Archives for the month of: July, 2010

Andy Schleck won the Tour de France in my book today. Or he at least finished on the same time as Alberto. Had AC not broken the rules and attacked when Andy had a mechanical the 39 seconds that he gained would not have been there at the end of the stage today – his winning margin on GC. Alberto probably would have won the overall and the race would have been much more exciting with no overall time difference. I think the question would have been would the count back go to best TT performance or stage wins?

So in Paris tomorrow Andy will get another white jersey and hopefully next year he’ll come back and crush AC like a bug…

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Anyone who watched the Tour coverage from today could clearly see Andy Schleck’s rear wheel hop off the ground after putting in an attack that left Alberto Contador in the dust. The hop was the result of a mechanical that Contador  – who was sitting 4 meters behind him – absolutely had to see. There was no question that Schleck was slowing and unclipping from his pedals when AC came around him on his counter. It was a move that garnered jeers and boos at the podium ceremony and it rightfully should have.

There has not been a more class-less move in recent racing memory. There is an etiquette among riders that you don’t attack when someone has a mechanical – and you absolutely don’t do it at the Tour when the guy with the mechanical is in the Yellow Jersey.

I’ll admit that I have never been a Contador fan. His rise to prominence was just too suspicious. One year he’s loosing 4 minutes in every time trial he does, the next he wins most of them. Does that sound odd to anyone else?

But today he firmly cemented himself as a rider that I will never respect. Of course he says he didn’t know about Schleck’s mechanical. But there is no question that he saw it from the video. He may win the Tour this year, he may win it by far more than the 39 seconds he gained today. But he will never be a deserving winner. This year’s race will always be the one where he disregarded the rules of the peleton and stole the yellow jersey from a much classier rider.

I never expected anything positive from AC, yet his actions today were truly disappointing.

And good on Andy for chasing back on the climb like he did. That was a display of absolute courage and defiance that I think everyone loved seeing. If he had been behind a motor like Sammy Sanchez on the descent, he probably could have caught Alberto.

Sylvan Chavenel never looks pretty on a bike. He always has this grimace of deep suffering on his face when the real racing begins. But the joy he had today taking the yellow again probably makes up for all those grimaces…

My wife pointed out that Thomas Voeckler looks like McFly today. I’ll never look at him the same.

Quote of the Tour so far: James Huang’s caption from a photo of the mullet-shorn Vladimir Karpets, “Yes, it’s true: Vladimir Karpets (Katusha) is now all business.” Classic.

Have a nice weekend. I’m getting in a good ride tomorrow…

Today’s stage of the Tour de France has been a fairly controversial stage from the day it was introduced. Many of the usual Grand Tour Contenders say that cobbles have no place in the Tour. They say “It’s not Paris-Roubaix…”

My quick question is this, “Who said the Tour was your race?”

I think it was a brilliant idea. The point of the Tour is to challenge riders to be their best and to be complete riders. Since most of those riders usually skip the best classics (RVV, P-R, etc.) as a matter of “safety” or ‘preparing to peak in July” I think it’s an excellent challenge to throw in there. Eddy Merckx wouldn’t have complained, he probably would have attacked and put a minute or two on the pure climbers.

With Andy Schleck, Alberto Contador, and most of the other favorites complaining about stage 3 the man who gets the most street cred from the whole thing is Lance Armstrong. He hasn’t whined, he road Flanders, and hopefully he will hit out on the end of the stage with his team and put some distance between himself and the riders who said that cobbles had no place in the Tour.

So the goal to ride 70 days in a row before my birthday a week ago fell short on day 60 when my wife was out of town and I fell asleep putting my son to sleep. It has been a brutal day at the office and I didn’t have time to hit the road, so I planned on the backup – trainer after Riis was in bed. Unfortunately I fell asleep before he did and when I woke up hours later it just wasn’t going to happen.

So I settled on making the new goal riding or running 70 days total before my birthday – which meant one rest day if my legs were too trashed from running. I made it and decided that I got a week off for all the effort that had been put in getting there. Of course when that week includes a weekend soaking in hot springs in Ouray and chasing a 3-year old around all over tarnation that may or may not be a real week of rest.

Today I have to get back to it. And I have to say that the quick respite has reinvigorated me. I’m looking forward to breaking in a new set of running shoes and spending more time on the bike – real time rather than obligated-gotta-do-it-every-day-time; time with intensity, intervals, and probably a lot of getting dropped trying to get speed back also.

For those who care – I also have my car back. I never thought I’d be so happy to see a station wagon in my life…