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« Stage 21 | Main | Now What? »

July 23, 2008



Thank you Sara! You are a wonderful host!!!!!
Have a great time with friends and family, xo cat


(don't know what happened to my previous comment...)

Thanks Sara, you are a wonderful host! Have a great time with friends and family!!! Lots to talk about when you get back.
xo cat


Thanks for setting up a playground for us, Sara! How thoughtful :)
Have fun!

Sara Best

Have fun guys! I'm gonna miss you. I wish I could be with you for the end but we'll hash it all out when I get back.


Have a good trip, Sara and thanks for the place to Tour-dish!

susie b

Quick question. Before the race started, who somehow ticked off the Tour Gods more - Damiano Cunego or Team Barloworld? 'Cause man, they are CURSED this year!I don't even like Cunego & I'm feeling sorry for the guy. And poor Barloworld, if they're not testing positive, they're crashing. And out of the race! I wouldn't bet against something else happening to the remaining four before they get to Paris. I certainly wouldn't ride next to any of them between now & the final Finish line! :)

And Matt & Janann, I'm so happy for you about Carlos. I wish I could like him more but he's just too stoic for me. But, he did have a great ride yesterday when it was all on the line! Plus, to win on Alpe d'Huez AND get yourself into the yellow jersey! Whoooeeeeee!

And I know, I know, I'm grating on your nerves by talking up Cadel, but geeez! Even Floyd didn't have to fight off attacks by 3 guys on the SAME TEAM on every mountain stage by himself. If that had happened to Carlos or either of the Schlecks, they would have cracked like an egg! And yet, there Cadel was yesterday, at one point, draggggging the bunch up the Alpe. At least this time he did have 2 team members with him for the 1st 1K or so of the final climb. Not Popo, (of course) but two others. I'm not saying I think Cadel is a fabulous guy, but I now just admire him very much for his tenacity & ability to absorb attack after attack, day after day. All the while being the targeted "favorite" going in & having the Aussie & worldwide media surrounding & hammering him with questions every damn minute he's off the bike. Lance was so unique in that he didn't just handle that insanity but thrived in it, but the average guy would crumble!

Moving on, Neal baby was asking people yesterday for their final podium predictions. I think we should offer up too! :) But, before I get to that, I want to state my DREAMS. Christian, great time trialist that he is, will ride out of his head, like Levi last year & beat EVERYONE, even Cadel by 30-50 seconds. So, he'll have a Tour stage win AND be on the podium in 3rd. :)

Ok, here's my Magic 8 ball prediction. Cadel will beat Sastre by 2 minutes in the TT & be ahead overall by 30 seconds to win the Tour. Sastre will either have the TT of his life or crack under the pressure, I can't decide. I'm leaning towards the former, so think he will finish 2nd overall on the podium. Menchov is, has he has been this entire Tour, a freakin mystery. He's a great TTer, but who would bet on him after the weird ways he's found to lose time in this race?! If he holds it together, he'll get on the podium in 3rd. If he doesn't, then either Kohl or CHRISTIAN will be there. What are YA'LL's predictions?

Oh, one more thing about Cadel. Did any of you see that interview with his team manager after yesterday's stage? WTF?! You don't count out your guy! If he crossed the line using only his freakin elbows, finishing dead last, you STILL say he's gonna ROCK the Time Trial & be pulling on yellow in Paris! I was SO shocked & dismayed, I couldn't believe it. Granted, it would have been a lot better if Cadel had lost no time or even less than a minute to Sastre, but come ON, the Aussie can wipe the ground with Carlos & the Schlecks on a time trial course. I can see the guy being a bit disappointed or worried, but hell, it's not like he stacked Cadel's team with tons of helpers! He SHOULD have been praising his guy to the skies for how he has ridden this race. Maybe, just maybe, the guy has low blood sugar & he needed to eat, or maybe this is a European thing where you discount your guy's chance to somehow give the others false hope, otherwise, he has no excuse. Whatever it was, I was very disappointed in Marc Sargeant.

And thanks so much, Sara, for writing up your astute & pithy Tour views this year and for once again giving all of us a place to hang out. :) Have fun away & we'll still be here chatting when you get back to join in!


Okay, I'm going on record!! I Love the Schleck brothers!!! Christian and DZ are very good friends with them and they are awesome! Even Frank says Andy is going to do great things once he toughens up a bit!
I think it's all tactics. These guys are so close. Riis know Carlos could climb; and the rest of the team including the yellow jersey spent their time making sure NO ONE followed Carlos! If CVV was still on CSC, he wouldn't have been at the top of that climb on Frank and Cadel's wheel. No, he would have been sacrificed along with every other team members pushing that pace so everyone would say "uncle"!!
I think that the yellow jersey is Cadel's to lose in the TT. At the end of Sat.'s stage we'll know what the podium is!!

I agree about bad luck for Cunego and Barloworld! I hate to see what Barloworld has been put thru.


Oh, Evans, Frank, and Menchov...I think. Unless Menchov screws up the TT. Christian could still end up in 3rd..but those extra minutes he's lost suck. That's a lot of time to put in ahead of everyone else.


Oh my gosh, I was definitely wondering who was sticking pins in their Cunego voodoo doll today. I don't care for the guy either, but I do admire how he got back up, got bandaged up, and FINISHED the race even though he was already definitely out of contention and was left to ride with only 4 teammates (kudos to them too) ALL the way to the finish line and still made the time cut. THAT is determination...

I think it must all be in one's perspective because my husband and I were commenting last night on how Cadel was being PULLed up to cross the gaps by Kohl, by Christian, by Aerts, etc etc. ;) We didn't see him as fending off countless attacks and pulling the others up the hill (until the very end when he decided he had to chase Carlos). I think he'll probably win the race and deserve to win it, but I still can't think of him as a spectacular rider in the way I do about Lance, Floyd, Contador - who really attacked their rivals and put a stamp on the race as their own. But, like I said, I think its all in the perspective of the viewer/fan (as are many things in life, no?).

That said, my predictions for the podium are:
Cadel, Sastre, Menchov
(Sastre will have to pull off a GOOD TT, but he is the best of the CSC GC guys at that)
***With a HUGE hope in there that Christian can somehow blow up the TT and get himself onto the podium.

I'll be happy for ANY of those guys though. We've seen them ALL work so hard for several years now in their struggle to claim a Tour victory. It will have been a WELL fought race and the winner will be deserving. I somehow can't warm up to Kohl at ALL, so I'm hoping that he doesn't somehow end up on the podium -- just a personal thing.

My thought was that the Silence Lotto manager MUST have just been trying to somehow make others think it was more of a long-shot chance than it is. I don't think that approach will work with anyone and I found it a bit insulting, as well.

T, I like the Schlecks an awful lot too :) I think that they are young and have things to learn yet, but that they will DOMinate in a few years.


OK...predictions...Sastre, Evans, Menchov. RIDE LIKE THE WIND CARLOS!

Good discussion on yesterdays ride everybody. I have to add though that Cadel wasn't as alone as it appeared in these stages. He may not have had teammates, but he had allies helping him whether it was intentional or not. VDV helped him GET the yellow jersey a while back, and yesterday Kohl was doing a lot of the pulling and setting tempo...Cadel just hung in there, and sure he had to resond to attacks, but all he had to do is stay with them. I'm not saying that's easy, but he's not out front setting tempo along into the wind. He was wheel-sucking the entire way (no's good tactics)... Yesterday it was Carlos out in front on his own, doing it in style! And VDV has helped Cadel on multiple occasions (I"m guessing purely unintentional, as he was just looking out for himself and it just happened to benefit Cadel).

I think that the race has taken its toll on all the riders, but each rider reacts differently. I think Cadel is declining in his overall performance (again no disrespect intended...just a cold hard look from my eyes), while Carlos is getting better and stronger in comparison to his rivals. Whether it's the pressure of being the #1 contender all along, having yellow those 5 days or so, or the multi-pronged viscious attacks by Team's all taking it's toll. Like body punches in a boxing match. No outright damage, no knockout, but in a long fight they add up. This is surely a 21 round heavyweight title fight. And the body blows are working. I think Carlos (who has had AWESOME team support, almost NO media pressure, and just been hanging back waiting for his time to attack) will pull off his personal best TT. Cadel will do well, knowing what is on the line, but he is tired and it won't be as good of a TT as it would be under other circumstances.

Carlos will hold his jersey, Cadel will move ahead of Frank and Bernard to 2nd, and Denis will also move ahead of Frank and Bernard to 3rd. VDV will do AWESOME, but no way he can take back OVER 3 minutes on Cadel. He MIGHT be able to get close to Denis (and I admit I'm HOPING against hope that he can actually get his 2 minutes he needs and take 3rd overall!)

So thats my take (or dream) on how things play out. Now here's the kicker, which I touched on last night. WHAT IF there is only a few seconds diff going into Paris between 1 & 2 (whoever they are)? It's a very real possiblity, and I think it would result in game-on in the streets of Paris..which would be a total street fight on those laps on the cobbles. Total carnage on what would normally be a champagne sipping, toasting your teammates day, smiling for the cameras and generally enjoying the day type or ride. I'm greedy, I want to see it! I'm not yet done with this tour! I want ONE MORE Knife fight! Hand to hand combat! Winner take all! Sorry riders of the can sleep on Monday!

OK..dinner time..had a 12 hour day today, so no bike ride...just now starting to watch todays stage (internet is back up here at the moment...YESSSSSSS!)


I just responded on the Stage 18 thread but again - GO C!!! I hope he just smokes the bunch and wins the TT, even if he still misses the podium, that would be sweet as all heck!

I love the Schlecks - especially little Andy. I can not get out of my head C's diary at Famous Dave's back on CSC. Just love it. Free little Andy! I think that kid is going to be a Tour winner and that we aren't going to have to wait too long to see it. Love that kid.

I'm pretty happy for Carlos right now and he still has a shot to win this whole thing. He is not the best TT'r but he still can do a good ride. He will be last to leave the gate and will have an advantage of knowing just how hard he has to push it. A huge part of me hopes he hangs on!


Okay, I've been reading at work...I can do that, but not post.:)
I forgot Sastre in my podium...and he TT's better than Frank.
Johan Bruyneel said, that Cadel is winning, but losing his form(Matt, right on!) and Carlos is getting stronger. Carlos should win, but Cadel is a strong enough TT'er that he can beat Carlos on Sat.
I read one article comparing times to the first TT. It was shorter; but damn they got it down to 13 seconds between 1st and 2nd!!

Saturday is going to be the most exciting TT this year!!!

And hey, did anyone else see that ASO and AEG are becoming buddies??? I just saw that tonight. Interesting.....


I've had mixed feelings about Frank because in interviews, he seemed to almost roll his eyes at every question, and there was an unspoken, "duh" at the beginning of each of his answers. However, he did have a nice sparkle in his eyes on the podium when he got the yellow jersey, which I enjoyed, and last night, when asked if he thought there would be attacks on the climb in yesterday's stage, he said something along the lines of, "I hope not, I'm cooked!" Those two things, along with Cathy's description of him flailing around the dance floor, have made me like him again :) He and his brother are young and have a great, great future, so I hope the podium in Paris has Evans, Sastre and VDV. I don't *know* Menchov very well, but he seems to be making alot of mistakes this year, so maybe that will be a good thing for Christian on Saturday.

On a completely different note...for you other Facebook cool is it that Danny Pate is our friend?!

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