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Archive for team radio shack

Tour de France 2011 Stage 8 Who’s left to challenge

Bravo to Cavendish for a repeat of a stage win where he won his first in the 2008 Tour; and what a great day for him, making his 17th stage win of his Tour career.

Stage 7 decimated the field of favorites with more crashes, the loss of Tom Boonen and Bradley Wiggins, and injuries stealing time from other potential GC contenders. Radio Shack has the worst track record for crashes, thus far, it appears.

Boonen has not had the greatest of luck at the Tour, this is his 4th time out. It’s tough enough to have not been included on the team in the past for drug problems, but injuries have plagued him, as well, in other Tours. The scene of him sitting on the side of the road after a crash that caused his knee injury is still so clear in my mind. So, we learned that, this time, he suffered a concussion. Better to have made the difficult decision to step off the bike than to try to push on. Back to Monaco he’ll go after seeing his doctors, not so bad a destination for recovery.

Bradley Wiggins (AP)

Bradley Wiggins (AP)


Bradley Wiggins was looking great and we were hoping to see him rise to the top. He’s one we’d like to see return next year and show his full potential. Here’s wishing him a speedy recovery.

Chris Horner is in a scary situation, staying overnight in hospital to make sure he has not suffered as serious a head injury as it looked in overhead shot of him lying motionless in the ditch. He had made the comment before the beginning of the stage that his mom sent him a text saying to be safe. As a mom, I can only imagine what she was feeling, seeing the broadcast.

UPDATE: Chris has a broken nose and an injury to his right leg that will keep him from continuing the race, another major loss for Team Radio Shack.

Contador rose back up in the rankings, even though he’s still 1’42” behind Hoshovd. But, in spite of what anyone thinks about his doping charges, he’s phenomenal in the mountains and he’ll need to make sure he plays his strategy right to position himself well enough to close the time gap.

Cross-winds are to cyclists like wind shear to aircraft. Sprinter Tyler Farrar lost a lost of time after the crash that took out Wiggins, and he’s now 16 mins behind the GC leader. That’s a chunk of change to make up in order to try for a place on the podium. Chris Horner is almost 13 minutes behind; while Philippe Gilbert is much better positioned, as are the Schlecks.

Who’s left to challenge the G-C for the GC we shall see. Predictions, even by Thor Hoshovd, is that he’ll be relinquishing the yellow jersey to a new bearer after the steep climb into ski country. I’m looking at the standings and seeing Cadel Evans, the Schlecks, Andreas Kloden, Philippe Gilbert and even Vinokourov. This is not a finish for sprinters, so it’s more likely those with legs for the mountains will prevail. Who will rise, who will fall…literally, the way this Tour is going!

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.

Armstrong’s TDF Teammates, past and present

So, I asked Bobke a question that remains unanswered, probably because it would take some effort to research. But, I wanted to know which riders in the 2010 TDF had ridden in prior TDFs with Lance, when and on which teams. A table of teams and riders won’t fit here, so, a list of the riders:

TDF Teams
1992–1996 Motorola
1998–2004 US Postal
2005 Discovery Channel
2009 Astana
2010 Team RadioShack
Read the rest of this entry »

TDF 2009 Stage 21 The end and the beginning

Let’s celebrate the end of a good Tour. Was it predictable? Perhaps. Was it disappointing? Maybe. Nonetheless, hats off to Contador for his magnificent defense of his 2007 yellow jersey, and to Lance Armstrong for his extraordinary comeback. Congratulations to Johan Bruyneel and Team Astana for making this Tour as exciting for us as for them. The Schleck brothers are equally deserving of their dedication to each other’s successes. But, while I admire Cavendish for his sprint skills, in my book, he doesn’t hold a candle to Thor Hushovd in the class department.

Trivia Remember in the beginning of the Tour when I mentioned there are two Japanese riders in the Tour? And, so they do. Here’s a video on Yukiya Arashiro (BB-B Telecom) from July 18, and some shots taken around Fumiyuki Beppu (Skil-Shimano). Both ride into Paris today making history as the first from their country to actually finish.

So, today we say au revoir as the Tour ends, then look forward to 2010 with another return, the next time with his new Team Radio Shack, his loyal director Johan Bruyneel, and his new resolve without the distractions of dealing with an upstart competitor. We’ll have to wait a year to see if Lance can make another record win with a third American team.

Notes of a consummate tourist Last night, my sister and I were talking about Paris, as she has been there most recently than I and said that the city was in preparation for this final stage when she left. Some day, I would love to be on the Champs-Elysee to watch the final stage, as once I was in Grenoble to witness the Tour for my first time back in the heyday of Eddie Merckx.

TDF 2009 Stage 19 Wasn’t that special (not)

No change in the GC standings, and Lance remarks again about his new forthcoming pro cycling Team Radio Shack.

The news of the day, though, is Cavendish streaking ahead of Hushovd at the finish line, as if to stick it to him that HE’s the faster sprinter. Well, Cav, who’s still wearing green, while your green is only envy?! If you hadn’t been such a buttface to Thor, perhaps things would have turned out differently for you. Meanwhile, grow up!

Get ready: Armstrong’s Team Radio Shack

It’s (almost) official: Team Radio Shack will be Lance Armstrong’s new pro cycling team, sans Contador, but (unconfirmed) with Bruyneel at the helm.

Following a disappointing couple of stages and a 3rd place standing today for Armstrong, the announcement was just released over the airwaves that his new team will compete in the 2010 Tour de France. The official announcement is expected this evening.

See Lance’s video announcement on Livestrong.