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« Tour of California | Main | Tour of California - Stage One »

February 17, 2008

Comments

cat

Whew!!!!! What a report!

Sara Best

Thanks Cat!

It's great to be writing about real bike racing again.

janann

I'll bet! It sure was great to be watching it again! Nice report, Sara. Sounds like you've been doing this forever.

Theresa

Great report Sara! And didn't the race and the state of CA look great!? It reminded me of last Sept. Janann, remember what great spots we got for the podium ceremony at some of the stages?

It's so gray and dreary here. This is becoming the home of Ice Storms. All that ice just melted, and it started raining for 2 days.....oh, to be in CA!!!

Theresa

Oh, and Tyler on the podium!
Don't forget to read DZ's report in USA Today!

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/cycling/default.htm

JoeB

"It was a short, flat and wickedly fast route that lay before the riders as they lined up in the starting hut today under sunny skies in Southern California to kick off the third Amgen Tour of California." Good report Sara - however, Palo Alto is in NORTHERN California - eh!?

matt

Wonderful opening report Sara! Ahhh..the sounds of the Awesome Threesome (Phil, Paul and Bobkee together again!) NOW it's cycling season! And it's nice to see Bob shaved...he looked like a weirwolf a week ago, his beard was quite thick and long! Yes, all is right with the world once again (for a little while anyway). I see VS is broadcasting the TOC every day, how awesome is THAT! My TIVO will be busy once again!

Jaanan, thanks for the link to the 'Let Levi Ride' site. I signed the petition (AND finally sent my letter off to the ASO...here's a copy of what I sent:

"I am saddened and stunned by your refusal to allow Team Astana to participate in your races this year. I can only assume you have reasons which you consider valid. You claim to desire clean, drug-free races. I ask you WHAT MORE can a team do to show their intentions than Astana has already done? New managment, mostly new riders (all who were associated with past indescretions are gone), and they now have one of (if not THE MOST) strict anti-doping programs in the business! I would think you would welcome changes like that with open arms, showing the world you have compassion and understanding, and truly support the cleaning up of your sport from within. But instead you have chosen to punish the current team for the indescretions of the past. It will be VERY sad for the sport of cycling if Astana is not present in your races. As a viewer and fan, I plan to boycott all your races this year if you persist in this, and will only watch the ones that all pro teams are allowed to compete. Good luck with your decision."

I have to assume the ASO WILL change their minds and allow Astana to race. It will be a travesty is they don't, thats for sure. And not a good thing for the sport either. One of the best teams not allowed to race due to BS reasons. I have my fingers crossed and my rose colored FLOYD glasses back on!

Susie, hope you get over your rage and can watch the TOC with joy! I plan to be at the finish in SLO on Thurs, and somewhere in Solvang on Friday (prob parked out on the course somewhere on my bike. I plan to wear my Saeco jersey in honor of Super-Mario...(how very cool that he is BACK!!!) and my cowbell-a-ringin' and the camera-a-shootin'). I do need to get a list of the start order and rider #'s beforehand though, so I can call to the riders by name as they go by. And I might even go down to Santa Barbara on Sat for the start. Ahh...this is gonna be GREAT! Happy Monday everybody!

Barbara

Wonderful letter, Matt!

Sara, thanks for the report. I watched the prologue on VS last night and and was SO HAPPY to be watching a real race with Phl, Paul and Bobke!

Although Bobke seemed a bit "off" yesterday, did anyone else notice? He looked and sounded like he was doing his first gig. His interview with Fabian was clunky. Spring training for everyone!

Loved the crowds at the Prologue!

Barbara

I just read Dave Z's post. I had to laugh when he said that without the facial hair, he would have finished faster! When I saw him in the starting gate, and saw that moustache and goatee, I thought, "Well, that will slow him down - or give him a great excuse!"

janann

Great letter Matt! I still need to send one off. SO great that you'll be at a couple of stages - can't wait to hear about it!

T, I was also thinking about our great vantage points at the ToM yesterday. CA did indeed look wonderful!

Dang - Cancellara was FLYING yesterday! If Levi or DZ couldn't take the win, I'm happy it was Fabian. LOL - my husband and I made the same comments upon seeing DZs facial hair in the start house, Barbara ;) So fun to have him adding his perspective every day.

susie b

Great report, Sara. Some of the things I love about a Prologue is that I can see the guys up close, do my own version of Joan Rivers over their kits (especially if new in the season), & just overall get a sense of who's who in the race & how they're doin'. Which reminds me - ANOTHER idiotic move by the ASO is to not have a Prologue in this year's TDF. Oh wait, what am I saying - this way the world won't be able to actually SEE the lame lineup... Crafty, those AS(S)Os.

Unfortunately or fortunately (depending on my med levels ;) because I don't have home internet, I missed all the excitement about whether The Tainted Three were in or out of the Race line-up. And as much as it disgusts me to say, I agree with the Devil on this one. "Open File"? Bullsh*t. Either the riders have charges leveled & an actual CASE brought against them, or they should ride. Whether Tyler blood-doped 4 years ago no longer concerns me. He did his time. If anything in OP really is connected to him, it would most likely be FOR THE SAME OFFENSE for which he's already been punished.

Hey, think that "open file" is like your "personal file" in grade school? You know, the one they held over your head like a death sentence & which you never actually saw? (Little story. I got early admittance to UM back in the day. I met with the guy at our county's Board of Education one blustery but sunny day in October. I'd barely sat down & he says I'm "in". I said "don't you need to look at my Personal File"? He laughed for 5 minutes.)

WHY are the people in charge of this sport trying to DESTROY it? This is what makes it so vomit-inducing to say you back the UCI againt the Grand Tour poohbahs.

Show of hands, people. How many think the UCI offered a deal to AEG to keep The Tainted Three out of this year's ToC & in return, they'll get to see their race on the Pro Tour schedule starting next year? Yeah, seems like the ASO is not the only cabal who can do backdoor deals...

And Matt, I wish I was over my rage. But it was pretty much all I thought about yesterday. That & trying to pinpoint what High Road's kit reminds me of. The closest I could come up with is Wonder Bread, what with all that white, red & yellow. What did they remind ya'll of? I do agree with Barbara & Janann, that your letter was great. I'm still thinking up rough drafts in my head. Basically, it boils down to whether I think there is still a chance the ASO will rescind their idiotic decision. If yes, then I'll spread some honey. If it's set in stone, I'll probably say something like "I'd like to see things from your point of view, but I can't get my head that far up my ...." ;)

I did enjoy seeing that broad-shouldered hunk FABian fly around the course Sunday, although I was hoping Levi could pull off the win. I guess the course was too flat & short for his talents. But, my fingers are still crossed that he repeats as overall ToC winner.


And in other sports news, my boy Michael (Phelps) & his fellow Marylander, Katie Hoff, did good-great in that Missouri swim meet over the weekend. AND I read that AFB finished 4th & 8th in her two events. I'm just ALL choked up about that... ;)

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