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Archive for tour de france

What does France have that Texas doesn’t…

France has sunflowers…so do we, and we have bluebonnets.
France has mountains…so do we, Guadalupe Peak is 8749′, not quite the Alps, but…
France has rivers…oh, we have lots of those, and a Grande one at that!
France has castles…well, we have some pretty ostentatious homes, too.
France has great wine…a Texan saved their wine industry, and we have great wine, too.
France has the Cote d’Azure…ok, fine, we have a Coast.
France is larger than Texas…but everything’s bigger in Texas.
France has the Eiffel Tower…we have the Alamo, does that count?
France has the Tour de France…yeh, well, Lance is ours and won Le Tour 7X – top that!

TDF 2010 Let the ride begin

In my little town, cycling takes on a whole new life, when Le Tour begins. That may have something to do with the fact that the Tour’s first and only 7X Maillot Jaune lives here. We’re rather loyal to him, having supported him through tragedy and triumph. For me, personally, there’s another dimension to rejoice in 2011 – that Livestrong will be the title sponsor of our local marathon’s 20th anniversary.

Now, back to the beginning of the most exciting sports competition of the summer (at least to millions of us). A video history of the Tour, narrated by Phil Liggett, is running on Versus online as I write. I’d usually be out for a morning run, my week after marathon recovery run, actually, or maybe riding my sleek Italian road bike that I love so much. But, the road is still too slick from heavy overnight rains. Besides, I’ve been waiting for this morning for months!

Let the ride begin!

The Tour begins with the Prologue loop in Rotterdam. Let’s watch…

Prologue win goes to fabulous Fabian Cancellara, and Lance fought for his few seconds lead over rival Alberto Contador. Great start to the TDF!
My darling groom’s family is from Slovenia, and so is one of the Team Radio Shack riders, Jani Brajkovic

TDF 2009 Stage 4 TTT

Is there really a rift developing within Team Astana after yesterday’s stage? That’s what some commentators are saying. What do you think?

By now, you know how the team time trial (TTT) played out. I think there can be no doubt that Lance will close that fraction of a second gap between him and Cancellara in pretty short order. There’s a lot at stake: Team Astana’s name, payback for Johann Bruyneel, Lance’s quest (pick one) – and, oh, yeh, that yellow jersey.

Nonetheless, I’m watching the rebroadcast – not able to watch it at work because, well, I’m working.

Notes of a consummate tourist
Nostradamus was a student of the Univ. of Montpellier. Montpellier sits in the Languedoc-Rossillon wine region, from where comes about 40% of the total wine production in France. There’s also a Catalan connection to the region, with a daily train running between Barcelona and Montpellier. Hence, you can find tapas in France!

TDF – Stage 16: They’ll be coming around the mountains

Cuneo – Jausiers 157K

Two, count them – two – HC climbs, and this isn’t even L’Alpe d’Huez!

What happened while I was battling traffic on the freeway:

Cadel said he’s a bit tired and nervous, and is looking for CSC to continue their strong run in the mountains. Frank Schleck is not expected, at least by the commentators, to be able to hold onto the yellow jersey into Paris. Menchov is the man expected to excel today. Big George Hincapie was among the few, the good, the determined to keep attacks under check. The weather is expected to be just as hot as here in Central Texas – but the “heat” on the climbs will be unbearable for some of our riders, today, I am most certain of that.

This is a stage for the climbers, after all, and they’re all out toward the front: Voekler, Schumacher, Egoi, Popo, Siutsou. Schumacher took the first HC, La Lombard.

Watch out for that fast descent, Popo slipped, but is back on his bike.

Schumacher leads.

Cuneo…Cunego…the Italian “Little Prince” just couldn’t pull out a victory in Cuneo. C’est dommage.

The peloton is somewhere around 9 mins behind Schumacher as they go over the top of La Lombard. Cancellara had a puncture in his tire. yikes!

Schumacher is in the feed zone, facing a short flat preceding the next HC climb at Cime de la Bonette. Former Tour champion Steve Roche doesn’t think Schumacher can hang onto his lead.

Stage 15 saw Denis Menchov take a bad spill, just when he was ahead of the GC! This stage hasn’t been kind to riders, either.

Cunego is in the chase group which is less than 5 minutes behind Schumacher and closing. But, so are Hincapie and Siutsou (both Team Columbia), Danny Pate (Garmin-Chipotle), Voekler and the company of other strong climbers.

A new name comes into the chase for the yellow as Valjavec (AG2R) leads in time over Frank Schleck. But, things happen in the mountains. Hold onto your seats, they’ve begun this last steep climb.

Danny Pate has been dropped behind the first chase group, along with Dumoulin. Well, they’re in good company with each other!

There are now three chase groups and roughly 12 minutes gap between Schumacher and the peloton.

REMEMBER – refresh your browser often, as I’m typing as fast as I can while getting live comment!

Schumacher is starting up la Bonette! Hoshovd falls off the peloton! Team CSC pushes on (oh, please let’s not hear that Nibali or anyone on that team has tested positive for doping!)!!

Don’t you just hate it when you get interrupted by an impromptu meeting? arrgghh!!

But, I did see that my man Popo was outrun by Cyril Dessel to take the stage. However, Hincapie was only 25 seconds back.

Frank Schleck holds onto the yellow jersey by 7 seconds over Kohl, 8 seconds over Cadel Evans. Every second counts here.

Stage results
1 101 DESSEL, Cyril FRA ALM 04:31:27 00:00:00
2 161 CASAR, Sandy FRA FDJ
3 032 ARROYO, David ESP GCE
4 007 POPOVYCH, Yaroslav UKR SIL
5 047 HINCAPIE, George USA THR
6 038 PORTAL, Nicolas FRA GCE
10 115 KOHL, Bernhard AUT GST

1 017 Frank SCHLECK LUX CSC 68h30’16” 00”
2 115 Bernhard KOHL AUT GST 68h30’23” 07”
3 001 Cadel EVANS AUS SIL 68h30’24” 08”
4 011 Carlos SASTRE ESP CSC 68h31’05” 49”
5 131 Denis MENCHOV RUS RAB 68h31’29” 1’13”
6 191 Christian VANDEVELDE USA TSL 68h33’31” 3’15”
7 041 Kim KIRCHEN LUX THR 68h33’39” 3’23”
8 031 Alejandro VALVERDE ESP GCE 68h34’27” 4’11”
9 027 Samuel SANCHEZ ESP EUS 68h34’54” 4’38”
10 109 Tadej VALJAVEC SLO ALM 68h35’39” 5’23”

Slipstream/Chipotle Gears up for Le Tour

A few months back, I was searching for info on our two USA teams slated to compete in this year’s Tour. The Slipstream Sports guys have their web act together, so I susbscribed to their newsletter in order to keep up with their progress. Also cool is that you can follow them on Twitter. If you want twitterings sent to your mobile, follow these steps:

1) Go to TeamSlipstream on Twitter
2) Sign up for a Twitter account, register your mobile phone, and login
3) Go back to TeamSlipstream page on Twitter and click the grey “Follow Me” box.

High Road Sports may be the only entirely US-based UCI pro-cycling tour team, but their site only offered pretty Flash (although I won’t complain about seeing one of my favorites, Big George Hincapie). Sorry, guys – make it easy for me to follow you, and I will!

Landis loses and so does pro cycling

By now, you’ve heard the news: Floyd Landis has been banned from the Tour de France for 2 years and stripped of his yellow jersey. Regardless the unhappy outcome, I still believe Floyd Landis was the victim of unfair and corrupt laboratory results and judgement. I believe that any substances that would have been found in his blood tests would have been as a result of medications he may have been taking for his hip.

Landis loses the yellow jersey and what should have been his legacy. Sadly, pro cycling also loses. I don’t disagree with banning those who really are guilty of deliberate doping. I do disagree with the vengeance that the Tour organizations seem to have waged against Floyd. He was on Armstrong’s winning team, after all. Are we really supposed to believe that Bruyneel and Armstrong would put up with doping with all they had at stake?

Judging by the depth of doping allegations that have proven true among the cyclists, it’s evident that they’re really not much different from our own pro athletes who have been accused or convicted of drug abuse, or worse. However, it seems just a little too apparent that the organizations involved with the TDF just can’t stand the fact that the Tour winners haven’t been French.

Of course, it doesn’t matter what I believe; what matters is what Floyd knows to be true. Here’s what he had to say last month.

I know, I’m a little late in saying anything. Sorry, been busy with other stuff and not taking care of my own stuff.