Friday, July 22, 2011


WHAT A STAGE! I'm plain exhausted from the sheer joy of watching this phenomenal drama play out day after day. I loved it that Contador attacked after his bad day yesterday, and Andy had the guts to go with him! Once again, the old 'play it safe' Cadel watched them go. He sure is a gambler that he would catch them again (which he did, but I still say it was a HUGE gamble!) All I can say to that is HAD he gone with Andy YESTERDAY, he'd be so far in the lead that he'd be untouchable, instead of 57 seconds BEHIND Andy, who now gets to start the biggest TT of his life IN YELLOW

So...can Andy do it? We shall see just what kind of wings the Mellow Johnny can provide, as I'm afraid he'll need them over the long TT course. Pretty obviously, other than a meteor or some such phenomenon, Frank won't hold his 2nd place over Cadel (DANG IT!)...but for the moment the brothers are one/two and I'm SO jazzed! I was quite pleased to watch Andy and Alberto work together on the escape today...maybe it was some 'payback' for last year? No was good to see pistol boy humbled and having to really struggle to gain time back...and I like it that he was given the 'most aggressive rider' red jersey number for the TT tomorrow. We did see shades of the old Alberto of last year as he danced his way up the start of the Alp, but whether it was his knee (didn't look very sore to ME) or just the overall fatigue from having crushed everybody in an excruciating Giro I can't say...but he faded quickly from that and was then riding just like the rest...fighting every foot of the way.

And's almost over, but these last few days have been just amazing, and tomorrows TT will be just as (if not MORE so) important and exciting as last years! For the second year in a row, the overall winner will truly be decided the day before Paris. It just doesn't get much better than that. And once again today Voeckler fought hard, but it was bound to catch up with him sooner or later. Today he re-learned that he's still not quite on the level of the true Mt goats. But I can't take away any of his amazing struggle over the last 9 was good for his country... and that a teammate and fellow countryman WON the stage today AND put on the white jersey, well....good for France and his team! They (the French) haven't had much to celebrate about in recent tours otherwise. It appears they have some real up and comers that will surely be in with the top riders very soon.

And so...I REALLY need to get out on a ride tomorrow morning, AND I need to do a BUNCH of stuff at home (Jeannie comes home NEXT Friday from her work-trip...been gone for 2 weeks now). I figure to get up EARLY and watch the TT for a bit, then hit the road (weather NOT totally covered by cold fog). Hope to knock out about 3 to 4 hours of hard riding, get back and eat lunch and watch the finish and THEN get busy with my chores. Sunday is Paris AND more chores. But obviously the Tour comes FIRST. Everything else is secondary.'s been another late night for me (being as I JUST finished today's stage a bit ago), though no work tomorrow thankfully....but still that 5:30am wakeup on a weekend day to watch a bunch of guys in lycra is killing me. NEXT weekend I hope to actually sleep in. Time will tell.'s bedtime for bonzo!



  1. If only Cadel COULD match those accelerations--but it seems he is the type that has to ramp up to cruising speed, then maintains it -- so I wonder, I think letting Andy go was not so much an mistake as not preventable without help.

    I couldn't help but notice the difference in their body mechanics as they went uphill also. I don't know if it was because Cadel was too tired, or in too big a gear or what, but he sure seems to waste a lot of energy throwing his bike from side to side while Andy was on an even keel.

    I think this will one of the few times that I find an ITT interesting!


  2. Also noticed neither AC NOR Andy waited for Cadel when he had his mechanical (another reason he is 57 sec behind). I wonder if Cadel has anger in his stomach this morning?


  3. Hey Rae...well, Cadel wasn't in yellow when he had the mechanical...(and he was behind AC and Andy so they didn't actually see it...or NOT see it if you know what I mean)...I'd think what Cadel has in his stomach is butterflies, not anger this morning...though his 'mechanical' yesterday was rather unfortunate...I know Cadel isn't quite the 'jump-attack' kind of guy, but he has shown he can react to the quick attacks when he has to...but it's always a calculation of how much it will cost in terms of energy and is it worth it...and he has to make that decision in a microsecond on the road. That's what makes the races so radios or not, there are real-time decisions being made by the riders that affect the outcome.

    Anyway, I figure if Cadel has butterflies, how about Andy? He's probably got a full dumptruck load of them, no matter how calm he looks...this is HUGE!

    I just paused the TT video...(it's 6:30am and it's running live as I type)...and ran over to the PC to actually put in today's code-word while the race is still going for a change...maybe I can win a stinkin' 'better bottle'?? I'd be happy to win a pair of freaking SOCKS for crying out loud!

    Anyway, how is it that they DIDN'T have video coverage of Fabian's TT?? EXCUSE ME?? He's only the world-champion for crying out loud. Who is running the show over at NBC/VS anyway? I really need to find who to send a letter/email to after this is over. Think about your 'gripes' from this year and we can air them here and then ALL send a blitz to their management...(maybe I'll post the gripes over at Fatty's, see if we can get MORE people to hammer them).

    OK...back to the TT...SHAZAM it's a huge day! I'm slightly afraid that Andy has used so much energy the last 2 days that he will be hard pressed here...but at least he's got some time gap...I can hardly bear to wait!


    OK...well, my hat's off to Cadel. His gambits of letting Andy and Alberto run have paid off. BOY was that some confidence that he would be strong enough to do the TT he just did. Andy looked VERY tired almost from the very start. Both he and Frank REALLY need to take the page from Alberto's playbook and SERIOUSLY work on their TT's...just a few years back Alberto was in the same boat, but HE has really stepped up his game and is one of the TOP TT'ers in the peleton now.

    Not even at the 20k point (when it was painfully obvious that Andy had no chance) I found myself rooting for Cadel to WIN the TT. I'm happy for him that he FINALLY got that huge monkey off his (and Australia's) back and has won a TDF (barring disaster tomorrow I mean). I even was a bit teary-eyed as he donned the Yellow...there was a lot of emotion there and it was nice to see. I DO wish he had won a stage he is in the auspicious ranks of Sastre, who won a Tour without winning a stage. But nevertheless, barring a doping issue he will forever go down in the history books as the WINNER of the 2011 TDF...which is a monumental accomplishment.

    Andy and Frank...two and three on the podium tomorrow...that is STILL a WOW moment! And quite honestly, they were BOTH top-20 in the TT...which isn't really very shabby at all. If only their team would truly invest in their TT skills, they seriously could be one/two someday. My hat's off to both of them's been an amazing Tour, and I can't imagine it without them. Cadel has surely EARNED his victory wasn't handed to him by any means. The NEW Cadel who goes out and does the job when needed was the man we saw riding most of this tour. I guess everybody plays it safe now and's easy to second-guess here from my chair. must be GLOWING right now...and rightfully've been backing the man for YEARS now...I here and now humbly bow before both you AND Cadel...way to go!

    OK...I OBVISOUSLY did not get out for a I could tear myself away from THIS?? I'll rode tomorrow...and catch the finish into Paris after...about the only thing left is who wins the final sprint and does Cav KEEP the green jersey? I hope so...he's surely earned that. And also hat's off to Sammy Sanchez for the Polka Dot jersey!

    OK...I'll prob do a final thoughts post either tonight or thinking of things you liked/disliked/etc...I need to get on with my busy day. Relief is in sight now...I can finally start catching up on some sleep.

    G'day to all! And congrats Cadel!!!!!

  5. Happy Happy Happy Happy!!!

    After years of bad luck and high finishes, at last! Overcoming a stronger team and the 1-2 punch of the Schlecks (well, potential, they didn't really use it that much, did they?), he rode his own race, showing real grinta.

    It will be Andy's some other year, I am sure.

    You know, I first liked Frank after seeing him talk about his win on l'Alpe a few years ago in a CSC video-- he charmed me -- but it is true, I am a real fan of Cadel. I would have been please to see any of them win; but Cadel is more special for me. I WAS hoping that TommyV could TT out of his skin to get on the podium though--however he did do great! Did you hear the crowd as he started today?

    In past years Cadel has donated not only jerseys, bikes and such to charity, but also his monetary winnings.

    My fantasy team has scored 5393 points, enough to put me well out in front -- if I had remembered to make the roster changes every night! Which I did not. So in reality I am in 1497 place. Le sigh.

    Oh, France TV is in control of the video, by the way, we can blame Versus for lame commercials and chatter but not for which pictures we see--unless they could have come on the air earlier to show more riders, even so Fabu was a pretty early starter. Maybe they COULD have shown more (replay) video of his ride, and some of the Americans too, but I don't know if the video was at all available to Versus for that?

    My biggest gripe? the spoiler talk at the beginning of the evening show. And since I realistically know they can't cut sponsor commercial content, could they minimize the time spent on graphics and commercials telling me that this is the TdF (commercials FOR the TdF, during the TdF broadcast, on the channel showing the TdF). I know that I am watching the TdF for pete's sake. and the less enlightening chatter --if they must, do it as a voice over, over the actual racing video.

    I am nostalgic for the old way they did baseball on TV when I was young --rarely cut away from the game but did sponsor logo overlays (you could still see the action through them) while the announcer read the commercial text. That is how I learned to spell Hudepohl (beer) and Heidelberg (rye bread) and Kahns (hotdogs) like any good Cincinnatian should.


  6. For ONCE a TV network got it right in their pre-advertising hype :


    :) :) :) :) :) :) !

    I am EXHAUSTED from the last 3 days & I just WATCHED the Tour de France on TV! Can NOT imagine how those guys do it. Even the lowliest guy on the lowest team are super-human to me. HARD MEN.

    Stage 19 - Friday. Know what this stage was missing? ABSOLUTELY NOTHIN'! You got your 'Hail Mary' by 3-time champ Contador, you got your heart thru your stomach to hit the floor moment when main man Cadel has a mechanical & possibly loses the Tour right then & there, you got the indefatigable Frenchman SOMEhow willing his legs to keep pedaling when he knew his beloved yellow jersey would finally be ripped from his back, you got ALPE D'HUEZ & all the crazies that help make that climb MYTHIC, you got an EPIC chase & catch headed up by BULLDOG EVANS so that all the major players were together at the base of ADH, you got one more attack by ex-champ Contador who did not achieve his goal but was impressive for the attempt, the French got their stage win in this Tour & not just ANY win but on THE iconic mt of the Tour de France, & finally, at the end, you got the 3 top contenders separated by LESS THAN 60 SECONDS with 1 (real) stage left.


    I was hoarse. I was teary. I was apoplectic. I was screaming. I was biting-my-hand worried. I was all smiles. I was EXHAUSTED!

    Listening to AC's comments on Versus after Thursday's stage (where he didn't seem to care if he got on the podium at all if he couldn't win), I didn't know what he'd do on Fri's stage - just pedal along & try to win the stage on the Alpe? But, bang (ironic ;), the bunch had barely gotten settled on their seats when off he goes. 92K LEFT! Bold or nuts? I have to say - I'm not sure. Since he's not in the best condition, maybe he should have waited til the Galibier. Still, he sure did make the 1st 2 hours 'edge-of-your-seat' INTENSE! And Matt, Cadel DID go with Andy & AC. That mechanical 6k later stopped him (however, Frank had been dropped after 3K). And unlike the day before, at least this time, Cadel had SOME help in the chase.

    I was happy for Andy that he was able to pull on the yellow jersey, although incredulous that he & Frank had actually wanted Cadel to help pull on the Alpe. (After yesterday when Cadel dragged his brother & the entire GC bunch up the Galibier & today while he was largely responsible for chasing & catching AS & AC while AGAIN, his bro sat back & did almost NO work?! Come onnnnn, Andy!). I was ECSTATIC that the Blue Helmet Boys did fantastic & pretty much wrapped up the Team GC. I thought it great for the French fans that they not only finally got their stage win but that a possible future Tour contender has emerged (hope they don't screw it up with pressuring him!). And of course, I was SO PROUD & happy for Cadel BULLDOG Evans. After retrieving my heart from the floor that is. :)

  7. Stage 19 cont -

    One of the things that shocked me were the Versus guys on the wrap-up. It's fascinating how we all view & interpret so differently. At the end of the day, all the guys picked Andy to win it all Saturday. Even Phil, sort of, backed away from his earlier Cadel pick. WTF?! Had they not seen what I had the last 2 days & even the entire last 3 weeks? Cadel BULLDOG Evans REFUSED to LOSE. Not any mt helpers? Did not matter. Having to DRAG the entire GC bunch up the freakin Galibier or lose the Tour? Done. Have a mechanical early on the last mt day while the two best Grand Tour riders of the last 5 years ride on without him & to possible victory? Yep, did not panic, just rode on & ATTACKED to get whoever would tag along so they could catch them before the Alpe. Cadel Evans may not have made semi-comical facial expressions with a lizard-like darting tongue nor hang all over his bike trying to will himself up the mountains like Voeckler, but HE is the meaning of TENACIOUS.

    And most of all, did the Versus guys FORGET Andy's time trialing ability?! Or, more accurately - his LIABILTY?


    1st, Matt - Cadel DID win a stage this year! Remember, he beat AC right at the line while AC threw his arm up in mistaken victory?! Stage 3 or 4.

    Ok, even though I felt fairly confident in my man Bulldog today, I admit I was a little concerned. That yellow jersey DOES seem to give guys wings, plus, a mechanical could lose it all for you justlikethat.

    And even though I thought Andy did NOT look good on his bike during the TT, both he AND Frank (especially Frank - he did a GREAT TT for him!) actually did very good! They both finished in the Top 20. Sure, everybody but the GC contenders & TT specialists are not exactly trying their best, but still, they could have done much worse.

    However, I doubt the ASO will make the next 2 year's routes so TT light, so if I were them & wanted to WIN the Tour, I'd start revamping & working on my TT BEFORE the year is over!

    And Andy & Frank at least get part of their dream - they will BOTH be on the final podium! Have two brothers ever shared the podium before?
    Congrats to them!

    And while it is fairly safe to say I won't EVER become a Contador 'fan' again ( ;), I must say I was impressed that he went for it on Stage 19 AND that he did not just pedal along today in the TT. He actually WENT for the win! 'Trick' knee & all.

    BTW, what happened to Levi today? Did he crash on the course? How bad are his previous stage crash injuries? Never thought I'd see (well, we didn't really get to SEE any of his ride) Levi finish so far down in a TT.

    And finally, Cadel Evans! 1st Australian AND 1st BULLDOG to win the Tour! He was even more impressive than I'd hoped. Just FLEW around that course on a mission - I. WILL. NOT. LOSE.

    Moral of the 2011 Tour De France? Don't mess with the 4-legged hoofers - REVENGE OF THE COWS!
    Go Cattle! MOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

  9. Oh, did ya'll notice that the Vs Primetime show STOPPED giving away the ending?! Apparently, they read this blog. ;) Yep, they cut those shenanigans out Thursday, right after we, er, made our displeasure known.

    Also, I did't know about Cadel possibly leaving BMC after this year. Makes sense then that BMC would go after Thor &/or PhilGil. Still, Cadel has seemed so happy with BMC that I'm surprised. Especially since Australia's "1st pro team" fell apart before it ever got off the ground, leaving all those riders & staff wihout jobs at the last minute. And despite new team Leopard Trek having a fantastic Tour with TWO guys on the podium, they are hardly the norm.

    Oh, & in addition to being on 9, NINE(!), Tour winning teams, Big George has been a major support rider for 3 DIFFERENT Tour champions! Think that's a 1st?

  10. I don't have much to add to what y'all said... except I think the reason that AC/AS not waiting for Cadel was not a big deal is that it happened so early in the stage taht there was plenty of time for him to catch back up. Which he did.

    Although I was really rooting for Andy, I can't help but be happy for Cadel, and to shed a tear when he kissed le lyon! Just as Andy did on Thursday, Cadel went out today and did exactly what he HAD to do - rode the TT of his life. (What Andy needed to do also, but he didn't...)

    Funny moment as I was out running errands today - listening to NPR in the car, and they had a report on the TdF in which they said that Cadel had won the TT to win the Tour, a surprise finish by Tony Martin put him into second place, with Andy finishing third - they will ride into Paris tomorrow to collect those medals. I just love riding down Main St. yelling at my radio.

    Thanks to the miracle of DVR, I haven't watched the prime time show much, so I didn't know they were giving away the ending. I did get out for a short ride this morning, despite my usual riding partner turning her phone off and sleeping in.

    Do we really think Contador's knee hurts? P&P said earlier that he was having a problem with his "bottom" - although who could complain about that with Hoogelander in the peloton? (Nice of the crowd to give him a big cheer when he finished today.)

    Ahh, Paris...


  11. So are the rest of you (Rae, Janann) who are posting as "anonymous" doing the same dance I am? Every time I post, I hit "Post" and the screen flickers but nothing happens, so I hit "Preview" and get the same thing, then I click one of them again and finally I get the "non-word" to type in. At least I haven't lost anything recently.


  12. One more thing... I just read Chris Carmichael's blog about the stage, which reminded me of a question I had. Cadel was familiar with the course because he rode it in the Dauphinee. Why didn't the Schlecks ride it this morning? Remember how our former friend FL spent the whole morning riding the TT course so that he knew every curve, every bump in the road? Why doesn't everyone do that? At least everyone who wants to win.

  13. That's a good question, Barbara! I think the course is known well in advance. You remember that Lance was famous for riding, and re-riding, routes he thought were crucial.

    I have found that I will have to hit post (or preview, doesn't matter which) 3 times before I get the code word. However, if I post a second time right after, once does the trick. Also, slow typist even though I am, I have to pause every few words to let the words appear in the box. I don't know if that is a problem with blogspot or my computer though since I have been having trouble with loading sites recently --the computer hangs and hangs until I hit the red x, then it will finish loading the page.

    This has been a great, great tour. So many great stories -- in spite of all the accidents (those I would not miss), like the shock of Hoogerlands assault and battery by car, and sympathy for the pain he MUST be in, there is the thrill of watching him persevere and overcome--the riders like Jeremy Roy out there in the breakaways, over and over, the battles between the favorites, the surprises of good performances by up and coming riders. And I am glad Contador was there, and did not give up.

    I am in shock that there is no sponsor news yet for HTC! I wonder how it will all shake out. and Will Astana persist without Vino? After all, it was created for him.

    This has been such a quick 3 weeks it seems -- I will be going through withdrawal until the Tour of Colorado and the Vuelta I am sure!

    Speaking of the assault on Hoogerland and Flecha--I was watching a replay and noticed for the first time that Tommy V. was hit too--but just a glancing blow, so he was able to stay upright and recover.


  14. Oops! Susie...I're RIGHT! I totally FORGOT about Cadel's stage victory early on...gosh, it seems SO LONG ago already! Mucho's sorry Cadel...that TOTALLY makes it diff!! GOTTA have a stage win if you are the overall's just the way it is. WHEW!

    Been extremely busy today, but just checking in cuz I KNEW Susie would be here in spades...and you did not disappoint!

    As to all of you having probs posting...did you open a 'google' account? (it's don't have to do anything with it...but I simply log into google and then my post comes up without the code word thing).

    Gotta run, dinner is on the stove and the babies are crying for their dinner...just wanted a quick check-in. Gosh...seems like the tour started MONTHS ago...I'm whipped. Can you imagine how THEY feel?

    Cadel, you are DA MAN! I bow in your general direction!

  15. My whole post is gone........Okay, This was the most thrilling Tour I've watched in a very long time! Even Lance's tours were getting predictable...this one was NOT!! I thrilled Cadel won, and both Schlecks are on the Podium. With Sammy Sanchez in polka-dots, and Cav in green!!

  16. T - you made it back!!! Yes, I have problems posting too. I have had a Google gmail account for years and it would let me post using my google account for the first few months. Then it inexplicably would not accept it anymore - just put me in a continuous circle of entering my google information, entering the secret word, and then back to re-entering my information, etc, etc, etc until my post was finally lost. So I then switched to Anonymous (but learned to select all and copy my post before even trying, in case I lost it) and I also have to click on either post or preview 3 times before getting the secret word. Best I could figure out though - nothing else I tried worked at all.

    But.....back to the race. WOW! You all have covered everything I wanted to say, I think. One of the best Tours ever (well, during my tour-viewing life anyway)! The suspense was killing me today.

    Did you all see the video of when Frank waited at the end of the TT for Andy to come in so that he could give him a hug? Gosh - THAT brought tears to my eyes. I know that they really wanted to take the win, but I'm personally really pleased with the podium. It is amazing for the team to get both brothers up there and is probably a once in a lifetime experience for them. That really is cool.

    I don't think Cadel even let himself think about taking the top step until Andy was in at the end of the TT. His face just said it all. he is a very deserved winner and has persevered through many tough seasons, tough teams, and tough luck to get here this year. Bravo for him!

    France has GOT to be happy this year, too. Voeckler was amazing in his run in yellow and was fierce in his defense of it. Rolland did an AMAZING amount of work to support TV and I was really pleased that he was able to take that iconic stage and then keep the white jersey after the TT today. He looks like a REAL star of the future and his life has just changed dramatically.

    Also saw that Jens is going to be riding again next year! Best news of the Tour!!

    Hope Cav keeps green in Paris (though I wouldn't mind at all if a certain Garmin rider could win the stage!) He deserves it and I've never heard of the entire grupetto losing points like that - have you? Should be a TIGHT finish though regardless for the Green jersey.

    Rae, I moved up into 11979th place in the fantasy challenge :( It's all Chris Horner's fault. I had to sell Voeckler back in order to afford Chris!

  17. Hi T!

    I had Horner too, Janann, and for some reason the default roster always took him off the bench.

    I am glad Jens will be back, I think I really will be bawling when he does retire (it HAS to happen)

    I saw Matt White (fired from Garmin but without missing a beat is now working for the new Aussie team Greenedge which disturbs me) said on a video that Cadel would NOT be riding for them next year. has a nice collection of video clips from NBC, eurosport, SBS etc to get us throught the next several days!

    Hey Janann and T, remember just 2 years agot we were taking snapshots of the BMC team sitting outside their little van in their lawn chairs --and look at them now!!!

    Just saw Renshaw do another of his swerves to try to block Rojas at the intermediate sprint -- if I can see it, how come P&P and the referees don't? Although this time he stopped just short of getting right in front of him, it was probably enough to put him off the sprint I think! The leadout men are ALSO supposed to hold their line aren't they? I guess he gets away with this this time by saying he was also contesting and just taking the wheel...


  18. Loved the cutout of Dave Z on the podium!

    And the yellow sunglasses on the whole BMC team. Too bad Cadel had to trade in the yellow bike.

    As interminable as it seems, I do love the "easy" ride before getting to Paris. It's fun to see the guys chatting with each other - congratulating the winners and each other for finishing. And then I realize they're riding faster than I do on a hard day. Even on my new Madone!

    Loved Cadel speaking in French FIRST.
    I want to go to PARIS!

    Hey, it's RAINING at my house! Every day this week they were threatening thunderstorms, and I got caught in some on the way home from work, but we haven't had a drop where I live. My flowers are smiling. I'm smiling because I won't have to go out and water them. It's also gone down to 83 - yesterday it was 105 at this time.


  19. been so happy with the way everything worked I played around with Google last night, forever! I even tried to post a pic, me and Cole House(my cousin that rides on He's a doll, and a sprinter...I must have a thing for sprinters!! I had dinner with cousins galore in Green Bay, and Cole and his parents were there!

    Now back to the Tour! I don't think I've every out! And finally, Tommy D has his vindication, and proves to the world what a good cyclist he is! He said he was believing his own press.
    And wasn't it great to see the Norwegian announcers when Thor and Eddy won their stages??!!! Paul and Phil said they refuse to kiss and hug when Cav wins! lol
    We got rain finally too Barbara. but it was spotty...the middle of MO has had too much rain, and we can't get any!!!

    Yes, Rae and Janann, it was fun seeing BMC sitting under a tree in Farmington MO....a far cry from today!!


  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

  21. Well, Janann, I'm not trying to copy a post again! I screwed it up and moved my words around, so some the the sentences do not make sense!
    The only way you see my pic is on my profile...Matt, I couldn't figure out how to make it show by my name......


  22. Another thing... why is it that these guys who win the Tour all have such dramatic back-stories? Cancer, getting shot in the leg, brain surgery, and now Cadel having been kicked in the head by a horse. Maybe Andy is too normal to win.

    T, I also loved seeing the Norwegian announcers. (How could anyone not?) Guess it's OK to be a "homer" there! Thor is so adorable.

    Also, how about the way the Schlecks were still taller than Cadel even standing on the lower podium steps? But only a little!

    Looking forward to getting some sleep tonight.

  23. We learned something exciting this year watching Andy and Alberto race - both of them would rather risk all and lose than play it safe. That's certainly a rarity in the Tour these days - many of the riders will ride conservatively to protect their 7th or 8th place, which no one will remember next week anyway, but it looks good on a resume. But the two of them would rather try and fail if it comes to that; how refreshing! So if they come up against each other next year (with Alberto having been cleared to race and ditching all ideas of participating in the Giro, coming to race the Tour of California instead ;-) ) we can expect great action in next year's race. Hooray! My only wish is that my team will be able to be part of it instead of me finding 21 ways of writing creative stage reports to maintain an upbeat attitude for the fans!

    It was a great Tour and Cadel did everything right. He was the best man. I'm super happy for Steve Morabito and Michael Schar, too. Those two were with us at Astana, super nice and hard workers. Good to see them on a winning Tour team. I'll always remember celebrating AC's first win at around 3 in the morning, dancing, dancing, dancing and one of the staff saying to me, "It's FUN when you win!" Yep, yep, it is. Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi!

  24. Cathy, I surely hope RS will be there with bells on (and keeping them on!!) next year. Especially Chris Horner -- I want really want to see him get his star turn.

    Yes, we really saw amazing displays of true competitive spirit; it is what I love about the Tour.

    That cutout of DZ had me LOL! And they hung a medal around its neck! Go Slipstream!

    What does Garmin need to do to start getting more consistent results for Tyler? Not that HTC would EVER be easy to beat, but it seems that Garmin, or Tyler himself, just doesn't quite have it figured out yet-- or maybe, or also, it is not having the majority of the team dedicated to sprint wins?


  25. DZ on the podium today was absolutely classic! That team seems like they really get along great and try to have a good time. Anyone hear anything about Thor for next year? I know he had said that he wasn't satisfied with Garmin and was looking elsewhere, but I'd heard that there was a meeting with JV on the last rest day regarding next year. They really did a lot to support him when he was in yellow and they all seemed to get along wonderfully. I'd love to see him stay there....

    And what about HTC? I thought we'd hear one way or another definitively by now about them. I just CANNOT believe that THAT team can't get a sponsorship nailed down. 6 stage wins and the green jersey this year! Plus, Cav alone gives them so much press - though I know there are rumors that he might be at sky next year. Hope not. That team REALLY know what they're doing with the leadout.

    Maybe that is why Garmin and Tyler haven't gotten it exactly figured out consistenty yet. They're not completely devoted to a sprinter. It seems also like they're still trying to figure out what approach to the line will work for them.

    Rae and T, I was thinking about the same thing regarding BMC and their humble beginnings. I'm thrilled for them. I was also thinkging about the little Slipstream team that we followed during the first Tour of Missouri - they've come a LONG way too.\

    Cathy, you did have your work cut out for you with this race. Is there something giong on with Levi or is he just not at his best? Was he hurt more than he let on during those crashes I wonder? RS can't possibly have such horrible luck ever again - they've paid their dues! You are certainly right about Contador/Andy. They both rode with incredible heart and courage, willing to sacrifice for the win. We might be treated to an epic rivalry for quite a few years. I also admired how Cadel rode with determination and intelligence into yellow. Fantastic race!

    Oh, and Barbara, I got the biggest kick out of the podium pics of Cadel in between those two tall gangly Schlecks! What a great podium shot!