life is like the tide…it comes and goes on its own time

Tour de France 2011 Stage 3 Sprint to Brittany

Lead by Garmin-Cervelo (1) and BMC (2), all 4 Teams USA ranked in the top 10. The mighty Thor goes into Stage 3 wearing the maillot jaune. Today, the Americans are dominating the French-born sport, which might not have ever happened, were it not for the guy from Texas who dominated for 7 years in a row. Yes, Greg LeMond, you were the first American to win the jersey; but, Armstrong really brought the sport forward for the rest of the world, too.

So, today’s route is good for the sprinters. Mark Cavendish says he wants to leave his mark. Hasn’t he already done? Phil Ligget’s picks have been spot on, so far, this year, and he says it will be Tyler Farrar’s day. Well, the younger ones are challenging the top, and this is turning out to be a very interesting Tour.

And what’s in store for Contador? Well, let’s not go there. Yes, the guy is talented; but…He does have amazing eyelashes, though. 😉

Meanwhile, it’s 100F in Central Texas for Independence Day, and I’d rather be by the sea in Brittany watching the boys ride by.

Tour de France 2011 Where’s the chalkbot?

The Nike swoosh may be ubiquitous, but, where is the chalkbot? Will we see it this year? I haven’t been able to find any information on it and the Versus team hasn’t mentioned it…not that I’ve heard.

Tour de France 2011 TTT returns

Garmin-Cervelo, the new heavy-hitter team formed by last October’s merger of two dominant teams, is favored to win as the Team Time Trials return today. They have no yellow jersey to support, just powerful individual contributions to the whole. In any case, win or lose, they will be the most well-prepared team going in. Can’t wait to see how they come out of this.

UPDATE: Go Garmin-Cervelo! Job well done and congrats to the mighty Thor!

Teams USA in TDF 2011

Not 1, not 2, but 4 USA teams are in the 2011 TDF:

TEAM GARMIN – CERVELO (GRM) – Sporting Manager : VAUGHTERS Jonathan
051 HUSHOVD Thor
053 DEAN Julian
054 FARRAR Tyler
055 HESJEDAL Ryder
056 MILLAR David
058 VANDE VELDE Christian

TEAM RADIOSHACK (RSH) – Sporting Manager : BRUYNEEL Johan
072 HORNER Christopher
073 IRIZAR Markel
074 KLÖDEN Andréas
076 MURAVYEV Dmitriy
077 PAULINHO Sergio
078 POPOVYCH Yaroslav
079 ZUBELDIA Haimar

BMC RACING TEAM (BMC) – Sporting Manager : LELANGUE John
141 EVANS Cadel
143 BURGHARDT Marcus
144 HINCAPIE George
145 MOINARD Amaël
146 MORABITO Steve
147 QUINZIATO Manuel
149 SCHÄR Michael

HTC – HIGHROAD (THR) – Sporting Manager : HOLM Brian
172 BAK Lars
173 EISEL Bernhard
174 GOSS Matthew Harley
175 MARTIN Tony
176 PATE Danny
177 RENSHAW Mark
179 VELITS Peter

Look also for a new team of Movistar (yep, that’s what they’re called), and the one with my favorite name (just because of the pronunciation) Liquigas. 🙂

Tour de France 2011 Day 1 Passage du Gois

We’ve waited a year for this day, the beginning of the toughest bike race in the world, both physically and mentally. We will have to wait another month for what could be the toughest decision in the world of pro cycling, the determination of Contador’s status.

TDF Stage 20 Arrivee a Paris

Driving distance from Longjumeau to Paris Champs Élysée is about 24km, but the boys on the bikes have to do a total of 102.5 km, by the time they fly around 8 loops on the most famous avenue in the world before the final sprint.

Today is when Phil Liggett, Paul Sherwen and Bob Roll dress in suits to welcome the boys home and celebrate with celebs and cycling personalities. Yesterday, Contador increased his overall lead from 8 to 39 seconds, a blow to Andy Schleck. Then again, a lot of the top ranked cyclists finished down in the 100’s, weird turn of events. We already know who will wear the final jellow jersey of this year’s Tour; but another jersey win is to be determined after the sprint, the coveted green. Andy will, once again, stand on the podium, albeit, once again, not on the highest block. Still, he did earn a top position, and that’s an achievement in itself. Maybe next year…

Team Radio Shack came out wearing the number 28 on their backs in memory of 28 million cancer survivors, Livestrong being one of the strongest fundraising organizations for cancer research. Were it not for his survival, we wouldn’t have Lance and his most incredible Tour career, even though he was already an Olympian and world cycling force to be reckoned with. But, the race organizers ordered them to put on their regular jerseys, or they would not be able to race this stage. Kids, don’t do this at home – changing jerseys while on the bike is for the pros. Lance pulled over to the side to put his on. Then, they were stopped by referees because they didn’t have their numbers on their backs. Well, perhaps this was a matter of trying to act first, ask for permission, later. But, Radio Shack can’t afford to lose the team place, so they had to stop and fix their jerseys. So the rest of the peloton is riding slowly until everyone is together, even stopped by the race organizers, until Lance gets his numbers on, but they couldn’t wait too long. It’s a good thing the neutral zone is fairly long through town. Have you ever tried to pin a number on with gloves? I can’t do anything with gloves on, even the half finger ones.

I never got to see the finish in Paris. My first time there, I was on my way to Grenoble, and barely got to see the peloton fly by. That was back in the days when Eddie Merckx dominated the Tour. The next time, I missed the finish by about a month. Oh, well, back then, I really didn’t understand just how important the event was to the French, as it was such a foreign concept to race on a bike around France, over mountains and dale, for 21 days.

Well, as Paul Sherwen says, they’re going to miss Lance in the Tour, as “he has always provided a little drama.

TDF Stage 19 Trials and Tribulations

Time Trials Bordeaux -> Pauillac

On the Left of Gironde
lay the trois grands chateaux
of Latour, and the Rothschilds Lafite and Mouton…

hmmm…Pauillac lamb and a glass of Bordeaux would be in order for dinner tonight…

Tis the last trial for Lance. He parts the starting chute in just a minute.

While the winner of the time trial isn’t always the same one who takes the yellow, we will most certainly know who will claim – or keep – the maillot jaune going into Paris.

OMG! Contador has dropped down to a 2 sec lead over Andy!!
Yeh, well, it’s over, now. Fabulous Cancellara screamed the time trial. Contador won the Tour by virtue of having gained time over Andy in the time trial. We can go home, now.