Saturday, July 9, 2011

TdF Stage 6

Carnage part Duex

I had a team of monkeys up all night working on facts and figures, but they went on strike.  So, that being said I don't have any stats, bear with me -any facts quoted are probably incorrect by + or - 100%.  It doesn't take a rocket surgon to know that once Cav and HTC get the first one that the others will come, almost at will.  HTC is gunning for the Green.  They have been training it up for the intermediate sprint, how cool is that?  It's like two sprints a stage.  I'm a fan.  Gilbert lost his jersey to Rojas, who he took it from earlier.  Turn about is fair play.

First heartbreak of the day came when Tom had to abandon and was seen getting into the team car.  I like Tom and really miss seeing him work magic in the sprints. (yeah, like three years ago)  Then Wiggo hit the deck and hung it up with a broken collarbone.  Not a super huge fan, more of a fan when he was killing the track and TTs.  I do feel for him, having to abandon and being broken is probably an emotional dark place that most of us don't have a clue.

Can RadioShack not catch a break, bad choice of words.  Levi gets caught up in the big crash, but the big story is Horner crashing into the ditch motionless.  If that isn't crazy enough, dude gets back on the bike, visits with the race Dr. and finishes the race.  "Did I finish?"  Little scrambled brain with a side of toast?  Horner was looking so good, -understatement of the year.  Man I wanted Horner and Levi in there to mix it up.

I do not wish harm upon anyone, that would be horrible of me, but how did Alberto miss out on the carnage?  I am looking for some karma of epic proportions.  I am praying that he breaks a chain or has a mechanical, something anything.  -Is that wrong?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

TdF Stage 5


I heard something like 10 crashes?  Wow, not cool.  I hate watching bike wrecks, in person or on TV.  It's horrible when you hear one, carbon scraping pave, the sound of grinding.  It's even worse when you see one ahead of you or next to you.  Pucker factor 11.  I've been fortunate to have not been involved in too many crashes, now I've jinxed myself.  I better invest in some bandages.  Crashing is inevitable it will happen, it is a reality that you accept anytime you throw a leg over a top tube.  Can you remember how many times you fell over when you first got clip-less pedals?  How embarrassing -when you do it in a crowd on a group ride, or at a stoplight.

Cavo broke the seal, so now it is time to make it rain.  He did what he does best, win races.  Gilbert gave him a nice run, but did not have the six speed transmission that Cavendish seems to have when he is "On".  Doubt Cav, but don't question if he is going to win, only ask when.  HTC has not been real consistent with their lead-out so far this Tour.  If they get the train on the tracks Cav will be unstoppable.  The race for the Green Jersey is starting to look like it is going to be a good one.  This new format of one intermediate sprint with big points on the line, and the finish heavily weighted, has made for entertaining results and a race for points like no other. Boonen just made the cut, but Janez was carried off in an ambulance. Tough stage only due to the massive amounts of human and mechanical mishaps. Oh, yeah Levi, who was sitting pretty had a little tumble with a guardrail and lost about a min. Hope tomorrow is a better day.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

TdF Stage 4

I call "BS"!

I'm not buying it.  I think little Al took a page from Lance's playbook and put in an Oscar worthy performance.  You have to give it to the little weasel, he attacks to draw out his competition is able to size them up, and then acts as if he doesn't have it.  This puts doubt in the minds of the contenders and they might just get caught sleeping if they think el pistolero is not 100%.  Chuck D said "don't believe the hype".

By the way BS stands for Beautiful Sprint, Cadel.  As they say is your part of the world -good on ya.  One, I really didn't think Cadel was that type of rider, and then he went and won the Rainbow Jersey a year ago, switched teams to BMC, which I thought was more about the money than about "a plan".  Two, BMC is for real, at best they were a very competitive Continental team, and somehow in the last few months they have turned into a Grand Tour contender.  I'm impressed and I think I might be turning into a fan -more on that later.

It was billed as a sprint stage, and then they took that back and said it was a climber's finish, I looked at the profile and was a little curious as to what was going to happen.  I wanted to see Gilbert grab another one as a from me to me birthday present, but it was not to be.  I'm pretty sure I could try and put into words what happened in the final k's but watching it for yourself is much better.  Look it up and you be the judge.

I've got my eye on the little fake finger gun pointing punk.  Mark my words, Al is not done yet, oh I wish he was.  I read somewhere about not booing the poor little guy, my opinion is that if you have an opinion you should be able to voice that opinion and if it happens to sound like a boo, then so be it.  Sport's stars are in the public and are subject to public opinion.  So, if you want to boo, boo.

Monday, July 4, 2011

TdF Stage 3

Happy 4th of July America and Tyler got you a stage win.

HTC ran out of team and Garm-elo timed it perfect and ended it with a W.  How classy is Tyler?  For the second time in two weeks he remembers his friend after crossing the line first.  I've busted Tyler's chops because Cav has had his number and was forever the bridesmaid.  I have to say that I am becoming a fan.  His stature has grown in my book since the loss of his friend in the Grio.  Tyler has class.  Tyler is class.

Yeah, so I am a big fan of the new sprint format.  It has only been around for two stages and it rocks.  Today's stage sprint was nice, well except for someone got their panties in a wad over Cav and Thor mixing it up.  Was it really that dangerous?  Thor was fighting for a wheel moved into Cav's line and Cav gave the God of Thunder a little Renshaw.  Well it was not like the trifecta that Renshaw unleashed, it was more of a "heavy" lean.  That's racing and they kept their hands on the bars.  Dangerous, you know what's dangerous -the people making these kinds of decisions.  Ignorance = danger.  I'm scared just thinking about these people being in charge.

Gutierrez gets my Jens trophy for today's stage.  That guy would not stop, he would attack, and then attack, and when it was all said and done he attacked again.  I like Movistar and would like to see them do something, anything. Rojas finished 3rd and pulled on the green.  This is a good start.

Hey where the heck is Tom Boonen?  He is sitting in 44th and has been nowhere in the sprints.  Come on Tom mix it up, for real do something.  Speaking of Quickstep, Sylvain Chavanel is just stages away from going on a flyer getting into a break and sticking it.  It's a bold prediction but it could happen.  Well I would like to see it happen.

Hey we are three stages into this thing and it is looking good so far.  I am excited and look forward to watching the replay of stage 4 tomorrow after work, so don't spoil it for me or anyone else.  If you do I will find you and annoy.  Just don't do it.

TdF Stage 2

Team Time Trial

For the record I picked HTC to take it, I was just a little off the mark.  Would they have done better if Bernie had not taken a little slip-and-fall action about 500m into the race?  I'm not saying that they would have won, but would they have placed better?  What about the boys in argyle?  Can they work a TTT over or what?  I thought they would have been top three or top five.  They were all work taking it to the line, and they looked good doing it, well it was funny seeing Thor in the KOM 'dots.  Phil and Paul were remarking how he was the KOM and this and that, I think the stat they should have talked up was the fact that Thor is probably the biggest rider to ever don the 'dots.  Now, there is a trivia question in the making.

BMC was not going to go away quietly, and they showed Garm-elo that they are not the only American team that can work a paceline.  Cadel was in good hands with efforts from Big George and Bookwalter, heck the whole team rode their guts out to put a little more time into Contador.  Speaking of Contador, I got a huge laugh at the booing that was going on out there, score one for the home crowd.  Good job out there letting that little punk know what you think, keep it up.  I love it.

Little punks, and now I am using punk as an affectionate term when I speak of Frank and Andy.  How many times did Paul and Phil say how bad the Schlecks are at TT?  Should have turned that one into a drinking game.  Drink up, he said it again.  Fabian took the whole Leopard team stuffed them into his jersey and rode a massive TTT.  I would have never picked them to do that well, color me surprised.  Good surprise.  I'm a fan and like to see them do well.

All in all it was nice to see the TTT back in le Tour, if the other Grands can include it why not le Tour?  As they say, it really does showcase how this is a team sport and stresses the importance of having a team that is good at all disciplines.  I got to ride in a 3-man TTT a month ago and it was probably one of my favorite races, even the couple of practice runs I did with my teammates was fun.  -and I hate TT, because I have the same problem as Frank and Andy...What was that again Phil?  That's right, I suck at it.  Drink up!!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

TDF Stage 1


That stands for One More for Gilbert, I don't know what you were thinking??  What an awesome stage, classic first day of le Tour, we had the break go right at the start, Omega went to work to keep the leash short and then the catch.  Did I miss anything?  Oh, yeah Crashes, it is the first week of le Tour so the riders will take a few days to work out the nerves.

What's up with the new Sprint format?  How cool was it to have an all out team train intermediate sprint?  I say awesome job whoever came up with that, can't wait to see more, you know this is going to open up the Green Jersey competition and make it so much better than it already is.  Yeah, I'm a fan of the jersey competitions.  Tyler and his Garm-elo mates tore it up.  Keep up that kind of riding and this could be interesting.  Cavo looked like he was put out like yesterday's garbage.  After that poor showing look for HTC to turn it up to 11 or switch it over to Goss.

I have no sympathy for Contador and am glad that he lost time.  I have taken the stance that he should not be riding in le Tour because of his "implications".  Rasmussen was kicked out because of not knowing his geography, and several riders were not allowed to race two years ago because of knowing or having dealings-with a certain Dr.  So why do we allow someone to race even though there has been a positive test?  Anyone? Anyone? Anyone?  $Money$.  That's why.  [Pardon my French]  So Suck it Contador I hope you lose so much time you go backwards in history and take up golf.

Wow, after the big crash the selection was made and time was put into the gap.  Those teams who had good positioning went full gas.  BMC was paid dividends by having Cadel up front as was Omega, Leopard, and Radio Shack.  Sorry Saxo! Ha!  Once I saw Fabian attack I knew that it was over, turn off the TV fire up the internet.  Hold the phone, Gilbert followed and then dropped Spartacus.  There was no answer from the field until Cadel was able to break free from being boxed in, and he put in an attack that might have gone if he had been freed up earlier.  Gilbert has the magic when it comes to up-hill sprint finishes winning 12 of the last sixteen races he has entered.  Not a bad stat to carry around.  I must say, completely biased opinion, that seeing the Belgian tri-color come across first was beautiful.  Not a bad way to celebrate winning the national camps -winning your first race in your country's colors.

Of Note:
You might have seen the crash where the riders were pointing out some road furniture and then the Omega rider hits the speed bump and ends up on the tarmac.  That was Jurgen Van De Walle.  He gets up off the ground, patched up and then goes back to the front of the peloton,  and then puts in work and works and works.  How long was Jurgen on the front?  Really?  Impressive.  I have a new favorite super domistique.  Jurgen gets my Jens trophy for the day.