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« Heartbreak | Main | I Want A Schleck Brother »

July 21, 2009

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CMehl

Cycling News says he's doing okay, was able to send a message to his teammates that he's fine and they need to concentrate on the race now! All I could think of when I saw him go down was, "Oh no, he's the father of five children!!"

I don't actually know anything about Lance's new team except for what's been going around in the media. I figured JB would be ditching the Kazakh team after the way Vino was talking in Monaco, but I only know the same stuff you guys do! But I wouldn't mind working for Lance's new team! ;-)

Matt

Yo everybody..what a day. First, Cathy, you got me. I seem to have some mental block and have ALWAYS confused Menchov and Kloden (just the names, not the actual riders). Strange. On tonights ride we were chatting about Sundays stage and I was called on it. Yes..Of COURSE I meant Kloden. Kloden. Kloden. Menchov is w/ Rabobank. Rabobank. Rabobank. We'll see how long THAT sticks in my dual-brain cells (one is a backup and not normally used).

I SAW the news about Johan today on VeloNews! I can only assume that he will go to Lances new team. I very much doubt that AC will, which honestly will be a HUGE mistake on his part. Controversy or not, all he had to do to quash it is just what he did. PROVE he IS the best cyclist on the team. Controversy (real or made up) gone. End of story. You can only look at the fate of poor Cadel Evans to see what happens when a vastly talented rider with true GC potential is on a team that doesn't have the firepower to support that in a grand tour. Where would AC be right now if he were on a diff team? (and how much time would he have lost in the TTT?) He MIGHT or MIGHT NOT be in yellow. Can you imagine Levi, Lance, Kloden, Popo AND Horner all attacking incessantly at a young talented rider on a so-so team? But thats a future that might be. For NOW, he IS on a super-team and will (barring disaster) most likely win. As to next season? Well, I'll just wait and watch the fireworks at the end of this season. Lance will have a new team, but will he still ride? I think he's got another year left in him. He's healthy, STILL climbing with the BEST climbers in the world. Gee..lost what, 1:30 or something to AC on Sunday? (haven't seen todays stage yet). Only like 40 seconds down from Andy Schleck? I'd call that pretty DANG IMPRESSIVE! For ANYBODY! There's a LOT of pro riders that WISH they could do that. Most of them in fact.

And sure glad to hear JV is gonna be ok...all velonews said is that he was in "Serious condition" after a crash at better than 70kpm! Landed on his face it said! That just makes my skin crawl!

And Sara, I AM pretty proud, thanks! I'm currently working some new avenues (sent letters to 3 manufacturers looking for goods they can donate for Fatty to raffle off)...as I'm continuing my fundraising, and I'm GOING TO AUSTIN in October! I'm GONNA MEET LANCE!!!(provided we win again). I'm GONNA RIDE WITH LANCE! (if we win). I'm GONNA MEET FATTY! (I pray I will anyway) And I'm FIGHTING CANCER! It just doesn't get better than all that! Just hope Elden and Susan can find peace. They sure seem to deserve it.
OK..now to go finish the TIVO of todays stage!

cat

Well know I know I am not a true blue fan. I had a terrible day in the ICU (21 y/o collapses on bball court from fatal heart arrythmia and is brain dead), got home late (spent whole day with family trying to get their heads around brain death) had guests over for dinner and only got to hear the race in the back ground. Damn.

darren

Starting and stopping, editing and then discarding a number of comments these past several days has highlighted the challenge of being relevant and timely.  Parallels with Cadel Evans, Carlos Sastre, or anyone else hoping for relevance in the Tour aside, here are a few thoughts:

Something about Lance's white flag waving on top of Verbier didn't ring true? As we headed off for a short camping trip Sunday, I was a tad downtrodden.  I recalled though, LA's own admonition, that the Tour might not be decided until Mt. Ventoux.  So, with a week's worth of racing through the Alps this week, I still believed that he might be playing us all. I'm admittedly a hopeless (hopeful) romantic and am still hoping that LA uncorks a miracle (or as many as it takes) - even as I write while following the St. 17 progress.  So, I'm still hoping.

Very sad to see Jens Voigt go down so hard and I'm hoping one of my favorite characters in the peloton recovers completely! His tenacity is a thing of beauty.

Sad too, to learn that after MD went MIA, ala Sara, that he's no longer at the tour.  His explanation for abandoning the Tour contradicted his own mantra of "Keep pushing, always." but I could not begrudge him his decision. Mostly, it disappointed that part of me that "soared" (susieb's fitting word choice)reading his posts.  MD's TdF missives, banal or brilliant, were the secret sauce of my immersion into the race each July.  No love lost, but I'll miss that perspective.

Anyhow, thanks Sara, for the welcome back! Am enjoying the IA as much as ever.

susie b

Just a quick note right now. I'm SO relieved it's not worse for Jens, although I won't truly breathe a sigh of relief til he's out on the road again. And I so agree Darren - he's one of my & almost every cycling fan I know, "favorite characters".

About CVV. His injuries in the Giro were AWFUL. I don't know if any of you got the chance to read many of his interviews & diary entries since then (USA Today & NY Times for the diaries), but in the ambulance going to the hospital at the Giro, he thought his career might be all over & he wondered what he could do the rest of his life. To go from that to even starting in the Tour de France a mere 6 weeks later is mindboggling. For the 1st 3 weeks, he couldn't even ride his bike up the hill in front of his house. All pro cyclists have always amazed me with their acceptance & subsequent conquering (mentally & physically) of crashes & injuries. From the very 1st time I saw the the Tour in 1984, I thought these athletes were truly the IRONmen of sport.

Anyway, for CVV to be riding as close to the GC leader at this point in the race AND be looking forward to helping his teammate get on the podium (when he has to be thinking it could have/should have been him) well, he impresses even more. Actually, "impresses" isn't strong enough, he "inspires", just as I've been inspired by Lance over the years & was & still AM inspired by Floyd's 2006 Stage 17. And I know I'm just an emotional wus over my sporting 'heroes', but so be it. Alrighty, anybody have a tissue. :)

susie b

Back again. I'll admit I am NOT an expert cycling tactician, but I do NOT understand why AC attacked today on the final mt when he was with one teammate & the two worst TTers in the Top 10. He only succeeded in dropping his teammate. WHY was this a good idea? He's more than 2 minutes ahead of Andy, it's ANDY that needed to attack, he only had to sit back & let The Brothers kill themselves. Don't get it, don't get it.


In other news, Da Killer got nailed. Not a surprise, but a shame as I enjoyed his "show" in the Giro, but was suspect, like many, MANY others, at the time.

Here's what I DON'T get. You know they've got more accurate testing all the time, you KNOW they're testing more than ever, you know they can test for CERA. And yet you use it anyway. Arrogance? Denial? Desperation? Stupidity? All the above? Sheesh.

darren

Still lugging 'round my Backpack of Hope. Better than an attaché of Giro Mtn. Hopping Juice. Di Luca and others... No comment.

AC and the Schleck bros. (alliance?) podium sandwich!?

AC already got his lil' back pack packed and is counting on Spanish gold from El Dorado.

Hope rides again in the TT and once more for Ventoux Vengeance (apologies for succumbing to and summoning Craig Hummer-esque agonizing assault on alliteration). Can't wait to see TV coverage tonite.

susie b

If Lance stays on his bike & doesn't have a mechanical, I see him putting a minimum of 2-3 minutes into Andy & 4-5 into Frank in the TT.


As for Kloden, anyone think he & AC will be the 'best of buds' now? Sorry, but that was UNCALLED for. One for all & all for one, I guess if HE'S the one. He's IN the yellow jersey & was ahead of Andy by almost 2.5 minutes. I can not believe Johan instructed him to do that. I wasn't able to hear P2 as I was on a phone call at the time & just kept sneaking peeks at my PC screen, so I'll have to read some articles later & watch it all tonight on TV & maybe I'll understand something I'm not getting now. Like I said, I'm far from an expert, but I was stunned to see that "tactic".

And Darren, as someone who's guilty herself of inflicting "agonizing assaults on alliteration (LOVE that :) as often as possible, I, um, get a kick out of Hummer. :)

CMehl

I'm still editing the content from Spanish so it can be read on the site in English, but according to Alberto, he and Klodi discussed it and agreed to attack, but then Kloden couldn't follow. Alberto slowed right away and continued to look back for Andreas, but by then the damage was done, he was dropped and Alberto couldn't stop and let the Bros ride alone.

And Johan didn't instruct him to do it, he told him he didn't need to attack to win but that he should talk to Andreas, which he did and thought he they understood each other. Remember of course that Alberto and Andreas speak to each other in ENGLISH as their common language which is pretty laughable on both sides actually. Yes, Andreas does speak English, I've interviewed him twice in English, but I do A LOT of repeating and word sorting to make it work.

At the end of the stage Lance was not please with how it played out, said he didn't understand. Levi tweeted much stronger feelings about it, etc.

So now you know the rest of the story or at least the version I've been given. There certainly are always at least five or six sides of things in cycling.

susie b

STAGE 15 - SUN, JUL 19
********************************
Theme Songs of the Day :
A CHANGE IS GONNA COME
I'LL BE DOGGONE


SUSIE'S SWEETIES :
(1) Lance 'IF I COULD TURN BACK TIME' Armstrong. NOT his age really, just if he could have had more training & racing time in his legs. Then I think that "high end" would have been there. I have to admit, my heart took a dip. You know, I wonder if the draggin' of millions of hearts up that mountain with him slowed him down any. Sorry, Lance!

(2) Christian 'I'LL BE AROUND' Vande Velde. Also didn't have the super best day & I know, I know, I KEEP harping on this, but just to BE in the Tour & doing this well? It's a freakin MIRACLE! (See Bambi for how it can go sooooo much worse for a guy NOT even injured!) And now one of the sweetest guys in the peloton will devote himself to helping his teammate...

(3) Bradley 'DIDN'T I (BLOW YOUR MIND THIS TIME)' Wiggins. Yes, you did, Brad! Mine & everyone else's! What a giddy surprise. And how great to see an athlete's true potential emerge & do better than even HIS wildest dreams. Hard work, dedication, sacrifice. It's all on display here.

(4) Rinaldo 'LUCKY MAN' Nocentini. Finally surrendered the Yellow jersey after an awesome 8 day stint. He & his Team AG2R may have "lucked into" the jersey, but they worked like trojans to keep it & do it honor. Well done, men!

(5) 'HOW MUCH IS THAT DOGGIE' on the podium! Wasn't that St Bernard dog gone adorable! Those Swiss & Austrians just love to gift animals to their sporting champions; a few years ago an American girl won a cow in a World Cup Skiing race. I love me some cows, but I have to say I think the dog is more "portable". And have you ever tried to housebreak a COW?! Not easy my friends. ;)

(6) Neal 'BEAUTY'S ONLY SKIN DEEP' Rogers. Besides looks, my sweetie Neal put it out there today in the daily Velo Tour wrap-up : he said no one with a last name of "Schleck" will ever win the Tour de France (due to their woeful TT skillz). I'm not sure if I'd be so bold at this time as if a TRACK man like Wiggo can become a Mountain Man, can't a mt goat improve his TT? Look at AC! Still, I did love his putting it out there. You go, sweet pea!


HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT THE LONESOME LOSERS?
(1) AC. Yes, he was extremely impressive on his flight up the Verbier. But, I & many others find his SHOOTING "victory salute" offensive. And that he continues to do it even though he's been told how it offends, irriates even more. Also, doing it after shots (of sorts) were fired into the peloton a mere two days before, shows a myopic lack of sensitivity & most of all, NO CLASS.

(2) Cadel 'USE SOMEBODY' Evans. Anybody else wonder if he's blasting out that current Kings of Leon hit from his bus & hoping someone, ANYone, takes a listen? "You know that I could USE SOMEBODY".

(3) Tom 'THE BUG' Boonen. I try not to repeat a song inspiration, but sometimes it just can't be helped. Poor Tom didn't start today due to a stomach "bug". Plus, to sum up how his Tour went this year, well, just like I 'sang' for Bambi the other day - "Sometimes it all comes together, Sometimes you're gonna lose it all". I truly hope the man gets his life together & comes back stronger than ever. In this case, however, I was sickened that his team & sponsor exploited a man who needs time & help. They deserved what they got.


THEY CALL ME MR. PITIFUL :
Carlos 'RESPECT' Sastre. Originally, I was going to list Chuckles as a Sweetie Honorable Mention as his clawing back on the Verbier was damn impressive. However, then came his Rest Day press conference... "R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me!" he sang to the gathered media. Yes, Carlos lit into the media, accusing them of NOT showing the previous Tour champion the RESPECT he so richly deserved! He also stated "certain riders are CONSPIRING to make sure HE doesn't win the Tour". And he intimated that "dirty tricks" were being done to him. Um, ok. Anyone else think Carlos got drunk on last year's celebratory champagne? And is STILL drunk? With ego? What happened to quiet little Sastre? Success does not do some people well....

susie b

Thanks for the info, Cathy. It was actually kind of funny - I was on a phone call, put on hold off & on, & looking at my PC screen to watch the final mt & blurted out "Johan wouldn't have told him to do that!" The guy comes back on the line & says "who's Johan?" ;) And since I couldn't have my sound up, I was dying to know what P2 were saying!

Anyway, I think it only would have been a good idea if they thought The Brothers were on their last legs, but they sure looked strong to me. Of course, I wasn't hearing their breathing &/or gasping as I'm on my ass 3000 miles away!

Perhaps a "play-book" of hand signals for occasions like this would be, um, 'handy'. :)

CMehl

I'm still trying to publish the entire piece but we're getting so many hits on the site I keep getting booted out. He says alot more in the post race press conference, about how bad he feels, but I'm wondering if people will actually buy it? Personally I do, because I watched him on the podium and while he smiled pretty for the photogs, if you know him (and I consider that I do) you can see in his face he is concerned about something. I'm going to watch again tonight to see if there are post-race interviews with people. There weren't any with LA or JB this morning, but I've received sound tapes since then. But yeah, it might have been a little tense at dinner tonight, but the bottom line is we're racing for first, not second and third, mistakes are made and feelings are hurt. It's a ruthless sport in many ways, just ask Big Hink. I think he crashed today.

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