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« Stage Thirteen - Haven't Seen It | Main | Stage Fourteen - Haven't Seen It »

July 22, 2007

Comments

CMehl

Things are moving right along now for the DC boys: Stage win, 1st, 4th and 10th on the stage, 2nd, 4th and 10th on GC as well as Contador still wearing young rider's jersey. Popo and George did MASSIVE turns on the front, cracking as many as they could. Levi once again will be criticized for not attacking, but he himself said the fluctuations in speed are not his strength (luckily they ARE Contador's) so he had to keep plodding along,under no obligation to work with a teammate up ahead, putting time into many other GC contenders. I think Levi, Popo and Contador are going to have to really try to break Rasmussen tomorrow and after such a hard day it may be all up to them to do it, with no help from others. This isn't the same type team we saw racing with Lance...I actually have new appreciation for his era now that I have seen other teams suffer so much. He made it look so easy! But Johan has found new ways to get results now and I bet he's having a blast each day figuring out the team tactics. Contador gave him a nice birthday present, one day early! The best thing about all of this is that DC is reaping the benefits of their hard work WITHOUT having to expend extra energy to defend the lead. Perfect! The team now have 31 wins so far this season, including two today (France and China). I am so glad I'm going to Paris in a few days because if I weren't I would be coming out of my skin about now!

CMehl

Oh! Almost forgot the DC lead the team competition too, just as a bonus! (Sorry so long, love it that the team has quietly burst onto the podium)

Julie

Cathy - now *that's* a statement, including by Levi! :-) Check out my blog for my ode to the Disco boys today.

Julie

Camille - typing comments at Marty's Active sight is impossible, it's so slow, so to answer here - yes, there's prizes for best team. It's like the other classifications (mountains, sprinters). They get lions and doodads (trophies or plaques or something) each stage, and I think money too. They definitely get money at the end.

Random note for the afternoon - only CBS can make Phil and Paul sound like hacks. ;-P

Matt

OMG OMG OMG was that a stage to watch today! I haven't been that excited on a mt stage since the one a few years back when Lance was isolated on the climbs, everybody was attacking and he had to fend for himself! Way to go DC! Cathy, I agree w/ Julie from yesterday, that you are looking at the big pic as a team rep and all, but once again I see Levi had a chance to step up and couldn't. I don't think he can hang w/ Conti! He and DC can 'play it safe' all the way to Paris, but Levi has lost NUMEROUS chances to step up this tour, and has done 'just enough'...he is outlasting SOME of his opponents...but there is Rasmussen, alone on the climb w/ Conti in the part that mattered the most: the END! If Levi doesn't have the firepower to do the 'accelerations' the attackers put out, how can he HOPE to be in yellow in Paris? I give the CHICKEN huge kudos today, along w/ Conti! Though by no means do I count Levi out..but today the real GC contention dropped to maybe 5. Kloden still an outside chance, but all the guys outside of Conti are waiting for people above them to crack. WHAT IF Rasmussen DOESN'T? My heart was breaking for Vino though...he gave ALL HE HAD yesterday...put on a show and whupped the best in the world. Only he couldn't hold up on the big HC climbs today. Even Kloden cracked and fell back. SO...TOMORROW will be HUGE! WHO will step up? WILL Rasmussen and Conti be able to do what they did today? Evans cracked today...showing he is vulnerable and lost VALUABLE time, along w/ 2nd place! Man oh MAN does this race just keep getting better and BETTER! (Oh..MONSTER KUDOS to Geroge and Popo...what workhorses they were today! Popo has elevated to SUPER DOMESTIQUE!) It was great to see DC back in contention! (and being as they are looking for a sponsor next year..I think they NEED an awesome showing! No matter how Conti finishes this tour, he has shown that he WILL be on the podium in Yellow very soon! And what a reign he might have!

susie b

All Hail Discovery! At the start of this Tour, I thought AC could be top 6, but WOW oh WOW, he could WIN this thing THIS year! And Levi looks like he will be right there with him! TWO, count 'em, TWO teammates on the podium. Julie, Cathy, Sara, correct me, but all I can remember was GL & Hinault in 85 for the last time for that to happen. Did Riis share the podium with Jan? Any others since 85?

WHY Marty's been dissin' Discovery up til now has had me perplexed & a bit irritated but there's only so much I care to fight over in every comment. The other day when he praised Barloworld & basically said Disco had BUPKIS, I was thinking he was not really at the Tour at ALL! How could he not see things were going great?! I even wrote a snippy reply in my comment that day addressing it, but deleted it as I'M TRYING to nice. I even wrote on the Active site today & HATE, HATE, HATE it. I keep messing up as the letters are too tiny, & it CENSORS you! :(

It's so very sad for Vino today. I guess that TT wrecked his knees even more. But, he sure was AMAZING yesterday! Wonder if he'll abandon. I would think he'll fight to the bitter end & cause havoc all along the way, if he's able.

If CHICKEN wins this thing, I won't be able to stand it. Yes, GREAT mountain guy, possibly the BEST in the last 3 years, but even WITHOUT all the drug stuff, he just is NOT a Tour de France overall winner! And then there's the thing where I'll have to say "I'm not worthy, I'm not worthy" along with that little bowing & waving action every time I comment on MDs for the next umpteen months... ;) Come ON Alberto! Come On Levi! Come ON Cadel! Anyone! Help me out here!

Oh & Julie, don't know if you noticed this, but both you & I mentioned Robbie Ventura's cycling knowledge to MD in our respective 'AM' comments & he has now CHANGED that sentence in his post. :) :)

And Ok, don't know about anyone else, but *I* went through quite a few PAMPERS already, just this morning! May have to go out & get me some more! Should have bought in BULK. :)

And Matt, I don't have time to read all but did just see your very last sentence. YES, I think we could be witnessing the dawn of the reign of King Alberto!


And Cathy, you'll have to ask the team to verify, but it looks like, it appears to be, yep I think it may be safe to say that the entire Discovery team LEATHERED UP today! Whoo-hooooo!

Julie

Susie - LOL, Marty revising history, glad to know he at least heard us! Yep, Jan was second when Riis won. The VeloNews guide doesn't indicate teams, so I can't tell for sure if that's the only one.

I think nobody but Rasmussen wants Rasmussen to win this thing, even Rabobank (not that they showed it today, but the business end of things has to be secretly hoping). There's an article at VeloNews about grumblings in the peloton. And ASO has to be shitting bricks also. I think everyone's hoping it will come out in the wash of competition, and not have to go the doping way.

Julie

My god, what did Vino do in a previous life to deserve karma like this??

http://www.velonews.com/tour2007/news/articles/12884.0.html

I don't know about him, but it's getting to be more than *I* can bear!

Yvette

Susie, that would be so awesome if both Contador & Levi made it to the podium on the Champs. Although of course Levi's my fave, Contador has been so inspiring, and tons of fun to watch. I loved how he *egged* Rasmussen on to lead up the mountain only to cruise by as if to say, "that's all ya got?"

Matt may be right about Levi, but he definitely has been improving, and I still believe he'll have something spectacular to pull out of his hat. Gotta have faith...

Yvette

I'm trying to get onto MD's at active and it's so slow! What a royal pain...

Camille

Julie, that story about the flag is HORRIBLE!!!! God, I can't believe how STU-PID some fans are!!! I'm amazed it just now happened, I've seen so many fans waving those blankety blank flags in the riders faces. OH! That makes me SO MAD!! No wonder Vino took so long to cross the line today. Well, I'm happy for GC numbers 2 - 5, just not the Not-So-Great-Dane. Shoe box, huh? Moooooo!!!! I mean, BOOOOO!!!

Theresa

OMG, Vino!!!! That fan needs to get fined BIG TIME!! I just got finished watching the stage and I thought I was going to chew my fingernails off!! I thought Vino would fight it out until he timed out, like Dave, and Robbie Mc.
But the flag fiasco may had nailed his coffin. DAMN. Those huge flags should not be allowed to be flung around by the fans! If they want to put them on their cars and campers fine, or even a flag pole!!

Watching the guys go up that climb just plain hurt. That Soler guy is so funny; offering water to Rasmussen, and bobbing and weaving around like a little kid hanging with the teenagers!
Levi climbs like Sastre; steady and consistent, not the aggressive climbing, like Alberto. But, Levi said, that he climbs that way, and it's not bad!! Cadel was trying to keep up with the accelerations, until he couldn't anymore. Popo is one badass! And Chris did a great job of helping Cadel farther than I expected!! Alberto is adorable!! I just wish he spoke english! Rasmussen speaks spanish! His wife is Mexican!! That's why they could talk to each other!!! And I couldn't believe they still could TALK!!

Theresa

Regarding Rassmussen winning, I don't have a problem with it. He said his teammates worked harder today than he wanted them too. I wonder if some of the performances aren't different than the past with some of the cyclists, since they are being forced to not do anything illegal....? BUT(that was mean..)at the same time we are seeing human beings doing something insane!! I think my whole problem comes with the money some of these guys make, compared to someone like Floyd...THAT's my problem.

Camille

Waahhh. I just wanted Vino to win, I'm still bummed. But I better get over it, and I should just be glad Discovery has two possible winners and George and Popo to help them stay there -- as well as others; that really is fantastic. They've got great weapons on that team, no doubt about that. I still hope Kloden will feel better. Maybe he can do well for Vino. Tomorrow we may just see today's "cracked" guys (Kloden and Cadel for two) do better. I don't want Sastre to do better :)

Theresa, the fact that Rasmussen tried to trick his teammate to do that for him (and if he didn't really, wouldn't he deny that story, not just say he "can't confirm" it? Anyway I know we're not supposed to jump to conclusions, but so far my radar says he's hiding and guilty about that. We shall see, but I hope the other guys will crack him in the next two days, if not the TT.

Well, tomorrow should be exciting again :)

Poor Vino :(

Theresa

I agree, I bummed too about Vino. Is he even going to start tomorrow??

Sastre is starting to grow on me, since Frank Schleck is so far back..:) But, actually, I'm all excited about Cadel Evans and Levi, and Contador! I'm not just a one team supporter, you know! I know, I sound like one, but I'm not!!! I have favorite riders....as I look at my team poster of CSC over my computer....lol

I feel the Rassmussen acted correctly regarding the story. Talk about racing, fine, the other stuff, he can deal with after the tour. I didn't say he was "pure as the driven snow" but I just think doping stories released during the any big race, detract from the racing. Of course, I'd rather there wouldn't be any stories, either.

Camille

Yeah, Theresa, you know, I'm just totally overreacting about a lot of things lately. Which is ridiculous and embarrassing at the same time. I just apologized to Larry both in an email and on MD's site. I really totally overdid it the other day in what I said. Ugh! If only we could delte our comments sometimes!

It's no excuse but I've had to lay off my running a TON (haven't been in a week and before that I had quit for two weeks or so)... because I'm getting plantar fasciitis in one of my heels. Anyway it makes a big difference in my attitude and mood generally. The bad temper I'm usually able to hide pretty well pops out and I'm exposed as the meany I really am. Anyway, I've missed Larry's input and I guess he's just leery of getting verbally mugged again. Sigh. So... that's the deal on that.

I need to remember when that same thing happens again (the trigger that always sets me off with him)... just to walk away, and don't come back until I realize how trivial it all is!

So... back to the Tour talk! Theresa, I'll try to ease up on my anti-Rasmussen comments. I don't have X-ray vision and can't see into his soul. He could be innocent of all the accusations. Just because he looks guilty to me :) doesn't mean he has to be. Again, I'll try to ease up. Besides, I'm the one saying I don't want to hear about doping...

I think Vino is something like 38 minutes behind now? Who knows. I would love to see him back next year full-strength. :( Poor Vino.

Julie

I'm with you Camille, Rasmussen should deny the story if it's false. And it could still go along with you, Theresa. I agree, he doesn't want to waste energy on it. But he could make one statement: this is a false story and I will be taking legal action against my accuser after the Tour is over. Then not answer any more questions about it. The fact that he hasn't done that is rather remarkable to me. And I agree, the worst part of the offense is subjecting his friend to being arrested for international customs violations, that's just horrible! The Boulder Report had good commentary on it.

Julie

I noticed on tonight's replay, how Contador went back and picked up Sastre - taking him away from Kloden and giving him to Levi to get paced up the climb. Disco is too brilliant!

Camille - you asked who I'd *like* to win, irregardless of their actual chances. I would have liked Vino, I would have been crying a river! But now I'd have to say Levi or Evans, for the simple reason that I've never heard doping connected to them! How sad is that! Also because I like Levi personally. Cadel I don't feel like I know, but if Horner likes him, I'll take his word. I wouldn't mind Kloden, he's kind of a sad figure, it would be nice for him to finally be on top. And I have to admit Contador is a lot of fun. I guess he must really be cleared from OP, if he was allowed to start, but so many of the other guys attached to OP ended up really being a part of it, so I can't quite shake that.

catherine

Vino needs to go home unless his knee is OK. Levi needs a different job. Contador was amazing, even if he did hang on Rasmussen's draft to get the stage. And Soler, the little engine that could, and without water! Today was a really good race, even if I only got to see the evening version.

Is it me or do the fans seem a little crazier this year? First Borat, now today the guy with the great ass! What the heck (wasn't) he wearing?

And Sara, when you become famous, will you promise not to make us go play somewhere else for the Tour? It's OK if you get a big fancy beautiful new site, just don't do to us what MD is doing. I HATE SWIMMING. No, I can be honest, I hate swim suits.

Camille

Julie, Phil Liggett loves Cadel too, I've heard him say what a wonderful person he is and how he really deserves some glory (or something to that effect). He said that two years ago (I saw the DVD last summer). And yes, Kloden has been so close several times... it's sort of unfinished business for him to win. But I think I'll be happy if most of those guys just stay near the top and none of them have a free-fall like happened to my dear Vino.

Catherine, your bike event did sound fun! I have never volunteered at a race so far, but I know I will before long.

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