Sunday, July 15, 2012

And then there were Seven

Seven days left in the 2012 TDF that is...can you believe it?

Gosh, what a week of racing...we've seen most everything that can possibly happen happen I believe, including Fabian abandoning the race the other day to head home for the birth of his 2nd child (can't blame him, but I have him on my Fantasy team....RATS!) Oh well...congrats Spartacus! I'm happy to see that you know what's REALLY important in your life!

And now...SPOILER ALERT! I'll be talking about todays stage now!

Sagan just continues to amaze me...that he was able to drag himself over those two hard climbs today and finish THAT close to the win is just amazing! And can't take anything away from LL Sanchez...he knew there was to be no finishing WITH Sagan and having a chance...and he did what he had to do for the stage win....HUGE kudo's on that, and a well deserved win for Rabobank (which is another decimated team...only FOUR guys left in the race!)

But what about the sabotage on the road today?  Tacks at the top of the climb...and it was like Cadel was a magnet...he sucked in the tacks like they were meant for him and him only! What hard luck for a guy who is really fighting for even a podium finish. Barring disaster in the Pyrnees for Sky, there is no way Cadel can bring back enough time to take the yellow, especially with the longest TT the day before Paris. And watching Wig'O' lead out BosHog yesterday in the bunch sprint, well...never seen THAT before either! He was a real force closing down that gap, too bad Hog couldn't pull off the win, but it was pretty impressive nevertheless. I always love to see when the Yellow gives back to a teammate when the opportunity arises.

And I certainly can't say anything bad about Team brings back memories of Postal/Discovery...a team custom built to STILL be with their leader when the going gets tough. We'll see how the two remaining big mountain stages go, but so far Sky has had NO problem whatsoever supporting Wig'O in the high mountains, where-as poor Cadel is riding alone quite often much like last year. I certainly can't fault TJ for riding away when Cadel flatted at the top of the last was madness and you could see him look at Cadel and then the other way (presumably looking for other teammates)...there was no way he could just stop being as he was over on the left side of the pack and Cadel was already heading off the road to the right...(and, it makes no sense to give away the white jersey at this point being as it's obvious Cadel is in no position to challenge for the yellow...the team might as well keep at least that small token of high placement).

I was surprised there were no crashes coming off the 1st descent on that tiny WET road...they all are to be commended for that. And also I have to commend Team Sky for not taking advantage of BMC's unfortunate situation with the flats...sure they had to chase down Rollins, but then they slowed it up and waited for Cadel to join prior to the finish.

What else? Gosh I had a TON to talk about and now that I'm at the computer my mind went blank. HATE it when that happens...a senior moment for SURE! (just the other day at work I ended up in a room and had no idea why I went there...which is quite embarrassing to say the least!) I'm going to have to start taking notes I guess. Oh will come to me and I'll just slip it in the comments. Just peeked in at my fantasy team...I had both Sagan and Martin Velits as starters today, so they were my only two points earners. I'm now UP to an amazing 9426th place with today's points! Wow...(not sure how many are behind me, can't be TOO many, that's for sure!) I say this every year, but THIS year a day or 2 before Paris I'm going to print out the teams of the top 10 teams or so...just so I have something to go by NEXT year in picking a team. Looking at the top few, every single rider they have has points...I can't say that for MY team.

OK...on with my Sunday. I WAS going to go for a ride today, but I'm feeling lazy. Had a hard Mt bike ride yesterday, and this morning so far the marine layer (ie, FOG) is heavy on top of us and I just can't get myself out the door, and it's already 10:30am! I was able to watch the entire stage uninterrupted for a change! What ever will I do tonight? Go to bed EARLY....hmmm..that's a thought! July is my sleep-deprivation month every year, and with the Olympics hot on the Tour's heels, it will go right on into August.

And so...hope everybody who is actually having summer are staying cool...we don't get that here...I fight to get warm (I have to go inland to find hot weather to ride topped 100 on my climb yesterday and hovered in the high 90's most of the was AWESOME!)

Hope your day remains Tack-free (which Cadel can't say)!

Viva le Tour!

Oh, just thought of something....I have this link to add that I got from over at Rants (courtesy of AustinCyclist, thank you very much!). It's about the USADA / Lance thing, and it's from a Congressman from's HIS letter to the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and it's basically asking them what's going on over there at the USADA and for them to do an investigation into how they (USADA) use their tax dollars. I LOVE IT! Hope this makes Travis Tygart's blood boil and veins pop out of his head!  Anyway, here's the link, it's worth a read:


  1. WHAT a stage today!! Holy crazies on the road. I can't even believe that someone would do that. What would possess them??? One poor guy in the hospital, but can you imagine the carnage that could have taken place with all of those flat tires on a descent? Could have been so much worse.

    I was ready yesterday to pile onto Wiggo because I just can't like all...even though I admire what he's accomplished this year. But, I have more respect for him after today's ride. I'm not sure that he'll ever win me over. That business with Garmin and his disrespectful, childish ranting at the press are a lot for me to overcome, but I was happy with his respect for other riders today.

    I don't think TJ really knew what to do at the top of that climb when Cadel punctured. He was in the wrong place to pull over and there was complete chaos up there with soigneurs passing out bottles, rain jackets, etc. By the time he would have gotten safely to the right side of the road to stop he would've been too far past to be of much help. I got the feeling that he was in the dog house though. I was even questioning the call to have him wait for Cadel the other day when he was clearly stronger on the climb and they lost a lot of time. I know that he is there to protect and help Cadel, but Cadel has not shown fantastic form and TJ is aweome at the TT usually. Might be their best chance. Anyway, hope he isn't in too much trouble - I like that kid and he is in a steep learning curve right now. He rode for a sprinter last year.

    Sky looks great and they "haven't put a foot wrong" like Paul likes to say. I just wish that I was more excited about them...

    Sagan looked awesome today! Making it over the climbs ahead of some of the climbers in that break! Amazing. I love how lighthearted he is when riding along with the group, too. Seems to really be enjoying his 1st Tour (I'm sure it helps to have 3 wins ;). He seems to have a lock - barring catastrophe - on the green jersey now which is just incredible in his first tour. His English is getting a lot better too. Last year he couldn't even understand the questions, and is now answering in English :)

    Oh Matt, my fantasy teams are always a disaster too. I pick with my heart and choose the riders that I would *like* to win rather than the ones who might have a good chance of actually doing that. I had Fabian too. And Tjallingi whoa only lasted a day or two. And Ryder. And CVV. The list goes on..... Oh well. I'm really hoping that Radioshack holds onto that team award. Go boys - looking good that last few days!

    Only 7 days left?!?!?! Dang. I LOVE the Tour!!

  2. CVV was SOOOOO close today...those poor guys killed themselves just getting was a very strange day...and then after all that NO CHASE at all by the sprinters...after yesterday and then today, I don't know what to expect anymore! I thought SURE the sprinters would want a shot at this one...being as there is pretty much only ONE more chance for them. Oh well...I guess everybody was out of gas.

    Rest day tomorrow (means early bed for me..woo-hoo! Though I actually finished the stage early tongight so get an early snooze AGAIN...NICE! (getting up early at 4:20am every day wears me down...I NEED a few early nights here and there!)

    OK..snooz'n time!

    Viva le Tour!

  3. I was just starting to warm up to Frank! Man, when it rains, it POURS!

    The tacks on the road Sunday was CRIMINAL! I just hope somebody saw something or better yet, photograped it & has reported it. Somebody could have DIED on the descent after such a puncture so they SHOULD charge then with attempted manslaughter! You know, a few months ago, I read an article on 1 of the cycling sites that said SOME group was PLANNING to throw tacks on the road in some kind of protest. I just can't remember the specifics.

    And I guess I disagree with you, Matt & Janann, about Tejay. His SOLE job for this Tour was to take care of Cadel on the mt stages. Cadel was not even that far from Tejay when he flatted, & if it's YOUR job, HOW do you not stop?! I acknowledge that it was chaos up there, but still. He should have waited once he got over the top & the crowd thinned out.

    BTW, I'm not such a fan of Froome these days. The guy keeps flapping his gums that HE could win this Tour. Plus, what the hell was that attack he pulled on that mt stage?! You do NOT do something like that to your team leader let alone if he is in the frickin yellow jersey! I actually feel sorry for Wiggins now & that ticks me off! ;)

    The next 2 stages could change EVERYthing. Or nothing. Can't tell with this year's group. Who would have thought yesterday would NOT have ended in a sprint finish?! Anyway, the next 2 stages are the only "real" mt stages of the entire race (imo) & if anyone has bad legs, boom, they could lose MASSIVE amounts of time. Overall, I can't say I'm a fan of this year's course at all. Not enough mt top finishes!

    And I hate to say this but aren't ya'll even the least suspicious of Sagan's dominance? Especially as he's so young.

    And YEAH for CVV! Even though he didn't quite get the win Monday, his performance in the break was awesome. Do you think he won't be on Garmin next year? I hope he gets his contract worked out as that team would NOT be the same without him. One of the reasons I like Garmin is that the core group has been together since 2008!

  4. ****SPOILER ALERT!****

    Well, today didn't change EVERYthing but it sure made it impossible for Cadel to repeat. Sigh. The only way he could even get onto the 3rd podium step would be a Hail Mary tomorrow & he may be too beat down.

    Then there's Nibbles. I think he could only knock off Wiggins & Froome if he makes an alliance with someone strong enough to get up the mts with him tomorrow but not close enough to his current 3rd position to be a threat. Maybe Tejay? Or one of the Shackers. Of course, it's always possible Wiggins or Froome have a bad day or suffer bad luck. Must say though, Wiggins, Froome & Sky certainly are THE strongest by far this year & even though I'm not super thrilled, they deserve congrats. However, if Froome really does go on to the Vuelta, I think he will be in for a shock against Contador.

    I was only able to sneak little peeks today so I'm not sure what all happened with everyone yet. I do know Jens got into that massive break (ever see THAT before on a mt stage?!) & ended up finishing top 5 or so I think! Way to go Jensie!

    So, what do ya'll think about Frank? I was worried before that this team wouldn't make it to the end of the year. Now, I worry if it makes it to the Vuelta. If I'd had to pick someone I thought was doping this year, it wouldn't have been Frank. Not that I think he never has, just that he hasn't been that great during this race OR the entire year. And BTW, wasn't that the quickest dope test you've ever heard of?! The test was from 7/14 & they announce it yesterday, the 17th! HOW MANY MONTHS before we found out about Contador's 2010 positive test?! Have ALL the TDF samples this year been tested that quickly?

    It's been so hot & humid around here again that when P2 announced this morning before I left for work that it was 90 degrees at the Tour, I thought that sounded balmy! Last night driving home, it was so hot in my nonworking-AC car that sweat literally rolled down the SOLES OF MY FEET! Never had THAT happen before & lemme tell ya - that's pukin' hot! I also mean that literally.

  5. Wow...what a stage (in SO many ways). What a beast! Watching Voeckler battle it out in the high mountains (and his thousand faces of pain) is quite entertaining...and to think I DIDN'T pick him this year on my fantasy team (cuz everybody was talking about how hurt his knee was and not even sure if he could finish). I should have known better. That man is a FIGHTER!

    Poor Cadel...bad day to have a bad day....but I give huge credit that the team let TJ stay up front...that was a class move. I was really rooting for Nibbles to get a gap however small and hold it...I'd like to see him get ahead of Froome. Barring disaster I don't see any scenario that Wigg'O' isn't the Tour winner...he AND Team Sky looked quite invincible AGAIN! What a team they have assembled!

    I liked it at the end when Cadel reached out and shook Georges hand as they crossed the a purely 'Agony of defeat' 'moment...nonetheless it was nice to see him thanking George, no matter how far back they finished.

    Tomorrow is the final mt stage, w/ a mountaintop finish...can Voeckler hang on to his tenuous KOM jersey? I hope so...quite honestly, that battle has been the most excitement thus Sky has this SO wrapped up it's hardly interesting. Not that I'm dissing Sky or any of the competitors...but it sure would have been interesting to imagine what if Andy AND Alberto had both been here...but we can only dream of that as it wasn't to be.

    Next year...

    And about Frank...NOW I know what you were talking about last night Susie...I saw the comment before I went to bed and had not heard, so didn't have a clue what you were talking about, only heard that this morning during the live broadcast from Bobke/Liam/Scott. He didn't mince any words or hedge anything, he flat out said he didn't do it's hard to figure what to think. I'd like to believe him...and I do own a whole pallet of rose colored glasses...I think I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt. Sad that NEITHER Schleck will finish this year...what a shock after last year!

    OK...bed time...that was a LONG stage today!

    Viva le Tour!

  6. I just don't understand why any cyclist would EVER take any supplement, with the risk that it will contain something not on the label. (Giving FS the benefit of the doubt that that may be what happened, like some other cyclists were able to prove)

    Sincerely hoping that Zubeldia manages to hold onto a top ten. I wish one of his teammates had helped him (earlier) when he lost touch with the group. Looks like the RSNT team members are just each riding for themselves now. What is better, a higher finish on a stage for yourself, or a higher finish overall for your teammate?



  7. Hi all! Crazy couple of stages in the mountains. I agree about Sky. They've earned my respect and are crazy good. Definitely the best team for this kind of race. That still hasn't warmed me up to Wiggo, though. Still can't put my finger on exactly why....just can't.

    I was pulling and pulling for Cadel to get it together yesterday. You just hate to see the defending champion lose it like that. Super proud of TJ though. He rode incredibly well both days. He's been handling himself pretty well in the press too. No more talk about his balls as in CO ;)

    Desperately hoping that Nibali could get away with someone today. Gosh, his team really worked hard, but Sky is just too strong. You're right that having Contador and Andy in the race would have been great - livened things up I think.

    A friend of mine from high school - we reconnected thru Twitter last year - went to the Tour by herself this year for the last week! She hitched up and down the Tourmalet. Spent the rest day at the RSNT hotel waiting to talk to Jens (her idol) and got to speak with all of the RSNT guys (except Frank). So she was sending me these photos of her with Horner, and the front to the RSNT hotel. About an hour later someone else posts on Twitter the exacct same photo of the hotel that she had sent - but with police cars surrounding it. I tweeted to see if she was still there. She must have left JUST before all of that went down - she had no idea! THAT would liven up your trip for sure.

    I'm not sure what to think about Frank. I wouldn't have suspected him this year due to performance either, Susie. He is saying that he'll claim poisoning? Hmmm. Well, I'd like to give him the benefit of the doubt and there is a chance that the diuretic got in his blood through something that was contaminated. I'm hoping that something like this comes out of the investigation, but I'm not holding my breath anymore either. Good luck Frank.

    Jens!!!!! He is kicking butt over there as the oldest rider! This, of course, means that he MUST ride again next year :)

    Only 3 stages left - wow. Its gone fast, but hasn't been as exciting as other Tours because Sky was SO in control of everything. We're getting ready for a family trip to Seattle for 10 days - our first plane trip. I'm nervous and the kids are excited :)


  8. Oh oh oh - almost forgot! I got a short email from CAT today! Wish she would join us again. Said that she hasn't watched a stage of last year's or this year's Tour.

    I should remind her that we have plenty of other inane things to discuss here :)