Friday, July 16, 2010

Stage 11

I'll get to that in a second, first things first.

Since we have first and second place locked down, and the battle for third is still the same, lets take a look at the "other" races going on. Petacchi took the green back from Thor, hope he washed it. Thor is starting to look lack luster, plus he doesn't have the support that the other teams are throwing at the front of the race. Get some horsepower put it on the front and then ride it like you stole it. The 'dots have been securely fastened to Pineau, although he only has a slight (2 points) lead over Charteau, the margin to third... So huge I will not even say how huge. This one could get interesting. For the White Andy has over four min on Gesink, gees wonder how this one is going to go down?

Thanks VS for all the stellar coverage. -sarcastic

13 is an unlucky number? Try telling that to HTC and Cavo. On the other hand, Renshaw might not like the number 13. 13 wins at le Tour surpassing all sprinters of the modern era. Love him, Hate him. He has enough wins for you to hate him, but you better respect.

All right, all right here it is...
The other Mark. Renshaw, Mark Renshaw licensed to pull Cavo to the line. I have not looked at the UCI rulebook, but head, shoulders, elbows, I thought were fair game as long as you had your hands on the bars? That being said was there a head butt? NO.. I count 3. Why? Well, if you know anything about cycling, Sprinting is a contact sport. (from the overhead) Dean had elbow extended and was encroaching in on Renshaw's line. Instead of using the elbow back on Dean, Renshaw used his head, literally. And the rest is even more messed up. Did Renshaw intentionally move into Tyler's line or inadvertently? I'm not clear on that one. Either way relegate him for the move on Tyler, but tossing him for a head butt? Hello, Robbie McEwen master of the head butt, was never tossed, relegated but not tossed. Bad form ASO, UCI.

What happens to Cavo without Renshaw? Can HTC step up and continue to deliver Cavo to the line. Bernie and Tony are going to have to step up their game.

On a more serious note, I feel that Renshaw being tossed needs to be debated. There is a comment link. How about using it?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Stage 10 or Rest day

No fireworks on Bastille Day for the French

After a long hard day in the saddle, on stage 9, even the big guns need a day.

Seriously, did anything happen today? I watched the stage, I've combed the Internet, I talked to the "people who know things" and I think there was a rest day today disguised as a stage.

Ok there was some climbs, but the sprinters almost made it, but no one wanted to work, to bring in the break. After yesterday's stage do you blame them. No, you do it, you have yellow, well we don't have a sprinter, so you do it. -That went on for like 100k? So the break went, the break stayed, and a Radio Shack guy from Portugal ruined Bastille day for the French. Sorry guys Sandy was a day early- said that yesterday.

So, nothing happened in the GC, and tomorrow is a sprint stage. Cavo? Tyler? Thor? Robbie? It's up for grabs. Saxo will hold down the break if anyone is dangerously close to Andy, and then the sprinters teams will take over, and catch the break. Done. Sorry to spoil it for you. Look for Chavanel to go stage hunting again, maybe we will see a new face up there?

So, I usually have something smart or dumb to say about "things", but I've got nothing for this. If anyone can enlighten me I'll buy you a pint and we can have a good laugh???

Sorry I did not have more to say, but did you see what I had to work with?

Stage 9

Bitter Sweet

Evans is going to be on the show Biggest Loser, of time that is. What did he do on the rest day? Yeah, he took a nasty spill on stage 8, but he still rode well and stayed with the bunch. I wanted Evans in there as a wild card, emphasis on the Wild, maybe even crazy. Well say crazy card and move on. BMC is the Bad News Bears of le Tour, and they would have made it interesting. Evans, love him, hate him, love to hate him, made for a good show. So I say Thank you.

ASO is officially changing the name of le Tour. It was unofficially change years ago to the Tour de Lance, but to get the younger audience they are going to change it the the ANDY & AL SHOW. If those two don't systematically destroy each other, no one will touch them. So the Race for Third is heating up?

My man Jens. What a total machine. The freak of nature that he is, gets into the break (old Jens from Credit Agricole days) comes back to Andy and Al and sets a pace that the motos had to shift gears. The guy rides himself so far in to the pain cave he had to stop and ask for directions, but could not understand Chinese. The last dig he put in to try and catch back on at the summit almost made him stop. Who does that? If this were a Hollywood made movie, there would be exploding legs, imploding lungs, and Jens would be riding around with a necklace of ears from riders that he destroyed.

Speaking of Biggest Loser. There was some shuffling of the GC, but even though guys moved up they still lost time. Yeah, I moved up three spots, but lost 2:10? I'm telling you that the race for Third is going to be a barn burner.

Who knew Van Den Broeck could climb? Who even knows who Van Den Broeck is? Look him up, that's your homework for today.

July 14, Bastille Day. Look for every Frenchman in the peloton to be gunning for a stage win. I have no predictions, Sandy Casar was a day early.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The First Step

Cycling is my drug of choice. I know I am not the only one, I ride with you. You go to bed at night thinking about your next ride. You plan your day around a ride. You take vacations to ride. Hitting a little too close to home?

Your coworkers, family, and friends think you are crazy. How can you sit on such a little seat? Do you have to wear spandex? Why do you shave your legs? You rode how far today? I think they are crazy for not riding. There, we are even.

Cycling is more than a SPORT.

It is a lifestyle, it is transportation, it is work, it is play. It is the first taste of freedom. When did you leave the nest? Was it the first time you rode around your block, or when you rode two streets over to a friend's house?

Your first bike is magical. Santa brought it, or was it a birthday present? Can you remember when the training wheels came off? Did you learn the hard way? Without training wheels, your Dad pushing you, and then eventually running next to you after he let go?

Maybe you were like me and you rode your bike all the time, but then something happened. Something takes the place of the bike, it gets relegated to the backyard or hung in the garage to gather dust. It is no longer freedom, it is now a toy that you outgrew.

Several years, maybe a lifetime passes and you throw a leg over a bike. Something happens. It is magical, the bike. There is a new freedom that is uniquely familiar, and you feel like you once remembered.

They say "it's just like riding a bike". It is. You never forget. Sometimes you just don't remember.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Stage 8

Holy Schleck!!!

I hate to add to the already vast ocean of Armstrong -vs- Contador attention, but I have to say that besides the number of casualties of this Tour, Armstrong has had the WORST LUCK. Could he have won? Don't know and will not get into it. Could he have beaten Contador? See previous statement. Too bad Levi is not just a little closer to the podium. 2:14 down, I don't know, it is do-able. Will Lance work as a Super-Super domistique? He has in Cali. Something to watch.

I think I might have written about a little know quantity called Cadel Evans, yes I have. Told you guys to watch him, look where he is now. I know, there is two thirds left. Evans is dangerous, dude should have a warning label on him. Step on his dog and he'll "rip you head off". How cool is it that the rainbow jersey is in yellow? Out of the recent World Champs, Evans is doing the position proud and giving the jersey the respect that it is owed. Brilliant. Psst...Big George rides for Cadel, speaking of George...where the H is he? Did he anger every cameraman out on the course? I have not seen him. It's like Where's Waldo with that guy. Everybody loves that guy, put a camera on him.

Old News Alert: The wheel attack after the stage 6. If you ever need to attack someone or defend yourself, use the David Miller bike throw. A Wheel, really?

Andy, Andy, Andy, where have you been all season? Your attacks have been anemic and easily brought in. Oh, wait. Did you see the last 2 ks on the Avoriaz? Andy blew me away when he went, and everyone else for that matter. Sami Sanchez bridged but was unable to sprint it out for the finish. Contador looked like he might go with Andy, but faded and let the others in his group take up the chase. Not a big fan of Contador, so I was yelling for Andy to bury el pistolero. If Cantador never wins another race, it will not be soon enough. I hate the "gun pointy finger" thing that he does. Can I get an amen?

You might not have noticed, but Evans did have a team mate with him on the final climb. BMC is probably the most underrated overlooked team that could win it all at the Tour. I wanted Vino to pull the T-Mobile move and attack Contador, I waited for it and waited. With all the horsepower that Contador had with him, why did he not throw down? Is that all Astana can do?

I'm going to beat a dead horse with this, but what about Ryder? He is hanging in, who knew? How do you have such a talent like that on a team and not know the GC potential? Is he a Cinderella story? I'm watching him just to see what he can do. Jonathan V has been using a thoroughbred to do draft horse work. ?????

Idea: How about we interview the riders after they get off the bike? Cameras OK, sticking a microphone in their face and mobbing them with stupid questions NOT OK. They just finished a million km, climbed to the moon and back, and Frankie A wants to ask how their day was after losing half an hour to the stage winner.

Rest Day tomorrow, I'll comb all the news I can and try and recap something, if not I'll make something up.