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« Bring on the Thunder | Main | Heartbreak »

July 14, 2009

Comments

Rae

I've managed to watch most every stage but no time to visit here--so to Matt, great job & congrats! SusieB, keep it up please, I so enjoy your take on things! and Hi (waving) to T, Cat (crazy in my ICU too, why does CRRT always come in 3's?), Sara, Barbara, Janann, Jessica, Nakigrl, CathyM and anyone else I'm forgetting!

I was also thinking that I am enjoying the evening commentary much more this year and also too many "features"--I really do want to mostly see the riders.

Oh, so sad for Levi! he's really won me over in the past 3 years. I was secretly hoping that he would surprise everyone whose attention is focused on LA and AC all the time!

I am just boggled by the complete absence of Tommeke--and almost absence of Freire--in the sprints.

Do you think that HH's win today makes up for that loss to "bloody Cavendish" last spring?

Matt

Yo Rip..welcome back (and thanks for the kid words!)
Like your predicitons too..I think Lance is sitting like a snake in the grass...he has no pressure, and poor AC has TONS of pressure. AC falters even in the slightest in the alps or TT and Lance will just snap up the victory I believe. Anybody who believes that he isn't interested in WINNING an 8thtour is kidding themselves. But IF AC can do the magic pedal dance and is stronger then I see Lance playing his super-domestique..but with the Mt to finish the 2nd to last day, well..it's gonna be REAL interesting!

And Susie, as always..LOVE your posts/rants! I don't even need to watch the stages..just come here! (flat stages bore me, and I have little time it seems at the moment).

Matt

uh...that was s'posed to be "KIND words"...stupid fingers!

susie b

STAGE 11 - WED, JUL 15
********************************
Theme Songs of the Day :
PAPA, CAN YOU HEAR ME?
LIFE IN THE FAST LANE


SUSIE'S SWEETIES :
(1) Mark 'YOU CAN'T CATCH ME' Cavendish. Won his 4th Tour stage THIS year & 8th in total. I've watched the replays of his finishes several times now & he reminds me of those cars in the 'Fast & Furious' movies - where the driver flips a switch & his car suddenly BOOSTS ahead; TURBOcharging up the road. Plus, I think what we can be seeing here is possibly the Tiger Woods of sprinters in the making. Of course, he'd have to stay healthy, uninjured, & motivated over the next 5-10 years, but it sure will be fascinating to watch. However, as we saw today, there DOES look to be someone who will be able to beat him one of these days...

(2) Tyler 'CLOSE TO YOU' Farrar. Arrggghh! Getting closer all the time! This kid just impresses the heck out of me. His 1st Tour & he's ALREADY the main competition to the best sprinter, possibly of all time. AND he handles the attention & the disappointments & the constant questioning about why "he" can't catch Cav SO well. With his great attitude, talent, & growing skills, it really IS just a matter of TIME. Actually, if Tyler hadn't had to swing out around Thor, I think he might have got this one!

(3) Team 'WHIP IT' Columbia. Wow. The Cartel's train really is just a thing of power & perfection. And that the entire team has some role to play throughout the day, makes Cav's wins truly relished by all members. And can I just mention that George has become the virtual conductor on that leadout train, which is doubly impressive when you remember he certainly never got any practice for that role on Postal or Discovery!

(4) Neal 'HE'S SO FINE' Rogers. Don't ya'll agree?


HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT THE LONESOME LOSERS?
(1) Thor 'GOT TO GIVE IT UP' Hushovd. Faded badly to 5th across the line AND lost the Green jersey today. After the stage, he said he's "conceding the Green jersey". Awwww, Thor, who you kiddin'? ;)

(2) The two sacrificial lambs in the breakaway. Those guys must have lost a bet & that's why THEY were in the break today. EVERYbody knew this would end in a bunch sprint. Well, at least their sponsors saw their names on TV.

(3) Boonen? Bennati? Boonen? Bennati? Buellar? Buellar....? Buellar....?


THEY CALL ME MR. PITIFUL :
Bernard 'LYIN EYES' Hinault. Also has a LYIN MOUTH. Not worth my time.


cat

RIPCURL! Welcome, welcome! So happy to read you again! (Hubby & I just got back from the beach days away)

Ok, no one has mentioned Freire and Dean shooting...with an air rifle?? What the Hey?! Could it be weirder?

And what's this about Levi? G*dd*mit. He is one of those steady dependable guys who you expect to wear a pocket protector and work for IBM....but I have come to like him too.

And susieb, why exactly are you pissed off at Hinault?

(Hi Rae! It's been soooo nice not to be at work this week. The ICU has been full of folks needing trach/PEG and off to the Specialty Hospital for you! When that doesn't happen it's been the big DNR/withdrawal chat. And we are talking one week post-op! A lot of unhappy surgeons. Man, hoping it's better next week!)

darren

Shots fired at the peloton? I thought we had ALL the range-fed rednecks!!!???
What the hell?

Barbara

What about Heinrich H(oops, forget his last name already)... what a CUTIE! I got all teary when he got all teary crossing the line. Gotta love it. And did you see those eyelashes on the podium? They go great with his smile and his QUADS!

nakigrl

Well Jessica, I would say that I am ok, but actually I am really, really, mind-numbingly tired from not getting to bed until 4am every morning. I know, I know, I could record the coverage and watch at a more reasonable hour, but I want to see all the action LIVE!

And as well as being tired, my man Julian Dean has been shot?! Shot?! What?!!!! I could understand someone taking a pot shot at Lance - he certainly polarises people, but Julian Dean? He's such a nice guy.

Kia kaha Julian!

I've been checking in and reading all the comments - Susie B, you do make me laugh out loud. And Matt - fabulous speech!!!

Can someone explain to me how Spanish names work. The riders seem to have an extra surname that they don't use. Like Alberto Contador Velasco and Oscar Freire Gomez.

Oddly Phil and Paul are really annoying me this year - I used to love their commentary, but this year they seem really inane. Maybe it is just that as my knowledge of cycling increases I have become more aware of when they are talking sh*t. Or maybe I am just tired and grumpy.

Loved the stage on Tourmalet - not for the cycling as it was a bit of a snooze of a stage; but we spent two days on Tourmalet last year, so when they went through the corner where we were camped we were whooping and hollering! Also got a running commentary from hubby about the climb and which bits he found toughest.

I suspect this comment is getting a bit rambly - did I mention that I am tired?

PS:Debi - So'oialo is back!! Hope he plays well - I don't care if we lose to the Springboks, just as long as we beat the Wallabies.

cat

Barbara, I totally agree about Haussler, and so happy you said it. I'm always feeling alike a mom when the young innocent ones win. When he came up to the last few meters and went from grinning to being emotionally overwhelmed and covered his face at the finish line, I just wanted to hug him! God, he was sweet. Somehow that always makes me love the tour more than the triumphant fingers pointing to the sky (or chest, which for the first two years I thought meant "look at me", and now get that it is to promote sponsor...don't know which is "worse!"). I didn't notice his quads (gasp) but did notice those little boy eyelashes.

What a wonderful ride he did. Why they don't keel over at the end is beyond me!

Nakigrl, it must make the Tour that much better to see places you've traversed recently. Very cool!

I heard about the "shooting" on WLS AM radio of all places (they don't cover the Tour but always cover shootings ;-) I was surprised P&P didn't mention it, but I suppose there was just too much excitement in yesterday's stage to mention something as silly as an index finger injury -Dean, and a bruised flank (?)- Friere. WLS isn't the definitive source for TdF information, but they said they thought it was only an air rifle; but still toooo wierd. You are funny but wrong, Darren, rednecks reside world wide!

Can we donate a computer and an illegal broadband hook-up (or Neal Rogers hook-up) for susieb so we can hear from her more often?

susie b

STAGE 12 - THURS, JUL 16
********************************
Theme Songs of the Day :
LIFE IS A HIGHWAY
TROUBLE, TROUBLE, TROUBLE, TROUBLE


SUSIE'S SWEETIES :
(1) Nicki 'I WILL SURVIVE' Sorensen. Was at 1st, part of a 7-man breakaway, then a duo , & then with 5K to go, he made a solo surge & ended up with the stage win by 47 seconds over his fellow breakers & by more than 5 minutes over the rest of the peloton. It was perfect execution of a breakaway, so way to go Nicki! And the Saxons needed a little good news as they had unfortunately lost one of their men (Kurt-Asle) on Tuesday. I had actually meant to write up KA as a Sweetie as the poor guy crashed, broke his collarbone in two places & kept going (!), but I guess I was so distraught over Levi that I couldn't read all my notes! Anyway, heal up soon, Kurt!

(2) Franco 'MY WAY' Pellizotti. Got himself into that 7-man break with one goal in mind : to be wearing polki-dots in Paris. So, bit by bit, he's racking up KOM points HIS way. Be afraid, Egoi, very afraid, as this Italian is driven like a Ferrari!

(3) Chris 'CHICK-A-BOOM (DONT'CHA JES LOVE IT)' Brewer. Yes, I do! I LOVE his videos & write-ups at Livestrong & feel a bit abashed I was so grumpy two weeks ago when it seemed cb & not our own Cathy M was over in France, chronicling the Tour IN PERSON. Sorry, cb! (However, I STILL think Cathy should be there!)

(4) Levi 'HOW CAN YOU MEND A BROKEN HEART'(& wrist) Leipheimer. Ohhhhhh NOOOOOOOOOOO! Within the final 2.5K, on a ho-hum, just-gotta-get-through-it stage, Levi was involved in a crash along with Cadel & Mick Rogers. While it didn't seem too bad at 1st, by the next morning the AWFUL TRUTH was revealed (via x-ray) : a BROKEN WRIST! I am devastated for Levi & for Lance as the Cali-Man was definitely his top Lt. I have to confess that this horrible news has severely dampened my enthusiasm for the race at the moment & I'm struggling in my OWN "recovery". Pre-Tour, I had prepared for the possibilty of losing CVV, if it was just too much for his still-healing body, but the shock of losing one of my other two favorites has been shattering. What makes it worse for Levi is that he was SCREWED out of being in the race last year & since he's not a young pup, his years as a podium contender are limited. Heal up soon, Levi! We will MISS YOU.

(5) Neal 'GIRL CAN'T HELP IT' Rogers. And, um that girl would be me. :)


HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT THE LONESOME LOSERS?
(1) Team 'ROCK THE BOAT' Astana. No way around it, the loss of Levi is a hit. Not only did Lance lose his most trusted ally on the road, the team lost a podium contender & a strategic chess piece. Still, it's not as if the team is now on par with, um, SLotto (sorry, Cattle) as they are STILL the most powerful in the Tour. Master tactician Johan will just have to modify his game plan a bit, but I think all SHOULD prevail.


THEY CALL ME MS PITIFUL:
Roselyn 'THE BITCH IS BACK' Bachelot. What is this woman's problem?! The current French 'Minister of Sport' has had the job a nano-second & all she's done is bitch about Lance & his team. Before the Tour, at the start of the Tour, & now AGAIN today. I agree with Lance - ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. What's really going on here? Is she just a publicity-whore grabbing at the one sure thing to get her name in the papers? Or is the ASO using her as the "bad cop"? Better watch it or Lance might just LEAVE the frickin race. Let's see how many of the media stay til Paris THEN.


And now, for something new in my TOUR TOP FORTY, I'm going to channel a little Casey Kasem & do a dedication :
To Levi - 'LIFE IS A HIGHWAY' :

"Life's like a road that you travel on
When there's one day here and the NEXT DAY GONE
Sometimes you bend sometimes you stand
Sometimes you turn your back to the wind
There's a world outside every darkened door
Where blues won't haunt you anymore
Where the brave are free and lovers soar
Come ride with us to the distant shore

Life is a highway
We want to ride it all night long
If you're going our way
We want to drive it all night long".
(courtesy Tom Cochran)

Keep the rubber on the road, Levi & "keep reaching for the stars". :)


janann

Hi all! Rip - so happy to hear from you again - its been WAY too long! Welcome back!

Susieb, your posts have been brilliant and always brighten my day! Keep 'em coming!

We had an article about the shootings too, Cat. I couldn't believe it... Freire had to have a pellet removed from his leg after the stage I believe. Yikes!

Hope you're having a great time away, Sara. Glad you'll be back for the Alps and what would seem to be a SUPER exciting week of racing. 4 guys within 8 seconds of each other going into the final week! wow.

My heart just breaks for Levi (great comment about seeming like a guy working at IBM ;), knowing that his years as a contender in top form are indeed limited. What terrible luck - for Levi and for Lance. I was really hoping like crazy for George to take the jersey today. He was REALLY bummed in that interview at the end of the stage and seemed to blame Astana. I didn't see enough of the stage to tell, but P & P were blaming Astana and Garmin for George not getting the yellow? Might have to try and catch the evening version.

I'm thrilled to have everyone commenting here again and enjoy hearing from you all! The new little guy doesn't allow me to actually use the keyboard very much, but he'll often let me read so keep up all of the great stuff :)

susie b

STAGE 13 - FRI, JUL 17
********************************
Theme Songs of the Day :
A HARD RAIN'S GONNA FALL
MISERY


SUSIE'S SWEETIES :
(1) Thor 'ONE WAY OR ANOTHER' Hushovd. Yep, "One way or another, I'm gonna win ya, I'm gonna getcha, getcha, getcha, getcha". And that would be the Green frickin jersey! Which he once again ripped off Cav's back without so much as a by-your-leave! Somehow, someway, his teammates & his own efforts got Thor over those mountains to catch up with the GC group & he ended up gaining valuable points. It's funny, I certainly never expected Thor to 'star' so frequently in my Tour Talk this year, but almost every day he's been a Sweetie or a Lonesome Loser. The man's got SPUNK!

(2) The Polki-dot Players. I confess I never gave much attention to the 'King of the Mountain' competition til about 6 years ago. And it's pretty much always seemed like one guy went on a break on the biggest mountain stage & racked up so many points that he secured the jersey. Game over. NOT this year! The polki-dot jersey has changed hands more often than the yellow & green combined. Guys are FIGHTIN' to be bedecked in polki-dot splendor. And somewhat paradoxically today, on a cold, rainy, miserable slog, Franco 'OH, HAPPY DAY' Pellizotti wrested that jersey to be his own. At least for now. You go, Franco!

(3) Heinrich 'THIS IS IT' Haussler. After finishing 2nd in Flanders & losing by heartbreaking centimeters in Milan-San Remo earlier this season, TODAY WAS HIS DAY! Similar to yesterday; a 7-man break, then two, & then a solo surge (much longer than Sorensen's), the 25 year-old, long-lashed Sweetie came across the line with not just the rain streaming down his face. And as with many of you, I just get all weepy myself when I see what a Tour win means to these guys, especially after all their sacrifices both on & off the road.

(4) Those poncho-clad fans on the 'Snitzel' (phrasing courtesy of CVV ;). The US Postal Service's got nothing on these peeps - standing HOURS in the cold, hard, rain to shout & cheer & urge ALL the riders up that mountain!

(5) Neal 'I MELT' Rogers. Even on a cold, bitchin' day like today, I do.


HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT THE LONESOME LOSERS?
(1) American cycling fans who lost one of "our boys" from the Tour. The day's climactic conditions were a perfect reflection of my mood : MISERY indeed.

(2) Denis 'POKER FACE' Menchov. Although he did eventually catch up to & finish with the other GC contenders, he WAS spit off the back of the Platzerwasel. True difficulties? Oscar-worthy sand-bagging? Hard to tell with Bambi "Can't read my, can't read my, no you can't read my poker face, mum, mum, mum, mah, p-p-poker face, p-p-poker face" Menchov.


THEY CALL US STUPID CRIMINALS :
The idiots that shot bb-guns/air rifles (whatever) into the peloton. LUCKILY, Julian & Oscar will be alright & didn't have to leave the race, but they could have been BLINDED or worse, it they'd crashed over a railing. The gun-toting neanderthals' punishment should be to ride up Ventoux EVERYDAY for a YEAR. Rain, shine, cold, ice, or snow. And then sleep in a jail cell every night. With a roommate named 'Chainsaw'.

darren

I love George, but what the hell was that post stage analysis that had Astana trying to pull back the break??? Sure hope he gets his facts straight this evening. Garmin's got some serious explaining to do for helping AG2R. Phil sure blew his commentary. (And yes I agree bob and Craig actually have the upper hand on the the race commentary this year.) Astana went to the front and let the gap climb so that George was in the Yellow by a full 2 minutes. For all those years of experience he let a ten-year-old's emotions get the best of him. Shame on Phil. Shame on George. Hope
it all gets sorted out and fingers get redirected to the guilty partys. Strange day???

jessica

Feel like I'm losing my mind - can't keep up with all the items happening in this tour. Age? Sleep depravation - - or just plain depravity? ; )

Feel like sending a big hug out to Levi - and I too got all choked up for Haussler.

Do really hope that they re-air all the stages in one fell right before the Champs ride. It is fun to watch the bits missed, with a vat of coffee.

NAKIGIRL
I had to catch your eye with the all caps. I'm so sorry!!! It's possible that you thought I was hammering at you to post. But really, I was asking if you were ok because of the NZ earthquake! We on the U.S. Pacific Coast (washington state) watch with heightened awareness how any coastal area deals with tsunami alerts and though the news said all was fine, I thought you said you were near the beach. And my first thought was "nakigirl!!"

If I've completely lost my mind misunderstood where you live, please forgive.

CMehl

Everyone in the IA absolutely MUST read MD's post from the Tour. Believe me, you have to read this!!!

http://www.martindugard.com/blog/2009/7/18/72-hours.html

And also make sure you read my race report from stage 14 because Johan really has a great comment about what Garmin did to George today.

And to think....the best part of the Tour starts TOMORROW at 4:30AM for me, so g'night!

nakigrl

Yes, yes, did misunderstand your comment and yes do live in New Zealand. But was reasonably far from epicentre so no problems here and on wrong side of the island for the tsunami. (I do however live on a volcano, so it is not earthquakes that make me the most nervous...)

That is so sweet that you thought of me. It amazes me how it is possible to have friends I have never met and who possibly don't even know what my name is...

nakigrl

Oh my - just went to the MD link.

I didn't think he was that negative over the years about the race organisation.

Damn those cheese-eating surrender monkies!

Matt

Ahhhh...the IA is back in business..and business is GOOD! So very sad for Levi. Maybe he and Chris Horner can hoist a pint or 2. And today...I am SO SO SO disappointed in Garmin. They had absolutly NO REASON to do the work for Liquigas today. (well..I can only assume they DID have a reason..but I sure don't know it!) They robbed Geroge of a day in yellow. Is there some bad blood I'm not aware of? No matter what, they had no cause for that. Whoever's decision it was to run the chase, he's an ASS! But then again, thats cycling I guess...sometimes there are gifts and sometimes not. But I was REALLY rootin for G. Yellin' at the TV even. 5 freakin seconds...thats all he needed. Surely Lance did it right...(and if ANYBODY owes G a day... or SEVEN... in yellow, it would be LA!)

Off to bed...big ride tomorrow (doing my own Tourmalet...2- 40 mile loops with a 4500' 10 mile climb on each..and it's gonna be HOT!) But I have to do it..catching up w/ Greg, as he hurt me bad up in the SJ LiveStrong ride. I have to pull even for Austin. The sufferfest starts now. Dang...and I'm not even gettin' paid for this. The things I do for fun.

susie b

STAGE 14 - SAT, JUL 18
********************************
Theme Songs of the Day :
DOES ANYBODY REALLY KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS?
EVERYBODY'S TALKIN'
NASTY (Oh those Nasty Boys!)


SUSIE'S SWEETIES :
(1) George 'HEARTBREAK HOTEL' Hincapie. Truly, a breaking of many hearts today. On a day expected to be ho-hum & end in a bunch sprint, Papa got himself in a 13 (then 12)-man break & made it nailbiting stuff for every American cycling fan. That he did not end up donning the Yellow jersey was a bitter pill. And will lead to even more animosity between the two American teams' managements (& possibly the riders themselves) which is so mindnumbingly pathetic, I don't trust myself to vent about it at this time. When George has time to calm down & view the footage, he WILL see that Lance/Astana did NOT pull really but set a tempo so that George would hopefully take the jersey by 2 minutes. I was a bit stunned on Sunday morning when he said he had not yet talked to Lance. I realize this was almost certainly his last chance to be in yellow at any Tour & that the publicity he would have received back in the USA could have helped him in his future endeavors, so it was crushing. But, he just needs time to think it all through as such a disappoinment can be mind-twisting, especially when emotions are running high & hot. (Something I'm experiencing myself at the moment - see 'Mr Pitiful' below).

(2) Lance 'HE'S MY FRIEND' Armstrong. Most certainly DID want George in yellow. Phil & Paul were wrong in their Live call that Lance instructed 'his boys' to bring back the break. Nothing could have been further from the truth. However, I do agree with some that perhaps Astana could have let the leash go out a LITTLE longer (10-12 minutes maybe). Still, timing that stuff is hardly exact & it's not like they were the only team on the road calling ALL the shots.

(3) Jens "CHAOTIC' Voight. Poor Jens, a bumbling Mavic mechanic muffed his tire change & he had to drop out of the break. After some on-the-road-rage, he later said he's had his share of good Tour luck in the past, so maybe he was due for some bad. And BTW, if you aren't watching the Saxons' video diaries, you're missing some internet gold. Jens is a star - "Only the genius can control the chaos". I'm right there with ya, Jens!

(4) Neal 'AIN'T TOO PROUD TO BEG' Rogers. No, I'm not. :)


HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT THE LONESOME LOSERS?
(1) Matt 'HOW CAN I BE SURE' White. I'm giving Matt & Garmin the benefit of the doubt when he/they say they were just panicked about being 'caught left out' in the run-in to the line. And they wanted to be sure that wouldn't happen. Again. They missed the Mistral wind-Cartel race split & then Wiggo was one of the ones docked those 15 seconds the other day. Even though the race jury gave them back, maybe they've told everyone that from now ON, they will start adding time to those dawdling behind the sprinters. I understand those concerns, but Garmin STILL did not have to bring the time gap down! They could have just maintained if they wanted to be on the front. This is only Matt's 2nd year as a DS, so I think he just erred a bit in the timing. The other possiblity, given much discussion online & by the cycling media, is this was driven by jealousy of Garmin over Columbia. If it had been ANY other Cartel rider other than George up there, I might believe that, but many of these guys are friends with George & I just don't see them hurting him intentionally.

(2) Thor 'CRY BABY' Hushovd. I've lost some respect for Thor today. I've now repeatedly watched the last 2K & didn't see Cav push Thor anywhere NEAR the barriers or in fact, do anything that untoward of any chaotic sprint finish. And I am certainly not an uncritcal viewer of the Manx Missile; his attitude & trash talking has rubbed me the wrong way on quite a few occasions this year. It seems that Thor is just frustrated that he can't beat Cav on a one-up sprint & now he's a CRY BABY about it. Even if Thor finishes in the Green in Paris, he will not appear again here as a Sweetie this Tour.


THEY CALL ME MR. PITIFUL :
Martin 'BADLANDS' Dugard. Well, looks like he did NOT "keep pushin til it was understood". He up & QUIT. Not only did he not get his ass over to cover the Tour from start to finish - something that I had anticipated with the same giddy fervor as Lance's Comeback, but once finally there, he turned around and left at the 1st roadblock, seemingly now forever. I can barely put into words my disappointment. Combined with Levi's untimely exit, this latest Tour "abandonment" has left me struggling. I am devastated.


And now here at the Tour Top Forty, another dedication. This, from an anonymous Gladiator over there on the French roads to some fellas he thought were his 'homeboys' :

"I don't wanna play in your yard
I don't like you anymore
You'll be sorry when you see me
Swinging on my own back door
You can't holler down my rain barrel
I won't climb your apple tree
Oh, I don't wanna play in your yard
If you won't be nice to me."

Keep your feet in the pedals there, G, & "keep reaching for the stars".

susie b

Well, I came into the office today specifically to do a LITTLE work, but mostly do type up my bits on the last two stages. I've done Saturday's, as you can see above, but today's stage, in addition to the previous two recent Tour-related disappointments, has left me extremely depressed, so that I just can't seem to get started on its write-up.

However, I don't think the Tour is over by a LONG shot, as anything can happen & that's what gives me hope. Today could have been Lance's "bad day" & others could blow at any time. And even though I am mighty impressed with Wiggo, he is an unknown in the high mountains, to us AND himself, so who knows how long he will last.

And if Bambi is still in the race, he could be 'laying low' just to shoot up Ventoux like a rocket! Yeah, I don't think so either, but, um, maybe he studied the 2006 Stage 17.... ;)

Still, I'm so bummed at the moment, I was contemplating 'abandoning' myself, but then that would make me the same as you-know-who & I'd rather eat my fingers. Maybe I'll feel more chipper tomorrow.

Til then, when I WILL list him as a Loser despite winning the stage, I just have to vent that I have ALWAYS HATED AC's victory salute at the line. Is he an IDIOT to not know how this offends people all over the world? PLUS, after what happened just a few days ago, you'd think he'd have the sense & class to do something else. And I do not care what is "behind" his motion. Sorry, Cathy. It has just always ticked me off & never so much as today.

Well, I can tell you that my Stage 15 Theme Songs are : A CHANGE IS GONNA COME & I'LL BE DOG GONE. Did you SEE that adorable doggie on the podium? Awwwwww. I think maybe he was one of the winner's gifts. And what cracked me up is that AC looked petrified of him. Anyway, 'Dog GONE' just seems perfect due to the doggie & what AC did. Am I just too weird to LOVE wordplay like that?

Catch ya tomorrow.

Rae

As much as I LOVE GH, and Columbia, he (and they) did not WIN the yellow jersey, and his team did not help him. As I was watching the run-up to the sprint, I commented to my daughter that I though Columbia was going to cut it too close by trying to get both "wins". And I think that is what happened. Garmin had no reason to do OTHER than what they did, IMO. (and my opinion is worth what you paid for it!)

I've been in Dugard's shoes, with the same feelings. I am disappointed, too, cause I really looked forward to his windows on the world of the Tour, but I can't be angry about it. It's his life.

So, Sastre & Cadel didn't do badly today, but it seems that there is no hope for them to make up time, is there? Neither of them have the team that they need. That is the one aspect of the sport that is sad to me--great riders with a lot of heart, but can't compete on team support.


cat

Funny how feelings run so high this time of the tour. We normally rational, even handed, showing up and paying our bills on time folks, really get hot.

That includes me.

JoeB

I have always been a HUGE Lance fan - for many years. His insertion into Team Astana just didn't ever feel 'right' to me. I felt better when he was going to focus on Giro but the 'crash' pushed him into the TdF. IMHO, AC deserved to be team leader for the TdF without question based on his past years' performance. Today he showed his talent. And susieb, with all respect, AC doesn't have any more arrogance than LA....

Lance and all are correct the real final showdown is on Ventoux.

Looking ahead - I'm thinking Levi, Horner, Chechu for the core of the Vuelta team. Add Jani, maybe Hamiar, Vaitkus, Jesus. Strong team.


Barbara

I wrote a longer post earlier this morning and suddenly it was gone... then I had to go to a birthday party for a dear friend (and surrogate mom) who turned 80 today!

SAD about Tom Watson at the British Open - what a class guy!

Nakigrl - 2 things for you... first, I loved your perspective about watching the Tour this year after being there last year - I loved reading your blog from Europe last year! Second, about those Spanish names. Hispanics use both their mother's and father's surnames. The father's name comes first and then the mother's. They tend to use just the first surname except for "official" stuff (marriage license, college diploma, etc.). Then when they get married and have kids the kids get the dad's first surname and the mom's first surname.

As much as I would like to believe otherwise, I have suspected all along that Lance can't beat Contador in the mountains. That boy can CLIMB!

I would have loved to see George in yellow for a day, and sorry we had to hear about it for the first 2 hours today.

I LOVE watching these guys ride up these mountains! And I love the scenery - wow!

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