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« Now What? | Main | Lots to Talk About »

July 29, 2008

Comments

Theresa

Sara, welcome back! I was exhausted after the weekend, and didn't post on Sunday..(on-call, too). BUT, I want to say that Cadel's crash took much more out of him than I've heard anyone say. His form started declining after that crash, and (IMHO) messed with the psychology and his form started plateauing. Carlos, on the other hand, did what he always does, ride well within himself, and soar over the mountains, much to Frank S.'s dissapointment.

Now, remember the stage Carlos won when he put the baby binky in his mouth as he sailed across the line??? I think that ADORABLE little boy was the baby, and he was having a grand time on the podium. Much more than his sister. And did you see the interaction with him and Oscar's little girl??? He wanted to get on the top step of the podium with her when the "jerseys" were all there! So cute!!!
And Carlos was a wonderful winner....
Cat, they have given the mic to every winner since Lance's last time. You just don't remember..:)

I thought we had a GRAND Tour, because except for Garmin and Columbia, I wasn't the least bit interested. And I still lost sleep!!
Regarding commentary, it's interesting to read the interviews, and diarys, then watch the show and hear things that don't ring true with what you read. But, they still do a smashing job of coverage. Wish we could get a smattering of that in the Vuelta!!

Cathy, your chatting idea is great...we have to get that figured out before Sara's blog ends. Someone help me with the details!!

Must go, I have 6hrs of training at work on a new imaging thing we are doing, and I have to go to work 2 hrs early.........ugg.

susie b

If you go back & read/listen/watch Cadel's interviews for at least the 1st 15 days, you will not see/hear a guy dissing his team.

However, from Day ONE, he was confronted at the point of harrassment about his "weak" team. Hey Cadel, people say you will never be able to win with such a weak/bad/sucko team, what do you say about that? Hey, Cadel - you can't possibly think your team is as strong as CSC, so how can you ever expect to win this race? Hey, Cadel - where the hell was your team at the end of Stage 11, you were totally alone in the chaotic finish?! Hey, Cadel, if CSC can have THREE guys on every mountain, why can't you even have ONE? Hey, Cadel, what is WRONG with your Team, why aren't they doing more to help you? How do you expect to win now? How would YOU compare your team with CSC? People say your team ranks as a bunch of amateurs compared to CSC & that's why you lost the Tour, what is your response? Etc, etc.

And those are the polite forms of the questions which he was confronted with every minute off the bike & not secluded away in his hotel room. And no matter how Cadel answered the same question over & over, some "journalists" wrote their stories with whatever theme they were trying to shove down their readers' throats. And just like any paparrazzi, they are trained to ask questions in a way to PROVOKE responses. Many people always slammed Lance for being a control freak &/or ass, well, you pretty much have to be not to collapse under the strain.

And Sara, you are correct. Robbie actually gave a MUCH harsher assessment of his team's nonexistent help much earlier than Cadel AND it was true.

The blame lies with SLotto's management AND with Popovich. The mgt was trying to win the 'champagne' Tour on a 'beer' budget. And Popo just wasn't where he was supposed to be on ANY mountain stage. Unless ASO bars both Astana & CSC next year & Menchov & Valverde have not been thrown out of the sport for their connections to doping OR don't perform vastly under expectations, once again, there is no way Cadel Evans will win the Tour de France on a SLotto team with Marc Sergeant as the manager.

And Matt, you & I could debate what Cadel said & how he said it & what he meant til NEXT year's Tour & we just won't agree. But to equate Cadel with Slitherin is just out & out WRONG. Slitherin was apparently an ass even before the Giro, but I knew little about him until that race. Before this year's Giro even started, he gloated & bragged about himself to anyone who would listen. He also accused Contador of being a liar & who was supposedly at the Giro to "steal it" (which makes NO sense!). Once that race started, he whined & accused & ranted & raved. DAILY. He accused other Spaniards on multiple teams of supporting AC in a conspiracy against him. He called all the other riders "vegetables" because they weren't riding the way HE wanted. (Which he apparently also did at a previous race). But my favorite was the last mountain stage where he was able to claw back & get within 4 seconds of the Pink jersey. When he realized he would not be donning that garment, the TV cameras were on him & he had the hissy fit of all hissy fits. He stomped his legs, waved his arms up & down & shouted & wailed at anyone near him. This went on for MINUTES. On LIVE TV. Which was shown on RAI's internet feed & I watched in shocked amusement. And then he followed it up with saying he could have won if he'd been on Astana or had a decent team. This was AFTER half his team had been WITH HIM in the mountains. To read journalists & fans, including yourself, write during the Tour that THIS guy was a "breath of fresh air" &/or "great for the sport" made me almost apoplectic.

The funny thing is that despite my constant defense of Cadel on this site, I don't even know if I'd like the guy. Plus, even though I thought his effort was amazing considering everything stacked against him, I am like most of you that after watching Lance TAKE the race from anyone who dared challenge him, someone who doesn't do the same seems "unfit" to be the winner. But as Sastre as shown, you do NOT have to be the best cyclist in the race to win. You need to be on the best team or you need to be a once in a lifetime phenomenon. I don't think Cadel is the latter, but the fact that he ALMOST won this Tour against a team that had THREE extraordinary climbers AND The Three Horsemen has led me to look at him with new-found respect.

Camille

On the subject of gratitude... my younger daughter and I went biking at the Veloway this afternoon -- her idea! (this is the musical performer daughter -- decidedly less athletic and very much comfort-oriented). Needless to say it was probably over 100 degrees but she got accustomed to the gears and handling the bike, and seemed to be "owning" the experience and she looked proud of herself. And when we got home she smiled a very happy smile at me and said, "Thanks for going with me, Mom."

Baby steps! But, that's the kind of stuff we're more likely to do now that the Tour is over. I think she just wants to get comfortable with it so that this fall she might ride around campus on her bike and not worry about crashing. But we both agree that deep down we just would rather be on old-fashioned banana-seat bikes with the foot brakes and handlebars up high. Soooo much less to think about! Still, we had fun and had the whole Veloway to ourselves -- wussy Austinites can't take midday Texas heat I guess! :)

Rae

Oh, Matt, I don't think apologies are needed, because we do all have opinions and different paths to them, too.

Well, Maybe SusieB should apologise to me for not absolutely adoring CSC at all times--I'll get back to you on that...

I didn't hear the comment you referred to by Cadel, but I think that yes, he should be more gracious, and yes, he'd probably not be on my party invite list (if I thew parties, heh), but I still respect and admire his accomplishment. Same as I do Robbie Mc., and I enjoy his racing much, although by many accounts he is not so charming either. After all, they are just people, and we don't really know them. But it is true, it is more FUN to root for someone who is or seems to be an all-around great guy--like JENS! If I hear bad things about him, I will indeed be sad!


Sara, let me add my thanks for this site and for your comments. Hope you had a great time.


janann

I think that you're right, Sara. The workers on the team need to be inspired and dedicated to their leader in order to lay it all on the line for them in a race. I thought that the quote by Jens said it all. EVERY one of those guys changed their riding styles and completely worked for the team. I also thought it inspirational that Jens said that this was one of the accomplishments that he is most proud of in his career - being on the team of the TdF winner. I'm not necessarily saying that Cadel was at fault for problems on his team -- we can't know that. But...it seems that a bit of team building might not be a bad idea should he decide to stay on that team next year.

Did you see the VS piece on domestiques that ran a couple of times during the Tour? The guys were saying how they could work SO much harder for someone that they believed in than they could for themselves. We can't know what goes on inside a team, but it seems to me that SOMEthing was missing at SilenceLotto this year.

Matt and Susie - I love you both and the passion with which you write :) It woudln't be the same around here without either of you!

Its been SOOOO weird to be LOOKING for things to do (not that there aren't many neglected chores around here that need to be done!) rather than planning all of my activities around the Tour broadcasts. Missing it!!

Theresa

Okay, I'm getting ready to watch the next big races. The Downer's Grove championship, and the Tour of MO!!

Janann, Nikki, I need to email both of you about the ToM, but Downers Grove is first, and maybe with Nikki's connections we might get to meet somebody special to fawn all over!!!

Cat, are you ready?
I'm still getting caught up on sleep! It amazes me how it drains you over the 3 weeks. Since I have to work and all that too!

Theresa

Okay, I just got the chance to watch a couple of Neal's videos. Cadel had a very nice chat with Neal, and confirmed to me that the crash took more out of him than it seemed. And he looks very happy.

http://www.velonews.tv/

kathleen

OMG just had to share: I just read on Velonews that the remainder of the Saunier Duval team is currently being sponsored by: "...Scott-USA bicycle company and a marketing consortium called American Beef."

If have to watch ANY race with "American Beef" splashed across the chest of the jerseys my eyes will be too wet with tears from laughing to see anything!

Beautiful post above, Sara, as always. (Personally, I hope some burly Aussie doesn't give Cadel another dimple in his chin when he finally steps off the plane Down Under for so much 'whinging' in public...but I wouldn't be surprised)

Camille

Kathleen, maybe the older riders can have a stamp that says "AGED PRIME American Beef" and the younger ones can be "Filet Mignon"... Personally, I think muscular men with "BEEF" across their bodies is a long overdue visual, if not stating the obvious!

I just changed my first bike tire all by myself with no one helping me -- bought the tube myself, read the directions and did it. And... it is sooooo easy. I can't believe I thought it was complicated. I may have over-tightened everything but I undid it all myself and put it back just as it was, tightened with a vice-grip. I'm so proud of myself, I could just pop, haha. One small step for helpless-kind...

Rae

Good on you, Camille!!
I've tried before but didn't succeed--now that I've got quick-release wheels again, and a tire tool, I should practice before I'm caught 15 miles away from my car. I'll just keep telling myself "Camille SAID it was EASY, Camille SAID it was EASY..."

janann

Bravo Camille! I've never tried that myself either.

I just read at VN that Ricco is admitting that he doped (finally) because he felt guilty... Well, at least we won't have to see HIM with American Beef on his jersey! I thought his quote was interesting.
"During the Tour they took a lot of samples (from me), they made 10 tests in about 13 stages, two were positive and in fact in theory all the tests should have been positive therefore the method needs to be checked," he said."

Also saw the confirmation that Robbie is leaving Silence-Lotto. Doesn't surprise me at all, but I wonder where he'll go -- looks like the rumor is Tinkoff. We've seen him in a Lotto jersey for SO long now that it will be a bit weird to see him riding for someone else.

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