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« Oops He Did It Again | Main | 21 Corners to Heaven »

July 22, 2008


susie b

I had 3 Live Update windows opened & listened to Eurosport audio. Not a good day for Christian. :( Usually just reading the Updates & listening to the radio is maddening as you just want to SEE but apparently the French TV didn't have a camera on CVV at all & no one was sure how far back he was. Well, let me channel some Scarlet - "tomorrow IS another day!" :)

But Cadel hung tough & boy, what a shocker that Menchov lost so much time on a descent! I can't remember - has he always been a bad descender? Although from what I read, that descent was awful!

Well, hopefully, this was just Christian's "bad day" & he'll rebound for tomorrow & Saturday's TT. But, Matt, I guess we should be realistic & accept that the Yellow jersey is now out of reach. IF he loses no time tomorrow, he could still get on the podium. I definitely think CVV could beat Frank & Carlos by more than 3 minutes in the TT. But no matter what happens, what a ride it has been & will continue to be. GO CHRISTIAN! :)

And you too, Cadel & DK, my little buttercup!

Also, I've been wanting to throw my 2 cents in about some of your questions, Cat, but ran out of time, til now. :) As for guys leaving the Tour early, that's not unusual for young guys. In fact, it's usually planned as they don't want to burn them out either physically or mentally. Those 3 week races take huge tolls on your body & psyche! For some of the other guys, during Olympic years, I've read that it's a struggle. The teams & sponsors usually want them AT the Tour, but several of the guys sometimes want to leave to prepare for the Games. It's especially bad in years when the Olympics are close to the Tour, like this one. And separated by such a long distance. At least in 2004, they only had to get to Athens. I've read Fab REALLY wants to win Gold in Beijing & here he is exhausting himself everyday for Frank & Carlos. On some of the forums & blogs I perused back before the Tour, there was much speculation if he would leave early. But, if one of their guys look like they will win, I can't IMAGINE Riis allowing him to go anywhere. Plus, he'd miss the big party in Paris!

For Cavendish, heck, he won FOUR STAGES for his team, plus had already gutted his way around that insane Giro course. The boy earned his rest! :) If he had been targeting the Green Jersey or was in the points lead, he probably wouldn't have left. But gosh, he's so young, he's got years to rack up more wins. Even if considering years out for injury, I think he'll win at LEAST 15 stages in the TdF. Heaven help all the other "fast men" as we could be seeing the 'Lance' version of sprinters! :)

And I didn't quite understand your Menchov question. Are you talking about when he was attacking on the final climb Monday? He was trying to get away & put time into Cadel & the other GC faves. That's what you HAVE to do if you're behind. And he was apparently feeling good, so it was a good attempt. Unfortunately, the desperate & successful try to get back to the group after his slideout probably weakened him for the last 1K.

I just hope some of the other GCers work TOGETHER to attack CSC tomorrow. That rarely happens though as everyone has their own goals. But after the last 2 days, I think they should give it a freakin try.

Oh, Sara. I miss the Horner Diary EVERY day! And as for GL, god, I had to sit on my hands to make it through the FIRST videoclip. I TRIED to watch the 2nd & couldn't stand more than 30 seconds. I suppose it's a shame as he possibly could be saying some good things, but I just can not abide him at all anymore. And unlike my change of heart over Cavendish & Cadel, my dislike of GL GROWS everytime I hear him. Even his mannerisms & way of speaking irritate me at this point. He says he wants to get back into the sport now & one of MY fears is that he'll get involved in an American pro team & he'll be all over the Versus coverage in future years.
I. could. not. watch.

Whoops, kind of went on even more than usual! Not feeling so great today so I just kept typing to make myself feel better. Hope SOMEone is having an awesome day! :)


I am worried about CVV's cough during interviews the last 2 days! Does he have asthma? (it sounds like an asthmatic cough) Hope he is not getting sick; if not he maybe maybe still has a chance if he can kick it tomorrow.

Is it possible to get a TUE DURING a race for something like asthma? does the the race doctor get involved? Cathy, do you know?


RE: Menchov; what Phil & Paul kept saying was that he was "trying to break up the group, look, there he goes again, attempting to break up the group, split the group, see, he's looking back to see if he's broken the group up yet".......etc.

He would want to gain time (now lost) but Phil & Paul never said that - - the focus of their dialogue was on "breaking up the group".

One of the many mysteries of le Tour chess-game!

It disappointed me to hear Phil say that the wind generators on the hillside in Stage 14 were an "eyesore". It's that type of thinking that will turn this planet into a giant, blackened marshmallow. I think I put Phil on too high a pedestal!


Not sure about getting a TUE during a race....sounds a little iffy to me. In the post-race interview Christian said he crashed with some Cofidis guys, so that explains where he disappeared to. He must have lost contact with his group originally though and then teamed up with some Cofidis guys because they didn't ALL drop back from the yellow jersey group. I have to watch again tonight, there was too much action going on to absorb all of it! BUT if Christian will go in the hunt tomorrow and if he could gain back maybe 30 seconds, it's possible he could get the rest in the TT on Saturday. He really has to do something tomorrow as he has slipped too far to count solely on the TT now. F. Schleck has to use his team to gain, too, because he can't hope to hold off Cadel or Kohl with just a handful of seconds. And he's won on l'Alpe before so he should have piles of confidence.

Regarding Christian's cough, I have been hearing it the past 3-4 days I think, but they guys do have lots of stuff built up after the ride so it could just be that. You should see them spitting and snorting stuff out of their throats and noses after stages! Yuck.

And wow, that Barloworld kid going off the road and having to self-arrest to make himself stop! That skree is like being in an avalanche! Then when he finally got back up to the road and was pointing to his bike, like saying "Someone go get my bike!!" And then Phil's comments about him still standing along side the road looooonnnnng after the peloton had gone by...too funny. Wonder how many fans were plotting how to go get that $10k bike?!

Great stage. More battles on Wednesday!

susie b

I was worried about that cough on Monday too, Rae! Has anyone read if that's "normal" for CVV?

And I just read that apparently Christian was only 35 seconds behind the Yellow jersey group & he then crashed on the descent which is what led him to lose about 2 minutes. So, it wasn't as bad of a crack as I thought. Yeah!

I'll actually see Wed's stage Live at home & I'm already hyperventilating. Of course, I haven't seen today's stage yet, but don't ya'll think tomorrow's looks worse?! Plus, the crowds will be intense! It'll be GREAT!

And I guess "breaking up the group" is something you want to do if you're dragging 10 guys up a mountain. Less people to worry about! Less that will attack you & less that you have to attack.

By the way, seems we're not the only ones interested in 'Mamma Mia'. And I feel a bit like Cavendish, as thanks to a certain blogger & his recent post, I am so, so "money" today! Yipppppee! I'm feeling better now! :)


So check this out: (I sound like Randy Jackson on AI!) Despite his crash and bike being launched into the next district, young John-Lee finished 35th on the day, just over 5 minutes down from the winner and a full 27 minutes faster than 116 other riders!!! He'll laugh about it one day.....


I need to stop screwing around on the internet and get some work done!!! But I came across this ESPN piece about Ricco. When I first read the headline I thought, "Attention Ricco, if you are trying to avoid the tests then part of doing so would be to avoid winning, bonehead!" But then I read the entire piece and it says he avoided his escort to anti-doping so they told him he would then be targeted and tested every stage! lol I wonder if all of this is factual? Anyway, the other day I was going to write something here about Ricco, something about that he gave in to pressure but he's still someone's son, brother, lover, whatever and all of those around him have to live with his bad judgement too....but after reading this piece I bet his inner circle have always known he was an idiot! So I'm glad I held off writing the piece!


Yes Cmehl, Rae, susie b. We ladies all noticed CVV's cough. Of course everyone's hacking and snorting after the ride but CVV is the only coughing uncontrollably in interviews. I hope someone is looking at it! It's been interesting to watch 'Mellow Chris' grow during this Tour. Although, for the first 10 stages he was almost happy go lucky, showing no strain and grinning like a kid, now he's sobering up, coughing and growing a furrow in his brow - he's not having fun anymore. I hope his doc gets rid of that cough and he gets a lucky break tomorrow!

my quick thoughts:
A Frenchman on top the podium..! And Surreal Dessel no less.

Speaking of parents, did you hear the interview of Augustyn where he said his parents must be freaking out and that he needed to call them? Sweet.


CVV sounds as if he has allergies and a little reactive airway. Maybe exercise induced asthma? Hopefully, he is not developing bronchitis! I think someone else asked earlier if they can diagnosis and prescribe meds that are not allowed (I forget the term), like inhalers or how about singular? That works really well on someone who is reacting but not actually asthmatic. If there's inflammation some inhaled steroids and a dash of antibiotics would help, but the former obviously isn't allowed, unless authorized before the race.

What I have always wondered is do they disallow those drugs because they can "mask" the use of PEDs? Or is it also a bit of a throw back to the way the Tour originally started, where you couldn't even accept assistance from a smithy to repair your bike? You had to do it yourself!!! Reading some pretty funny stuff in the Fefe book; riders welding their forks back together and stuff.

Well in 15 minutes I will be able to see what you guys have already witnessed...getting excited though your posts sound ominous...


Holy cats what a stage! I didn't have any overtime today (HOORAY!) so was able to sneak back to the room and watch the stage on my TIVO via the slingbox...(Jeannie laughed last night...I'm in sunnyvale, she is at home. I log into the slinbox, which basicly just attaches the output of my TIVO to my router and then the internet...anyway, I see she has it on I KNOW she is either reading or BAM! I change the channel to VS...she said she was studying, and the channels started magicly changing to VS, and then fast I was going thru the rest day recording. Said it made her feel like I was at home, as we battle for channels with the remote.)

But anyway...WOW! Am I ever impressed w/ the Schlecks! And how VERY COOL that Frank is in yellow, and Andy is in white! That must be a first! And no one more deserving than did he CRUSH the pace on the HUGE climb today! I was SO VERY SAD to see VDV drop back...but so very HAPPY to see George in the break. When he couldn't catch the front 4, well, I just couldn't BEIEVE IT! He's a MAD descender! I thought sure he'd catch them and then win the day..but wasn't to be. And the Barloworld kid (Augustyn?)...he's VERY LUCKY he didn't end up getting a helicopter rescue...he could have tumbled a LONG WAYS down that mtside. I am also sad that Menchov lost time. Tomorrow is THE DAY (and WHAT a day! The profile of the stage sends shivers down my's a real beast!) I think the race is far from over...the contenders put in so much effort today...can they do it again tomorrow? Who will crack first in the leaders? Can CSC put time on Cadel? I hope so...if they can do that and bring it down to the TT for the win, then I'd be happy no matter what happens. Right now I'm hoping VDV pulls a FLOYD tomorrow and goes off the front and gains his time back! 3 HUMONGOUS climbs (all HC) with an Alp D'Huez just doesn't get any better than that! I hope VDV doesn't have the beginning stages of bronchitis...the racers all get so hot on the climbs and then so very cold on the descents (such as the Sundays stage).

I loved seeing Andy get his white jersey...he was like a little kid...didn't know where to look...was getting kisses from the 'trophy' girl on the left, even before she had the tropyy in her hand to give to him! I'd love to see CSC get and hold a minute or more lead going into stage 18. We shall see...They were able to crack Cadel on Sunday...after today he's gotta be whipped. Still anybodys race though...nail biter for sure!

Now what am I to do? I didn't go on a ride so I could watch the now it's just 6:30 and I'm bored. Hotel life. Oh well...I saw the stage..thats the important part! After tomorrow I'll be quite all the mts will be past for another year...I so live for these stages! July is just ZOOMING by, dang it! Viva le Tour!


I was just perusing various cycling websites and came across this one with a wonderful picture of the Alp d'Huez climb, with all 21 switchbacks numbered...Good GRAVY it looks horribly beautiful! Here is the link, check it out! (and visualize yourself trying to race the best of the best to the TOP, at the END of stage 17!)


matt, have you had a lot of coffee today? ;)

Difficult not to be excited, though, with stages like the ones today and tomorrow! We could NOT have asked for a more exciting Tour (OK, maybe if Levi, Contador, and Floyd were here)!

I was SURE that George was going to win the stage, too! That descent was just SCARY though. Big bummer that CVV went down and lost more time. He handles himself so professionally for someone new to this position. I'm impressed with JVs attitude, as well. The race is certainly NOT over and it would be great to see him get some of that time back.

Menchov is usually so solid - has he always had trouble descending? I thought that was sorta weird.

Sara, you had me laughing *loudly* today with "On the edge of my seat wondering what Greg Lemond will have to say in Part 48 of his video interview over at Velo News. Do you think he's still there outside the Cofids bus talking?" My thoughts EXACTLY and I'm pretty sure he's probably still there speaking into anything that resembles a microphone! I'm not sure if I've heard more disjointed rambling lately. Do you think he had a bit too much wine or something??


OH, and Susie you were right, that one was worth reading. I love that soundtrack too ;)


Okay, first, Matt, all that jargon about tapping into your tivo was WAY above my head!! But I bet it made Jeannie laugh!

I'm concerned about CVV's cough too. The reactive remark that Cat made, acutally sounds on target. They climb that mountain; then descend in much colder air....I'd be coughing my head off, or sucking on an inhaler. Once he relaxes from the stage, it may go away on it's own. Unless, there's inflammation going on.
George was so disapointed! But no win is worth getting yourself killed on that descent!! I wondered what happened to the Lee kid. What a great finish...I wonder who's bike he rode to the line???
Scared the crap out of me...I hate watching them go over the edge of a mountain.

Ricco is an ass! Ditching your escort is NOT cool. No wonder he got caught.

I love the wind generators!! They are a lot nicer to look at than an oil rig!!!

I didn't even listen to the first GL video....and Susie, are you going to make go somewhere I swore I'd never go again????


andrew Hood said that Denis Menchov collapsed with cramps after riding over the line....not a good day for him.


Okay, you've got to read Will's diary at VN!! He's talking about the rest day, and the grupetto for todays climb. I guess english is a predominate language back


Okay, I've got to go to bed!

But wanted to add, that JV says in his video interview, that high altitudes have always been a problem for Christian, even in CO back when they were younger....There's the reason for the cough!!

Oh, btw, Brad is cooked after that race in China....


Oh, and to amend the cramping for Menchov....the more I read the more riders rode across that line with cramps!!!

susie b

SUSIE'S SWEETIES - STAGE 16 (Tues, Jul 22)

1) Cyril Dessel. Because I was in a quandry last night thinking I would have NO Sweetie today except for omni-sweetie Neal. As unfortunately, I was the opposite of Matt & absolutely HATED this stage. I hated that final ugly mountain, hated the descent, hated the finish line that zoomed off to the right, hated that George could've, should've won the stage but came in 5th, & most of all hated that it was the site where CVV lost any chance for the Tour & possibly/probably the podium. Yes, I was QUITE the gloomy gus by 10 pm. And then I glanced at the Peznews piece I printed about the stage before I left work. There was a pic of Cyril, apparently up on the podium for the stage victory presentation. He had thrown his head back & arms up in the oh-sweet-victory V. His 1st Tour stage win. He was SO happy & you know the French were ecstatic & maybe, just maybe they'll ease up on the command for all French riders to go up the road EVERY day or else! Yeah, it's not quite Sunshine last year in Yellow, but it made me smile & think of some good things in the stage. And later, I even thought of a little ditty :

The Bonnette lies over the ocean
The Bonnette lies over the sea
The Bonnette lies over the ocean
Where it will never be missed, if you ask me!

2) Big George. Because I soooooo wanted him to win & even though I KNEW the results before watching the broadcast, like a loon, I kept shouting to George he could take 'em! ;)

3) Ryder Hesjedal. Because he came back to help CVV in his time of need & until Christian's crash, they WERE making it back to the group. And because he's Sara's boy! :)

4) Christian Vande Velde. Because even on the day that seemed to crack if not shatter the glass slipper in this real-life Cinderella sporting tale, he was still polite & level-headed when talking to the media immediately after. Whereas many would have been an uncommunicative, sullen or sobbing lump. It's actions like this that truly make one "The Man".

5) Neal 'Pocketful of Sunshine' Rogers. Because I watched that 3 part video of CVV with Neal & was so very relieved to see/hear that Christian did not have that cough on Rest Day (Monday). And because really, isn't Neal doing the Tour Video Diaries a little "pocketful of sunshine" during all our work days?! :)

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