing yellow to nil? Of course, that's a very single minded take on it I suppose....it's not ALL about the TdF. Part of me just hates to see talented riders subjugate.

Can't wait for Mont Vent - they called it - goosebumps!!

susie b

I read several accounts & watched/listened to Johan on Versus, Velonews, & Eurosport. Johan said he advised AC "NOT TO DO. He didn't need to go". After the stage, AC stated he spoke with Johan & here's the quote from the Velonews article : "I spoke with Bruyneel, he told me to ATTACK IF I WANTED". (caps emphasis mine)

The facts are it was a STUPID move & he was lucky he did not cost himself & the TEAM the Tour.

Did I see him looking back repeatedly, yes, but that didn't change what he did. Whether Kloden actually told him to go for it, I have read no comments from Kloden to confirm or deny, so I have no comment on that. However, according to Levi, Kloden was not happy.

I don't know if you watch all the interviews your team give or not, but they are asked the same questions by multiple journos by the bus, in passing, & at press conferences. They do NOT answer them verbatim every time. For example, after the "Crosswind Caper", Lance said it did not take a "rocket scientist" AND to another interviewer, he said "genius" to know something could happen in those conditions. I saw the 1st on Versus & the other on one of the other video sources. In this case, from what I read & saw/heard, Johan definitely did NOT tell AC to attack & he was not happy that AC did it.

Also, I am hardly the only cycling fan or real cycling expert who GASPED in shock at what AC did. And they all seem to agree it was a "BONEHEADED" (Bob Roll on his Bike Radar blog) move.

However, as much as I dislike Contador, I admire you VERY MUCH for standing up for him. In fact, YOUR loyalty to him makes me think he can't be ALL bad. I do spout off on occasion (;) when emotion sometimes sweeps me away. In this case, I watched the tape 3 times & read/watched everything I could from Johan & others before I came to my final conclusion. I stand by what I wrote.

What I did not write above, as I was TRYING to keep it funny/sarcastic, is that I think AC's insecurity drove him to RISK all to distance himself from Lance. And, the last thing *I* think he wants is ANYone else from his current team on the podium with him. He certainly didn't appreciate LEVI standing next to him on the Vuelta podium...

I think Contador is an AMAZING Grand Tour cyclist. His talent is something I've only seen once before... (I never saw Eddie Merckx, except on tape). I do not begrudge his arrogance as ALL great champions have that. However, it is apparent, to this observer, that he believes his talent is SO special that he could win all on his OWN. That mistaken belief, combined with a lack of tactical aptitude will make him easy pickins' for Riis/Schlecks in future matchups. Not even counting next year, when Lance will have another year of training/racing in his legs. THIS Tour has been but an appetizer.

JoeB

It is interesting to read the IA opinions on the AC Stage 17 attack. susie b and CMehl have 'voiced' their opinions (and supporting facts in CMehl's case). We haven't heard Kloden's viewpoint (at least I haven't read it anywhere). His collaboration or disagreement with AC would be a good barometer of the situation.

Here's my two cents on the hype related to Stage 17(from an old, balding, desk-bound fan of the sport). The Schlecks had been attacking and recovering throughout the upper slopes during that stage. Trying to lose the followers (AC & AK). In my mind, the Schlecks weren't just going to pace AC and Kloden to the summit and all ride down together. It would be inevitable they would attack more before the summit.

It was clear that Kloden had nothing left to mark an attack. So if AC stayed third wheel up the mtn and Frank attacks - then AC marks him. If Andy follows - we then would have seen Kloden unable to react and continue at his pace. AC would not wait for Kloden. The only hope is that Kloden could work his way back on the group - which he couldn't.

So, I think there has been too much hype over the AC attack. I agree it turned out bad but I think the reality is that one of the Schlecks would have attacked prior to the summit and Kloden would have been left behind at that time.

All this makes for great anticaption for the 2010 TDF. AC will go to Garmin and be the leader - which has the team to support him. Vaughters wants to beat a Johan team too badly not to throw everything into signing AC.

BTW the Mont Ventoux stage will be a recording to keep for a long time.

susie b

Oops, that is Bob Roll's Tour blog on Road Bike Action.

And thanks for the link to BikeSnob, Sara. I rarely get the chance to read that blog. There's always too many comments there to print it all out & that's what I usually do for most cycling websites.

JoeB - Vaughters has repeatedly said how Garmin has litle money compared to several of the other pro-Tour teams. I'm assuming a NEW sponsor with big bucks. And perhaps CVV would kill HIS final chance at the Tour podium to work for AC, but I can not see Wiggins doing the same. I'd see him definitely off to Sky before that. And as a Christian fan, I will WEEP if AC (& his buddies) really come to Garmin.

The one thing that IS exciting is that this could be but the BEGINNING of American dominance not just at the Tour but in cycling. If major American money really gets behind several teams, cyclists salaries will go up & MAYBE, MAYBE they will get the money for winning major races that they deserve. It is pathetic that the winner of the Tour de France does not win at least $1 million dollars when the other big events, in such sports as golf & tennis have been giving that amount & MORE for more than 2 DECADES. And, in my opinion, the Green jersey should get $100,000! (I'd give $50,000 to the KOM & White).

The only downside of more money in the sport is if we think there's a doping problem NOW in cycling...

CMehl

Well taken Susie, I always like to read your spin, and yes, I do try to watch the entire repeat at night to get the additional sound bites. In general the comments are made after the stage at the bus or in a press conference and everyone is taping the same comment--it's just how it's transcribed later that makes it change. I receive a voice file of what was said and that's where our team quotes come from. They aren't saying it MANY times over, although of course they may say it a few (they try not to, but that's life).

For tomorrow Alberto has said as long as he is able to protect the yellow jersey he will put his efforts behind getting one or two of his teammates on the podium. I think we know this task would be easier if it weren't for stage 17 attack (btw, Floyd's stage attack that looked brilliant was also 17) but at any rate I believe he will do what he can to keep Lance on the podium. I believe him when he says he wants a teammate there, just as Levi was in 2007.

And I have a really hard time seeing AC go to Garmin...maybe....but the fit just seems so far removed that I can't even get my head around it.

BTW, Klodi tries to not talk to the press. He told me he's so over the German press never saying anything good about him that he doesn't bother anymore, altho I did see a brief comment today about his TT performance. And he has a cool devil tatoo on his right shoulder--did you see it when he was warming up for tt, when he was sticking out his tongue for the camera? He really is a cutie, wonder how he feels about American electronics???

Rae

Just want to drop in my $0.02--and I am totally on the side of AC, no matter his victory salute (which I don't care for much). As I've watched and read over the past 3 months, it seems clear to me that LA has always felt that he should be team leader without question, and that JB has not been the "team" manager as much as LA's chief supporter. To me, after having AC as the clear star of the team for 2 years and then to more or less start excluding him from the "clique" was most shady, even if he felt that considering the team sponsorship situation he needed to keep his own star tightly hitched to LA.
So why wouldn't AC try to take some decisions on his own? If LA could have attacked him, I think he would have.

Also it is clear to me, in retrospect, that Klodi didn't have the legs then or today. I think that JB and LA know this but used the situation for the purpose of further alienating AC, as they make plans for their new team, so if AC doesn't want to join them, it is "his" decision.

I would be sorry to see Levi & Horner go to Team RadioShack after this, except that I do not know where else Levi would thrive as he has the last 3 years. And maybe he really isn't capable of being out of LA's shadow.

Heh, it is something like a soap on TV, isn't it!

Even so, I am so glad to see another American-sponsored team! Hope there will be room for some of our up&coming riders there.

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