Saturday, July 9, 2011


Well....we are having a BLAST up here in Davis!

Last night was our Team Fatty private evening at the US Bicycle Hall of Fame. We literally owned the place from 6 to 10pm....we had food, drinks, and about 30 to 40 of our team and family there. About 8:30 or so we got the private TOUR from Joe....and it was quite fascinating! They have displays of bikes going all the way back to 'walkers'..which was a hand-fabricated pile of iron with iron wheels, and no pedals they hadn't been just pushed it as you straddled the iron 'top bar'. It must have weighed 150 lbs, maybe more? And it just went on and on...they specialize in covering US cycling all the way back to it's beginning. Who knew that the US ruled world cycling back in the early 1900's? And they had a display of a "Six Day Race" kit...apparently there were races inside on a wooden track that actually went for 6 days STRAIGHT! In those 6 days the racers would cover approx 3000 miles (it was a team event, but  only TWO of you!) And they were done in smoky arena's (everybody smoked) on the dangerous wooden track surface which claimed the lives of MANY of the early racers. They also had crazy races back then where a guy on a early beast of a motorcycle would ride around the track and you (on the bike) would race inches behind him...each bike racer had his own motorcycle pacing him...they typically ran around 50 mph! And the crashes were horrendous and often fatal. Just amazing stuff...then displays on the road team 7-11, and all the early pioneers WAY before Lemond in US cycling.

 The Hall of fame belonged to US for the night!

Today we spent mostly over at the LIVESTRONG Village/Expo....the hotel is right here on the UC Davis campus (the campus is HUGE)...and they have loaner bikes (cruiser style) that we can borrow and ride around we took those over to the expo which was only about 10 blocks away...riding a cruiser carrying a coffee is an art I tell you! We all practiced this morning...quite fun! Among other things, there was a face-painting lady (for the kids). Angie and I had the Fatty Logo painted on our faces ....GREG is such a chicken....he wouldn't go for it.

A bit later while we were schmoozing around the LIVESTRONG Village / expo area, they made an announcement that the first 25 people would get a free autographed copy of Chris Carmichaels new book...well, he was sitting at a table about 25 feet from Greg was FIRST in line...and I was like 5th (I was getting a free T-shirt from the Nissan booth and had to wait). So I got to chat with him briefly and shake his hand, and have a nice autographed book...woo-HOO! THAT is a SWAG score!!!!! Drank about 3 of the ice cold FRS energy drinks...had a nice sour-kraut hot dog and lemonade for lunch...and a few prob got up to about 95 today...tomorrow is supposed to be a bit cooler for our ride thankfully!

Here is Fatty n Lisa, Greg, Angie, myself, and Carlos and Christine

Carlos and Christine are from New Jersey (you see Carlos in Fatty's comments as NYCarlos).
Later this afternoon Greg, Angie and I went for a short "shakedown" ride to make sure our bikes are in good working order, as we will be on the start line tomorrow morning at 6:55am for Team pics and the start at 7:30.

 Here we are in the sunflowers, just like in le Tour!

And tonight is the Awards banquet....we are showing up early (6pm) cuz Team Fatty are all Rock-Stars here....and we get to go in early for them to take pics n stuff with us....should be quite the fun evening! If I get a chance I"ll post a pic or 2 later tonight...but we will see. It should be a GRAND time, and I am assuming Lance will be there and we will get pics with him after the dinner up on stage (or whatever they have as a stage).

Watched some of the prime-time stage 7 at the Hall of Fame last night, got to see the part where Horner was on the stretcher, and kept asking "but did I finish?"...gosh I am DEVASTATED!! He was (IS) my main man! I am CRUSHED!! But I hope and pray he will be fine..thanks for the updates Cathy! So...Klodi is it by default. Gosh...what a crazy week. And Horner is out BEFORE he even gets to test himself against the mountain goats...DAMN!!!

OK kids...gotta run...happy Hour, then dinner!


  1. I peeked in and saw the results of today's stage...(won't get to watch it until Mon afternoon at the earliest)...what a shock...I somehow expected one of the climbers to rule today (maybe Andy or Alberto??) Guess they are all just biding their time. Also saw the news (checked EARLY this morning) that Horner is out...and was so very sad). OK...NOW I really have to run.

  2. Sounds like you're having a great time, Matt. Hey, Fatty just posted your face-painting pic on twitter (I actually saw it there first) and I sent it on :) He's right though - they do sorta look like raptors LOL.

    Susie your race analysis is priceless and made me chuckle this evening! THOR has indeed been amazing. NO ONE predicted (including him and his teammates) that he would stay with the pack today. He was outclimbing some of the world's best riders after putting in tough efforts for each stage this week. wow. He looked like a little kid up on the podium today getting yellow and I loved it. I'm stil cheering for CVV too, even though he is a ways back. You never know what might happen along the route as we have seen so far in the past few stages. He looked good today and I was happy to see him and Tommy D sticking with Thor up that last climb.

    How about TJ VanG today? He looked SUPER and for awhile I thought that he was really going to take that stage win!! Still, taking home a perty polkie dot jersey from your first Tour has gotta be a great feeling. He seems like a nice guy too.

    While I'm completely bummed to have Horner out before he hit his first mountain with the form of his life, I was also completely relieved to hear that they were not going to let him continue. Head injuries are nothing to mess with, as Cat said. I always think back to Natasha Richardson's skiing incident too - very scary and she thought that she was fine. Heal up Horner!!

    I think that the big names on GC put in little digs to test the opposition today and then decided that they were all good enough to stick together and the climb was too short to get real time - though you're right that the Schlecks didn't move from ACs wheel. I enjoyed that though because it looked like it was making him uncomfortable ;) I agree that Cadel looks great and the Schlecks have both also been right there whenever there was a chance someone might try to go. smart riding by them so far and they have an amazing team.

    Rae, I believe it was that I read about Fabian visiting the QS team car - in an article about Boonen leaving the race I think.

    Oh, and if anyone here has NOT been watching James Startt and Frankie Andreau in their Tour Talk videos over at - you MUST check them out. Those two comepletely crack me up! Oh, and they have daily blogs from Jens too.

    So.......tomorrow. Can Thor possibly haul himself over all of those climbs? I would think NOT, but hey, no one thought he could do it today either and the power of the Borg is strong ;) Here's hoping for a safe day of riding for everyone!

  3. Here it is Rae :)

  4. Just back from the awards banquet, what a GRAND TIME! Camille, not sure if you're still out there, but I recall your daughter doing the Texas 4000 ride years ago (when we were all hanging out at Sara's I think). Well...this years crop of Univ. of Texas kids doing that same ride are HERE in Davis! They planned their route around this event (they are associated with LiveSTRONG)...and the were the ones at the sign-in tent volunteering, and they had a booth where they were selling goods to make money to continue their journey. They are on day 36 out of 70 today. We (Team Fatty) got the great opportunity to meet and talk with many of them all day and again at the awards dinner (they all had seats as they were required to earn at least $4500 each to do this ride). What a FUN, SMART and LIVELY bunch of kids!! They are such a blast to be around...and tomorrow morning when WE (Team Fatty) are lined up at the FRONT of the start chute, the Texas 4000 team will be there with us, and they are doing their Haka! We are invited to join, and it will be SUCH FUN! So these kids who are riding 4000 miles in 70 days are taking tomorrow to do 70 miles going nowhere except in a loop from/to Davis...all to be part of the experience! to bed...we are out of here around 6:30am so-as to get to the ride on time (we have Team pictures at 7am at the start line). The ride starts at 7:30 and Greg and I are doing the 105 mile route...should be AWESOME!

    Later gaters....GAME ON!

  5. Oh, I should have mentioned...the 4000 miles these kids are doing on their bikes is from Austin TX to Anchorage Alaska! Just thought that was worth tossing in.

  6. Cadel does look great but I am afraid that he and his team have been working too hard so early in the game!

    Very happy to see CVV and TommyD finish well--and Thor -- AMAZING! Klodi stayed up there also. Not boring, that's for sure!

    It was on this day last year that Rui Costa had his altercation with that rowdy wheel, despite Barredo's best efforts to hold that wheel back. What a way to celebrate that anniversary! I was never a fan of CaisseD'epargne, but I am glad to see its new incarnation get a bit of good luck. Still hoping for good news about Soler.

    Matt, they still have 6-day (although not continuous for 6 days!) and derny races in the winter, very popular in Belgium and the Netherlands. I've seen one or two over the internet. Many of the pro tour riders compete in these. Really different!

    Hope your ride goes okay today, and you remember to get enough water in! did you get any good advice from Carmichael?

    Let's talk fashion! I've always liked how classy the TdF podium girls are--remember the awful RocknRepublic messes from the ToC a few years ago?-- but have you noticed the polka dot outfits this year? What ARE those, and what kind of a bribe did it take?


  7. More bad carnage on Stage 9 today. At least tomorrow is a rest day.

    Regarding AC, I wonder how many of you know he has a special needs brother who reportedly loves watching westerns? Now do you get it?

  8. Well Cathy, that is a sweet reason.

  9. I fell running today, and was whining about a 2 cm gash on my hand. Then I came home and watched Stage 9. Wow. That was incredibly painful to watch..I'm still cringing about the car taking out the breakaway riders. Awful to see. And poor Contador, Vino, Kloedi and all the other riders who hit the deck today. Crazy Tour this year.

  10. Comment (part 1) :

    Hey Cat! On my original 2nd comment Saturday, I'd given you a shout-out but when the comment vanished as I was about to post it, I'd forgotten to re-type it when I started over. :( Anyway, so happy to see you! You & Amy, Barbara & everyone else! :) :)

    As for the Tour : UN-FREAKIN-BELIEVABLE! Honestly, I'm just stunned every d*mn day & NOT in a good way! My memory isn't as good as it once was & maybe ya'll might recollect better, but in the last 10 years, I don't EVER remember a Tour where SO many of the top 10 GC contenders are either out of the race entirely or out of contention due to neverending crashes all BEFORE the 1st Rest Day & BEFORE even getting to the 1st real mountains! I tear up almost every day!

    And I can't quite figure out why there's been all this carnage to this degree. Possibly in the ASO's quest to make the Tour "exciting" the 1st week, they've made the course so tiring, that the guys are just too exhausted to be ever vigilant the entire 5-6 hours of every stage. Plus, maybe there are a bunch of riders in this year's Tour who really don't have the bike handling skills to be there & are causing constant chain reaction chaos. And I think the roads in France have changed over the years - all those roundabouts & MUCH more "road furniture" than even 5-7 years ago. What do you all think?

    And poor Klodi - again, I can NOT believe it! It wasn't known during the stage that he was in any pain & to see him going to the hospital afterwards was just SHOCKing! I fervently hope he's ok. Man, and I thought LAST year was the year from H*ll for Johan's boyz!

    About Contador - 1st, WHAT are Bobke & the other Versus guys talking about when they keep harping on HIS "horrible" Tour?! AC only lost a little bit of time (for him) on the 1st day & was not hurt. And sure, he may have had some, er, unscheduled time OFF the bike during some of the next 8 stages, but at least HE's still in the running! Unlike 10 other GC contenders, including almost the entire Radio Shack team. And this may shock you but I would throw Karpet's a$$ out of the Tour! He INTENTIONALLY pushed AC yesterday! Look, as you all just MIGHT possibly know (;), I don't like Pistol Punk, but he IS the 3 time & defending Tour champion & for some future Russian mafia bagman to push him like that is just reprehensible! Well, Karpets will get his, just you watch.

    And then that TV car yesterday! WHAT?!!! Never seen anything like that ever. The tree was NOT out in the road so why did the driver have to veer like that?! Plus, he sped up to do so! BTW, Voeckler & the others barely slowed down. I was shocked at that too. And what is with Voeckler's mouth & tongue?! Every time the camera was on him (which was ALLLLLL d*mn day!), he looked like he was having some kind of 'episode' - tongue out & flapping around & constantly licking his lips. Strange but funny.

    Speaking of Voeckler, WHY did the peloton let him in the break anyway? Unless they WANTED him to take the yellow jersey. I don't know, is it a good thing to have the Green Hornets at the front?!

  11. Comment cont (this blog limits your comment lenght! wuht-woe!) :

    And hey Rae, I'm a little concerned about all the effort both BMC & Garmin have given this 1st week. It seems JV decided the 1st day that none of his GC guys any longer had a shot at even the top 5, so they threw all their effort at keeping Thor in yellow & helping Tyler win too. However, all that work on one of the sprint stages basically killed Tyler's legs so he couldn't go for the sprint at all. Guess keeping Thor in yellow was a BIGGER priority. That, or they didn't realize how much work it really took to ride all day up front, controlling the peloton. With BMC - at least it is filled with super strong workhorse types of riders, so I THINK Cadel should be protected enough for him to get to the final mt on each mt stage in good shape. FINGERS crossed!

    You know who else is ALWAYS up front each day? The ENTIRE Leo team! Not 1st in line, but right behind the team that is doing all the work. So far, they are riding a very smart race. Sure, they've been lucky too, but they've almost NEVER been involved in any of the crashes & that can't all just be luck.

    And hey Matt - thrilled that you're having a blast at the Livestrong event!

  12. Oh, & thanks to everyone who appreciates or even just puts up with all my Tour rantings. :) You guys are the only people I have to chat about the Tour & that's half the fun. And the more all of us rant or chat, the better! :) :)

    Let's keep our fingers crossed for an exciting AND SAFE Tour these remaining 2 weeks!

  13. Oh, one more thing! WHERE were AC's TEAMMATES yesterday after he hit the ground?! Didn't it just floor you that he had to ride about 2-3 miles by HIMSELF back to the peloton?! Sure, the car was right there with him, but I was still shocked. Maybe Riis figured if the other Saxos came back that the peloton would realize AC was missing & gun it. But this happened early, so I doubt that would have happened. I guess Riis figured it wasn't that big of deal being so early on the stage but I was still just flabergasted.

  14. Klodi's xrays came out clear but he's in some pain and just hoping to improve over the next few days. I wrote a piece yesterday with his version of what happened, as well as his take on why so many crashes (nerves, small roads, directors screaming for riders to get to the front - and others have also cited lack of a prologue which gives better time gaps in the first week). It's all added up to a horrible week of carnage. Be sure to hunt up the photo of Hoogerland's ass hanging out of his shorts, with barbed wire gashes cut across his left side. How he and JAF rode in is beyond me. He estimated he'd need 30 stitches (I didn't read how many it turned out to be.) My local paper even ran a color photo of DZ with an article about the tough week at the Tour - they usually mostly ignore the Tour if LA isn't in it.

    To set the record straight: AC's brake lever got caught on Karpet's seat and that's what sent him to the deck - he wasn't pushed or shoved. Both riders said it immediately after the stage when rumors to the contrary started swirling about. That fall is when AC hurt his knee, but Spanish press did say he rode with his team on the rest day and at the same pace as the others so perhaps it's not a big deal. We'll know on Thursday.

    And how about the USA women's soccer team taking it to Brazil in extended time and PK's? Wow, those gals are some skilled ball handlers. We face France on Wednesday morn. Let's see: Tour at 5AM, followed by Women's World Cup at 8:30AM - day off! Saving my rest day for that day.

  15. Actually, when Karpets 1st got off the bike, he SAID he did it on purpose as AC had hit his "wrist". It was only AFTER he got on his bus & his DS & the other riders must have had a freakin COW that he came back off the bus & said it was accidental. HAH! He was telling the truth the 1st time!

    As for AC - who knows why he says the stuff he does. Maybe he doesn't want to play it up as he was embarrassed about falling on the ground (again) in the 1st place. And as for the "knee problems" - yeah, how convenient. Could be true, could also just be bluffing to make Cadel & the Schleckers not think he'll be as much of a threat in the mts. Or could just be an excuse for why he'll lose the Tour.

    And btw, Contador did not do his usual finger-bang at the finish of Stage 4, he just threw his one arm up in the air. And yeah, I've known about his brother since he 1st joined Discovery. Was one of the reasons I had originally admired him. Before I viewed/listened/read more of his character, most especially how he constantly lies. I've hated the pistol antics from day one & STILL hate it.

    I hope Klodi will be alright. As someone who has suffered from major lower back pain off & on for more than 18 years, I can NOT imagine how he even got back on the bike yesterday. The worst time for me was about 10 years ago when I threw out my back while pushing/shoveling snow. It took me 20 minutes to get back to my front door (20 ft away). I somehow got to the sofa & ladi there for several hrs but then realized I could not get up at all. 7 hours later, I called my sister (a nurse) & she said I had to call an ambulance. The police had to break down 2 doors to get into my house (I have very good locks) & then I spent 24 hours in a hospital & 6 more days in a rehab facility. Was out of work for another 3 weeks. The worst was the 1st 2 days when I could not get up or barely move at all. After 8 years of throwing out my back, this complete immobility had never happened before & I was pretrified I'd never walk again. That cyclists take these kinds of injuries in stride has always astounded me.

  16. Hey - Jens is now on Twitter. Can't wait to read his tweets!

    Also, I meant to mention this last week : I finally tracked down where Bob, Paul & Phil are doing their Tour blogs this year. For the past 5-6 years, they had done written reports on the Versus site, but I can't find them if they are there this year. (Maybe on the All Access thing which I refuse to pay for). In the past, I had also usually found other written or oral reports by Bobke on other websites but could'nt this year UNTIL I saw 1 of Paul's tweets : those 3 guys are doing oral reports on the site. If you sign up, you get emails when they've downloaded their reports each day.

    Also, 1 of the Katushka guys has been thrown out of the Tour for doping (not Karpets ;) even though it's apparently not the kind of drug where you HAVE to suspend the guy. Not sure what that means exactly.

    Oh & I saw a very snarky-funny tweet on JV's twitter : "the good thing about Hoogerland & Flecha's crash is that at least their saddles were level when it happened." Oh Snap!

    One more thing - it seems many of the rider/teams are blaming GARMIN for the horrendous stage 9 crash - that they were leading & going too fast around that corner. Hmmmm, I'd also read a bunch of guys were ticked earlier afer previous stages stating that Garmin had been making the pace too fast. I think it must take a practiced skill to know how hard to pull if your team is in control of the peloton & this is the 1st time Garmin has ever done this at the Tour. Other races, sure, but not the Tour. They've pulled to set up sprints for Tyler, but that was only for about 10-15K,max. Not the same I would imagine.


    This from Chris Carmichael's blog - loved his commentary on the car vs Flecha crash.

    Have y'all been reading JV's blog on Very good stuff - especially now that Horner is out. BikeSnobNYC was posting on for the first few days, pretty entertaining, but haven't seen him for a few days.

    Glad all you guys are here... Cathy, thanks for the inside scoop. I have a friend who I am teaching how to follow the Tour and she is loving all this stuff!

    I am going to be out of town on business for the rest of the week with no Versus - so I did get the iPad app so I can keep up. But I only got the free app, not the one you pay for. I'll let you know if I make it 3 days without having to go for the paid version.


  18. Cathy, I found that picture (Hoogeland) and it's pretty gruesome. Yikes! P&P said the barbed wire ripped his shorts right off, and it sure did. Looked funny with the bike shorts tan line.

    I just finished watching something I had taped a few weeks ago and when it was over, my TV went back to VS and there was Craig Hummer calling that all-American sport, POKER! The only thing worse than POKER being a "sport" is competitive eating, which ESPN covers.

    33 stiches for Hoogeland. Broken femur for Vino, not the pelvis previously reported. Broken femur is what is called a broken hip if it happens to your mom. Been through it twice with my sainted mother, surgery, plates and pins. Take your calcium, ladies! (An aside, do you know that cyclists have the weakest bones of any athletes save swimmers? I have cycling friends who argue against this because they think it implies that cycling isn't hard work, but the truth is the bike is supporting your weight. Run, lift weights, do yoga.)


  19. I remembered today that in 2005 on this date I flew to France with my husband and son for our first Tour. I didn't know any of you then, but I hung out on a forum and reported in. Some of you might get a kick out of this old stuff. The first link is a quick check-in from Lourdes I think. Then the second link are my photos of the entire trip. Can't believe it was six years ago! We celebrated my son's 16th bday...he'll be 22 on the 19th.

  20. Thanks for the info on Klodi, Cathy. I just cringed when I saw him standing by that crash - the only RS fave left! Hopefully the rest day will do him good and he can get back to business.

    I love the fact that Jens was finally talked into Twitter! did you see how fast his followers were adding up? THOUSANDS of followers per hour!! Not surprised though. Cancellara's Fabianese has been pretty funny, too. It really is a great place to get links and info - especially during Tour time.

    HATE having DZ out of the race (I'm sure not as much as Garmin). He did SO much work during the first stages - they will miss him terribly. He had such good form this year too. I was looking forward to see if he had anything left for the ITT at the end. After the GREAT Tour they had during the first week, Garmin's luck turned around for sure yesterday. I was happy to see TommyD finish with the favorites and am hoping that CVV is OK after that horrible crash.

    I was absolutely speechless after watching that TV car hit the breakaway. wow. I've never seen anything like that.....I did see the pic of poor Hoogeland after he untangled himself from the barbed wire fence (those things HURT!!!) - awful. I hope that he can get those wounds to heal. It's not like he'll be keeping them clean and dry for the next couple of weeks. That would be a tough area to have stiches when you're riding a bike; everything would be pulling while leaning forward and with each pedal stroke. I don't envy him. I hope he can at least ride in his well-earned polka dot jersey tomorrow. Did you see his podium presentation? It brought tears to my eyes:

    Thor has impressed me more this week with his defense of the yellow jersey than he ever did when he was winning the sprints. I love Voeckler, though and am happy that he inherited from Thor. I do question the wisdom of giving him SO much time as he is a real fighter. Not that I expect him to be in yellow after the mtns, but it just adds another thing for the GC guys to keep track of and keep in mind during the upcoming stages.

    Leopard has looked fantastic so far. Right place, right time. Both Schlecks look great and they have team to offer some HUGE support to them. you're right - they're always right there up close to the front.