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Archive for Eddie Merckx

TDF Stage 4 A Sprint from Cambrai – Reims

Lance is not a sprinter, holding back for the mountain stages. So, I’m not surprised that Lance dropped down in the overall rankings after today’s stage favoring the sprinters. However, he is nearly 2 minutes behind Contador.

But, setting those two aside, a bit…I hate having to wait until I get home from work to see what happened during the day’s Tour. I have the iPhone TDF app, but far too many meetings have kept me from using it. So, I come home to see the standings and catch the prime time replay on Versus. And the thought occurred to me: the top guys are getting old! There will, likely sooner than later, come a day when we won’t be hearing Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwin bantering about Cavendish, Cancellara or Hoshovd, among others, and the riders will have as much hair as Bob Roll. We’ll be asking ourselves, “whatever happened to Iban Mayo or Big George Hincapie?”

Can you remember when the Tour was a relatively unknown sports event to the “new world” masses? When I was in Grenoble in the early 1970’s, Eddie Merckx was the conquering hero, but asked to stay away from the Tour a year (so that someone else would have a chance to win). Back then, I didn’t understand the point of racing around France on a bike for nearly a month. But, it was very cool to make a mad dash with fellow students up to the route where the cyclists were going to pass by.

Well, because I have to wait so long to catch up with the day’s ride, one of the things I look forward to is entering the daily sweeps. I’ve never won anything, but, who cares. And, I collect all the write ups in the local newspaper for my mom (who kept the coverage on every Tour that Lance has been in).

I think I need to have a glass of bubbly to honor today’s ride into the Champagne region.

TDF – Stage 18: A Little Rest for the Weary GC

Bourg d’Oisans – Ste. Etienne 122 miles

We now have the 7th owner of the yellow jersey, and a most deserving fellow is Carlos Sastre after his spectacular ride to L’Alpe d’Huez. It’s great to see a veteran finally take the gold on such a monumental stage.

It was on such a route that, as a foreign student at the Univ. of Grenoble back in the early 70’s, I first heard about the Tour de France. 100+ guys on bikes doing what? Are they nuts? This was back in the days of the great Eddie Merckx.

Today, we expect the GC contenders to take a little break and let the sprinters have at each other.

Italy is very disappointed in their countrymen on wheels; but, Damiano Cunego hangs in there, all the same, although he is outdistanced by some 22 minutes behind the lead group of Baredo and Burghardt.

As usual, at least this Tour, CSC leads the peloton with Stuart O’Grady at the helm.

Sorry, guys – my cubicle got a wee bit crowded this morning, as we’re trying to set up a demo site for this afternoon. Work, yee-haw!

But, then…there were really no great expectations for today. Everyone needs a little break before the upcoming TT. Team Columbia has something to celebrate today. Frankly, they have done quite well for coming into the Tour as a new team with no expectations. Go, Columbia!

Stage results
1. BURGHARDT Marcus 42 TEAM COLUMBIA
2. BARREDO Carlos 92 QUICK STEP
3. FEILLU Romain 124 AGRITUBEL
4. LE MEVEL Christophe 87 CREDIT AGRICOLE
5. ASTARLOZA Mikel 22 EUSKALTEL – EUSKADI
6. DUMOULIN Samuel 185 COFIDIS CREDIT PAR TELEPHONE
7. DESSEL Cyril 101 AG2R-LA MONDIALE
8. KREUZIGER Roman 65 LIQUIGAS
9. HOSTE Leif 5 SILENCE – LOTTO
10. SCHLECK Andy 16 TEAM CSC SAXO BANK

GC standings – no change
1 011 Carlos SASTRE ESP CSC 79h16’14” 00”
2 017 Frank SCHLECK LUX CSC 79h17’38” 1’24”
3 115 Bernhard KOHL AUT GST 79h17’47” 1’33”
4 001 Cadel EVANS AUS SIL 79h17’48” 1’34”
5 131 Denis MENCHOV RUS RAB 79h18’53” 2’39”
6 191 Christian VANDEVELDE USA TSL 79h20’55” 4’41”
7 031 Alejandro VALVERDE ESP GCE 79h21’49” 5’35”
8 027 Samuel SANCHEZ ESP EUS 79h22’06” 5’52”
9 109 Tadej VALJAVEC SLO ALM 79h24’24” 8’10”
10 104 Vladimir EFIMKIN RUS ALM 79h24’38” 8’24”