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Monday, July 25, 2011

Tour Stage 21

Well, it's all over now. Why are the fastest 3 weeks of the year always during the Tour de France? And this year was a really great tour.
It was great to see Big George leading BMC and the yellow jersey onto the Champ-Elysees. And really happy to see Cadel Evans win. He really worked for this one and not once hit the deck. It looks like someone needs a hug.
The yellow jersey gives Little Tommy V tenacity.
GO USA!! An American team won over half the stages this year, won the yellow & green jersey, and team competition. And that was with no help from RadioShack.
Norway announcers are very excitable.
My Argyle Armada had a dream tour. And almost got Dave Z to smile.
Jens. Oh Jens.
Until next year.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Tour Stage 20 cont.

Who said there was no crying in cycling? Not Cadel Evans, he's never said that. And if he did, it was more of a do as I say, not as I do.
Those Schleck brothers really, really need to learn how to time trial. Poor guys, note that Frank was wearing Andy's skin suit, what's up with that?
George Hincapie is member of the winner of the Tour de France for the 9th time. Way to go Big Sexy.
I've found some Jens gold.
Tommy D is back!!
Christian's hanging around too.

Tour Stage 20

Good Morning. I will be attempting to live blog the Versus coverage of the stage. I predict that Fabian Cancellara will win the stage and Cadel Evans will be in yellow at the end of the day.
7:05 - They've spent the first 5 minutes talking about yesterdays was a good stage.
7:10 - Phil Liggett's wife was an Olympic speed skater. The things you learn on an early Sat morning.
7:12 - Fabian Cancellara has already finished and is in the lead, it's too bad we've missed Spartacas.
7:18 - boo just brought me some chai and a croissant. Thanks boo.
7:27 - Richie Porte just beat Fabian? David Millar had a terrible ride? What the what?
7:45 - Thomas De Gendt new best time? Seriously, what is going on?
7:59 - Tony Matin's picking 'em up and laying 'em down. Just caught his second rider. Poor Edvard Boassen Hoagan, he's so strong he broke his handle bars.
8:11 - Versus shows a lot of commercials. It would be ok if they all had Bobke or Dave Z.
8:22 - Tony Martin road that race like there was a motor on his bike.
8:42 - Ouchie, ouchie, ouchie Phillipe Gilbert.
8:57 - Good Morning Ivan Basso ;)
9:09 - Tommy Voecklers helmet has dimples. Isn't that adorable?. And he's the pride of all France.
9:12 - Cadel Evans look very serious. Good Luck to him. and yes Phil, Frank Shleck is terrible in the ITT.
9:13 - If you looked up unattractive in the dictionary you would see Andy Shleck in a oversized time trial helmet and yellow skin suit.
9:18 - Andy is off, now it all comes down to this.
9:26 - The split from Cadel to Andy has gone from 57 seconds to 43, so by British math Cadel has pulled back 10 seconds.
9:40 - At first time check Cadel's going strong and Andy has gone slower then Frank. I think I could beat Frank in the TT. Frank's terrible.
9:47 - Cadel's the virtual leader of le Tour, I hope he hasn't gone out to quick.
9:52 - Nice finish Tommy D! Way to tear it up Cadel!!
9:56 - Alberto's doing a storming ride, too. That would be a good name for a race horse.
10:08 - Congrats Cadel!! That was a fantastic ride.
10:11 - The time trial is called the race of truth, and the truth is that the Shlecks are terrible time trialists.
10:17 - Now it's official, Cadel is first, Andy in 2nd and Frank in 3rd in the standings after today. The Aussies now have a Tour winner and the Luxembouges have a long winter ahead of them. Tony Martin won the stage, Fabian was disappointingly 8th. I think Garmin kept their team classification.
In conclusion, it ended just like I thought: the DVR is the greatest invention ever because Versus has some terrible commercials and they play them a lot.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Tour Stage 19

The French won a stage!!! It only took them 19 tries. That's a better record then their military.
For a stage on only 109 K there was a lot of action, with Alberto Contador attacking very early, but only ending up 3rd on the stage. He got a little punchy on Alp d'Huez.
Tommy Voeckler lost the yellow, not really surprising, but he was still pissed.
Garmin did a great job solidifying their top team status. Sideburns can hardly contain himself.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tour Stage 17

It's a good thing I learned to spell Norwegian, because Edvard "Babyface" Boassen Hagen won today. That's his second and the countries 4th stage win. That would be 4 more wins then the French. Well, that's not all that surprising.
The descent was again a little scary today. Riders have a hard time staying on the road, but no hard crashes.
Tomorrow will be exciting. Lots of big hills.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tour Stage 16

Oh happy day, Thor won again!! And our favorite Canadian, who's actually part Norwegian came in 3rd. Sideburns was overjoyed. And they all lived happily ever after. Ok there's still 5 stages to go and Thor's contract with Gamin is up at the end of the let's go with: there will be champagne tonight!

A bunch of other stuff happened further down the race. Cadel put time in everyone, AC found his racing legs, it took 2 rest days to find them and the Schleck boys are afraid of going downhill. You can read more here. I have a proposed rule for next year, if downhills are too scary for you, you can't flex at the finish if you win, you have to find another victory salute.

After the sprint on Sunday there was some riders accusing our most personable sprinter, Cav, of hanging on to bumpers up the previous days climb. Buy HTC's directors have convinced the race marshalls that Cav was just pushing the cars up the mountains.

Dave Z's got some time, so he spent it writing. We miss you too Dave.


Friday, July 15, 2011

Tour Stage 13

Thor is a Honey Badger. He freakin' attacked the breakaway on the Col F***ING A'ubisque, then almost time trialed it 40 k to the finish.

I'm not sure what more there is to say.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Tour Stage 12

We've reached the mountains. How do I know? From all the drunk European men dressed in nothing by Speedos and shoes running beside the riders yelling and waving flags. You know the first thing you forget when planning for a day of drinking, running, yelling and flag waving: getting dressed. But to change it up a little we had some cornheads on the Col de Tourmalet with around 36.1 km to go. Go Big Red!!
Sammy Sanchez (current Olympic champion) won the day, but the really winners were the Tommys. Thomas Voeckler stayed in yellow on Bastille Day. Paul Sherwin said that he was just talking to his teammate infront of him on Luz Ardiden, but I think he was singing. If I read his lips correctly it was "Pumped Up Kicks", if it wasn't, it should have been, that's a catchy song. Tommy Danielson also surprised everyone by keeping with the big boys until 1 K left, moving up to top ten.
The losers would the whole team of Radioshack, Andres Kloden crashed again, lost a bunch of time. Levi Lephiemer also load lots of time. I think the next tweet by Johan Bruyneel will be "worst tour, ever". Oh and Alberto Contador, he lost more time to the big boys....that just doesn't happen to AC. This could be his first Grand Tour that he entered and didn't win.
With all that happened on Luz-Ardiden, I've almost completely forgot about Geraint Thomas almost crashing over the edge of a mountain and them Thomas Voeckler riding into a car on the same corner. Such an exciting day today.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tour Stage 10

Mark Cavendish has been beat again. This time by former teammate and not best friend, Andre Griepel. And there was not pouting, has Cav grown up?
Johnny Hoogerland is a new favorite tour rider. And has good teammates, Marco Marcato went into the break and got all the mountain points he could to keep Johnny in the pokadot jersey. This is so a team sport.
For those that watched the stage of Versus, how many times have you changed your shoe while riding at 60 kmh, then end up peddling with just your sock?
Uh oh, Jens is on Twitter @thejensie. He had to use that because Floyd Landis took every variant on his name. That's just not nice Floyd.

Monday, July 11, 2011

I guess the wire had barbs...

Not for delicate eyes, you've been warned.

Kids, This Is How You Don't Quit

The drama, the anguish, the perceived unfairness, the actual unfairness, the flopping, the excessive use of magic spray, The never-give-up attitude of Team USA. It actually was as good as the overdramatic ESPN highlights made it out to be.
First off, there's a lot of talk about the Brazilians excessive gamesmanship, I guess I watch too much NBA because I didn't think it was that bad. Yes, they were quite dramatic and managed to turn all neutrals in the crowd against them and the sudden non-contact injury suffered by Ericka was ridiculous (ah, the restorative powers of a 3 second stretcher ride).
But Brazil is fun to watch, if incapable of playing like an actual team. Marta is both "deft and clever", fast, mean, OMG dramatic, talky, and has super fancy feet. But Brazil reminded me a bit of a Mike D'Antoni coached Suns team - only interested in offense - but without the "team" aspect.
The US played solid in the first thirty minutes, after receiving a gift of an own goal 74 seconds in. But Brazil was showing dangerous offensive flashes by the end of the half. It was only when the US got good and pissed, after Rachel Bueler got sent off in the 66th min. and Brazil was rewarded a second penalty kick for some sort of alleged US infraction, that they started playing with grit and determination.
Hope Solo lived up to the "best in the world" tag, stopping a PK to give the US the win. She is someone you love on your team, hate when she's playing you. Attitude galore. If you noticed during the PKs, Solo walked out to goal slowly, sauntering closer and closer to the Brazilians with the "bithz please" face in full effect until the side ref started following to shoo her in goal. But she had the goods and Kevin Durant has vowed to name his daughter after her.
Abby Wambach was a stud (who is not surprised at this?) Christine Rampone and Shannon Boxx were completely solid. Megan Rapinoe came on in the second half and provided a spark, a dash of punk elfin attitude and a ball delivered square to Wambach's head in the 122nd minute. The US fitness sure played a part, as Brazil appeared to be sucking air, the US seemed less gassed- even with covering the field with 10.
With Japan's improbable upset of Germany, all of a sudden the US road to the World Cup looks pretty good.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Crazy Obscure Sports Day...

And it's not over yet... (Davis Cup to come.)

Crazy day in the TdF. Lots of folks hitting the floor, some much harder than others. Crazy Vino has probably ended his career in a ditch with a broken pelvis. Dave Z breaks a wrist, and is immediately concerned about the Tour of Colorado. A French TV car runs the King of Mountains into a barbwire fence. Even Phil and Paul were astonished by the types of crashes.

Even crazier was the Women's World Cup match. I didn't watch it all, but noticed that it seems that the women are picking up the flopping habit from the men. As it turns out, good thing Erika (are all Brazilian women known by only one name?) faked an injury for so long. That put enough extra time on the clock to allow for a match-tying goal by Abby Wambach. Also, I saw Marta put a horsecollar on an American. Nothing was called. I will allow Lilly to comment on the match further. She knows way more about this than me.

Davis Cup update to come. (Probably by Star) they are down 2-1 to Spain in this tie, with hopes riding on Mardy and A-Rod in the reverse singles. Good luck!!


Davis Cup: Mardy Fish lost the 4th point in 4 to Ferrer (sad face).

Today's Tour stage was a crashtastrophy. Poor Dave Z......he didn't know what was coming.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Tour Stage 7

Cav won again today, but the bigger story (if there could be one bigger then Cav) was the crash. Bradly Wiggins, the pride of Britain, because Cav is a prick, is out with a broken collar bone. Others, Levi - Ryder - etc, lost big time, but the scariest was when Chris Horner hit his head. I'm guessing he won't start tomorrow.
As Tyler says, that's bike racing.
Let's hope for safer racing tomorrow.

Please bikers, learn how not to wreck

I'm wondering (as a golfer who rarely experiences high speed or injury of any kind) why so many pro bicyclers go down. I mean, when is the last time a golfer stepped in front of a 120 mph driver shot and broke his collar bone? I realize training wheels are surely out of the question, but how about not tailgating!? Surely those bikers understand that if someone in front of you, going 50 mph, goes down and you're close enough behind that crasher to count his butt hairs under the biker tights, it could mean a wreck is coming. I really respect these iron men (except maybe for their frail upper torsos), but they really should protect themselves better and learn how not to wreck.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Tour Stage 6

What a wet, messy day, but 2 Norwegens in the top 3. I think there's only 2 Norwegans in the whole peloton. Unfortunately the Nourwegian in 3rd was boo's favorite (and everyone else's) Thor. How many tries does it take me to spell Norwegian correctly? Four.
It was nice to see not only my Argyle Armada is the front, but Danny Pate, too. He looked like he needed a hug.
Poor Levi lost time after a crash in the last 6 K, and after the crash by Jani. I think that leaves Chris Horner as the Radioshack leader....interesting.
Siderburns speaks. And so does CVV.
Cipo on Cav.
For those not interested in the front of the race.....there's the back.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Tour Stage 5

It was a real crash-fest of a day. With Mark Cavendish winning the stage. Whoopeee* Tommy V made his signature futile breakaway that's caught right before the finish. And you know Tommy is riding as hard as he can, because his tongue is hanging out. Thor stayed in yellow!!!
You know who we haven't heard from this Tour? Jens, so a pic will have to hold us over.
Sprinters are the Honey Badgers of cycling. Except Tyler.
By the way, do you know what happens to your legs after 15 Tours? This.
*sarcasm alert

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Yippeee, The Tour has started!!

Garmin-Cervelo has a really cool presentation before the tour. Here's Dave Z's take.
Stage 1: Philippe Gilbert rode his funky new hairstyle to a win. And defending champ Alberto Contador was left behind after a huge crash with 10 K to go. I believe Andy Schleck has already mailed a thank you note to Karma.
Stage 2: The Team Time Trial (TTT)...I love this event. It's breath taking to watch a good TTT. And it ended greatly with the Argyle Armada winning their first stage in Tour de France history. Seriouly, Sideburn's team is entering it's 4th Tour and have never won a stage. And put Thor in yellow....I know he looks good in a rainbow, but man, that yellow really brings out his dimples.
Stage 3: Tyler finally wins a stage!!! Sometimes the good guy does finish first. Look at how happy Julien and Thor are as they see him cross the line. But Cav can't lose quietly....note to Cav: don't mess with Thor.
Stage 4: Cadel Evans beat Alberto Contado by the width of a tire. "Dear Alberto, I'm not done yet. Sincerely, Karma." And amazingly Thor stays in yellow. He is a strong man of the peloton.

Quote of the Tour as far: By Bob Roll (not surprising) "Sprinters are the Honey Badger of cycling".
Who knew the Danish were eternal optimist?
It was great to see all my readers this weekend!!