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« Woo Hoo! | Main | Go Go Cavo »

February 17, 2009



Man oh MAN what a stage yesterday! LEVI LEVI LEVI! He FINALLY did what I have been hoping for over the last 3 years! I knew he had it in him..but to FINALLY see it! He went up Bonny Doon like he was on a 'friggin harley' (GRIN!!!) What do you think of THAT Mr. Pound! Sure..he must have cheated. GOSH that was wonderful to watch! And somehow VS MISSED the actual move...only switched to it when he was already 10 meters or more ahead. Camera right there. How does that happen?

Anyway, it was just awesome to see him hit the gas and not stop till the finish. He was really rocking that descent the rain! And hey Cathy...any hints as to what Levi said to Jason McCartney (hope I got the name right...the Saxo Bank dude) when he passed him on the climb and poked him with his finger? Something to the tune of "this is how you win a race" maybe? Or something a little more personal maybe? (did Jason diss Levi anytime in the recent past?) It was cool that Peterson was able to hang on and get a stage win for Garmin...I'm not sure, but Levi might have even been able to take that sprint but he didn't even try...he knew he had yellow. I was really hoping for him to WIN the stage...putting an exclamation point on the day. But yellow is very cool. And now we get to see SUPER LANCE out front, kicking butt on the rest of the pro's.

And finally...I know this was talked about some earlier..(about Lance being back). Here's my take: Lance has recieved SO MUCH from cycling. More than any person could possibly dream about. Not that he didn't do the work, but still he's a mega-superstar, wealthy beyond imagination, and still very young. He retired on top, figured there's nothing left for him to accomplish. As far as winning races, probably true. But his mission has changed. And riding his bike is now a way to accomplish his NEW mission. He doesn't even have to win for this to be sucessful. HOWEVER we all know he is driven and WANTS to win. I think it's really awesome to see Lance pushing the front of the chase group, protecting his leader (Levi) as Levi and others have done so often in the past. It's time for some payback. He's got a LOT of payback to do. I think if he is capable, he will win the Giro in May. Alberto isn't racing it, so there is no real dilemma on who is the leader (except for Levi..not sure if he will race the Giro). Certainly it's good for cycling to have it's LEGEND back in the mix, and appears to be pretty much at full power. He is in every important breakaway so far (Tour Down Under and now ToC). And along the way, a lot of younger pro's get to mix it up with the GREAT Lance Armstrong. They get a shot at the champ. To race alongside him. Sponsors can't seem to throw enough $$ at the sport all of a sudden. Live coverage of races we only read about in the past. It seems Lance is all the media can talk about, but that will slowly tone down and the focus will come back around to the races and the REST of the peleton. Every sport needs it's hero's. Cyclings hero is back. However long he can make the grade, I think cycling will be true winner here. Even if he does cast a rather large shadow. I think we will be seeing more moments like the one when Big George won the queen TDF stage, and when Lance crossed the line and got to him it was quite apparent that he was truly happy for him. People step out from under Lance's shadow all the time, into the sun. It just makes it all better.


And Sara, that is absoulutely HILARIOUS about your kids at the zoo! "can it kill you?" That is just TOO funny! Stuff that belongs in a book. Maybe Georgia would say something like that.

Sara Best

I'm way ahead of you Matt ;)


I swear, that was the happiest I have EVER seen Levi look, even after his great placements in bigger races. Something has changed for him. Is it knowing that he has the team behind him without question? Wonder what would happen if he had that support later in the season.


I don't know about the rest of you, but how freaking GREAT is it to have FULL BLOWN CYCLING SEASON upon us once again! Everybody is back here once again...ahhhhhh. Like coming home after a long absense.


Yeah, Matt, I'm there - CYCLING SEASON, yippee!!!
all our favorite cyclists, Phil, Paul & Bobke (can't wait to see the shaved head), and the entire IA at the sidelines! (I'd be an even happier camper right now if I hadn't watched 2 hours of TIVO only to find that VS cut away in the last 20 minutes for HOCKEY!


You're SO right, Barbara. GRRRRRRR!!

I was thinking the same thing today Matt -- its great to have everyone back for what should be a really exciting season.

LOVED the quotes from the zoo trip (isn't it a bit cold up there to go to the zoo right now??). Hopefully the guinea pig wasn't in the same cage as the rattlesnake ;)

T -- did you see that Brad was disqualified for holding on to a car?!?!? BIG bummer for Jelly Belly! You have any other info, Nikki?

Great sprint for Thor today and it was nice to see him take a win in CA for the new team. It was even nicer to see how the team worked for him and how happy Dom was at the result.


First, thanks Barb for the heads up on the Vs broadcast!!

JD, No, I didn't see that! No wonder Matt Crane was in the top 25, and Brad wasn't there!
I went to VeloCenter TV, but they just have two videos up, I'll check tomorrow!

Sara, you guys have cool holidays! You could share some of ours. Then we could have the Queen's birthday and Boxing day!


Hey all...I noticed back on stage 2 that my VS live broadcast cutaway after 3 hours...(the one where Levi rode away from the field on Bonny Doon Mt.) and earned the yellow. Well I was FURIOUS! But I jumped to VS channel and looked ahead and saw a 1 hour cycling broadcast at details, so I set it to record. It WAS the finish of the race! And yesterday my live one cut away for the Hockey game as Barbara mentioned...and again, an 8pm (Pacific time) I stayed up and sure enough, it was the rest of the race!

Boy Levi's wreck looked wicked yesterday, but he's ok (WHEW!) I've always been totally amazed there isn't TONS Of those exact crashes...just goes to show how good these guys are. I'd be freakin TERRIFIED to be riding for HOURS smack dab in the middle of hundreds of other bikers..inches away. Just a nanosecond of inattention and your front wheel touches some elses rear...and only GREAT SKLLL will keep you from going down. I get nervous in our little groups when we really try hard to draft in big wind days...(I am getting much better at hanging w/in about 6" of the wheel in front of me). But our not-pro paceline is always speeding up and slowing you still REALLY need to pay attention. How these guys can do it w/out frequent pile-ups is just beyong my comprehension.

Anyway...woo-HOO! Weax forecast for today on is sunny/partly couldy and NO RAIN! (at least down here)...which bodes well for tomorrows finish in Paso Robles, and the TT in Solvang. Temps supposed to be in high 60's....PERFECT bike weather!

Nice that it FINALLY came down to a bunch-sprint yesterday...and Phil mentioned on the air that yesterday and Thursdays stages are about the only ones left for sprint finish...THATS why I'm heading up to Paso tomorrow after lunch. Columbia didn't seem to get organized and in the right position for Cavendish to have a shot..but good on they surely DID have the right spot! Nice to see the God of Thunder take another win.

Have a great day everybody! Think DRY!!


The NQ's were reversed from yesterday, due to the fact the officals missed several riders trying to survive up Sierra road. So BRAD is starting today!!! YEAH!

Nobody seems to know those roads on todays stage. Matt, why??? I thought the CA guys knew all the roads!


You mean the Ca guys 'racing' today? I would think Levi for sure would have ridden most of this..he's from northern Ca. I myself have never been up where todays stage delves into the Sierras but from the West side. All my sierra fun has been from the East side (backpacking, Mt biking, skiing). It's a sunny day! HOOORAY! I have the Amgen tracker site up, race is underway! NO RAIN!!!!!


What a stage today...Floyd has been in 2 breakaways (so far)...this is EXACTLY the type of stage where he 'COULD...GO....ALL....THE...WAY if he could escape the peleton! Boy wouldn't that be something? A repeat of his big day in the Alps. He is what, 6minutes down? Surely he knows he needs to do something special to get back in the mix...does he have the legs to pull it off? Gosh I hope so...would LOVE to see him and Levi only seconds apart going into Fridays TT!

susie b

I agree, Matt & everyone - I LOVED seeing Levi be aggressive like that! And WHAT A RIDE!

I also was very happy for Garmin & Tom Peterson. I know nothing about Peterson except that it was his 1st professional win & how exciting to have done it in the current biggest US cycling race?! I had actually been feeling a bit sorry for Garmin since Lance/Astana has been the focus so much, so this is great for them - mentally as well as for the result.

BTW, did you all see Bob Stapleton on the Velonews video coverage the other day?!! Is it sick? Does anyone know anything? I was shocked at his gaunt appearance. I didn't even recognize him.

And does anyone know if Horner is ok? He crashed yesterday too, but the couple articles I've had a chance to scan only mentioned how Levi's doing. And speaking of which - it could have ended right there! What a heartbreak that would have been the very day after Levi's triumph. Eyes on the prize, Levi! Gotta keep focused.

Matt - when are you going to the race & where will you be sitting? We need to be on the lookout for you! Same for everyone who will be lucky enough to see the race in person! PLUS, we will be expecting 1st-hand reports! Pretty please. Take pity on the unfortunates. :)

And Sara, I think your daughter's a genius. She sums up in 4 little words the ONE thing you need to ask yourself if something is a good idea. If she abides by that question the rest of her life, she'll be good to go!

susie b

Oooh, I meant to ask of Bob Stapleton - is HE sick?


Holy smokes! Floyd is out FRONT of another breakaway, and they are on the days 1st climb! RIDE FLOYD RIDE!

And HEY HEY HEY! Tyler just bridged the gap, he's up with Floyd! THIS is a pretty dangerous break! Some serious firepower for the climbs ahead if they can stay away!

susie b

Well, that's weird. I posted a correction & it disappeared. It's there &.... it's not! MAGIC! :)

What I MEANT to type about Bob Stapleton - is HE sick?


Matt, Paso Robles always reminds me of a wonderful trip with the LOML - we had been in CA for a week and had driven up to Monterey from Pasadena on the PCH, incredibly gorgeous. For time considerations we were taking the 5 back down and after a week of good California veggies, fruit & wine, we got a yen for a burger. We randomly got off at Paso Robles (this was before the movie, before anyone had ever heard of it)and there right in front of it was GOOD OL' BURGERS! It's pretty much all they serve, really GOOD burgers, fries and shakes, and you order at the counter and when it's ready, they call out "Barbara, let's eat!" You sat outside on picnic tables that were painted with desert sunsets. We loved it! (I hear it's still there, but has moved down the road a bit.)

So I'll be thinking of a burger tonight when I watch...

I did DVR the hour show (11-12 my time) last night hoping to see the sprint finish, despite knowing how it turned out.


Susie, I plan on being just around the half-way point...on the climb (there's only one). I will be sitting in a little folding chair, w/ my camera on a tripod getting pics of every rider (just like last year). Greg and Paul are coming up and planning on joining me. So we will have a little group. I hope to get some chalk, might write something for Levi and/or Floyd and Big George too..(depends on how much chalk we can get). We'll be with our bikes, and in bike clothes I imagine as we're riding the course before the race (though I will also bring some tennis shoes to wear when I'm not riding, so I'm not walking around ruining my road cleats). Will also have some cowbells I along with taking pics, we will be going crazy for the riders as they pass!

Barbara, don't really know much about Paso...only been up there once the first year we lived here (for the Mid-State Fair). It's about 60 miles north of where I live. All I know is that it's HOT up there in the summer (many days over 100). I have the stage map printed out and also a mapquest of the area...figure to just park as close as I can and walk around the madness some, then stake out a spot near the finish.
Oh, and I'm now pretty seriously considering going down to Pasadena on Sat. Greg and his daughter are going (they went last year, stood in the rain and cheered Big George onto victory in the crappy was the final stage last year). Figure I missed out on a lot of fun, and it's NOT supposed to rain per the latest forecast! Good photo ops as they pass doing circuits around the Rose Bowl! And I get to hang w/ my brother and niece! Can't go wrong there!!


Matt, great commentary! And I believe you have to go to 1 or 2 stages if the race is in your home state!!!
I can't believe I was able to get on this site, they've got us blocked on everything!!!

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