Friday, July 6, 2012

And we head to the MOUNTAINS!

In this edition of TOUR TALK, we discuss the insanity of the first week AGAIN! Holy CRAP what a crash 25k from the finish today! I know Frank probably didn't have a REAL shot at a top podium spot, what w/ all the TT's this year, but I was rooting for him anyway, hoping he was sandbagging his excellent form and just waiting to jump out like a snake in the grass come the high mountains.

I was also REALLY rooting for Ryder...and I'm devastated that he is also WAY out of the hunt. DANG DANG DANG! Not to mention all the people who are HURT! And poor Cav...yesterday he looked rather shell-shocked as he sat on the road, and today AGAIN losing his shot at one of the few remaining sprint stages...that's pretty brutal. But Sagan sure took advantage of the situation...not too shabby for a 22 yr old in his FIRST Tour!

And gosh...Poor Tommy D looked like he couldn't believe it as he sat there wondering if anybody got the license plate number of the truck (that hit him). Same for Tyler...(and I agree that yesterday it APPEARED to be his own fault...from what the overhead video shows he was fighting for a spot that didn't exist when the others came over from the right...and it was the guy in white on his right side holding his position in THEIR leadout train that Tyler tried to move over (unsuccessfully I might add). From what I could see that guy didn't do anything wrong...but I wasn't there so maybe there was more than meets the eye...Tyler was sure hot after the finish when he went to their trailer!

I forgot how TIRED I get in July, as I still get up EARLY all week for my fundraising, but then need to stay up late to TRY to watch the stage every's a brutal schedule I tell ya!

I'm just glad they head into the hills so these disastrous crashes can slip into the background for a while. Tomorrow is Saturday...the tour is now ONE WEEK gone by....boy it sure goes FAST ever year! It seems it just gets started and BAM! They are near Paris!

And HEY! I LOVE the zany Bobke commercials! I've seen like 5 or 6 now....seems like a new one each stage? They are AWESOME!!! (I was explaining to Jeannie why the one where he's standing on the deserted road looking both ways over and over, then goes to relieve himself and suddenly vehicles are zooming by in every direction! That's how it works (which is why it's so funny!) Tonight I saw the one where he stole the golf cart for the first time. I wonder how many they've made? I love it that they include other cyclists too! That one w/ George eating cereal STILL cracks me up every time I see it!

OK....on with the weekend! I must get to bed early so I can get up early! And also need to go for a ride BOTH DAYS! (Jeannie is studying, so it's a great opportunity for me to be NOT hanging around the house..woo-HOO!)



  1. I am absolutely heartbroken for Garmin :( That crash yesterday was unbelievable....guys and broken bikes strewn everywhere. Serious injuries, too. Poor Wouter Poels who is being transferred to ICU for his ruptured spleen/kidneys, guys with punctured lungs, hematomas, dislocated shoulders, and a LOT of missing skin. Horrible to watch. Horrible to wait to see who is able to get up and go on and who has to be removed by ambulance. Just plain horrible.

    I was on my feet cheering on DZ when he left the break at the end of the stage though. That would have been amazing if he would've been able to pull off a win for the team on such a terrible day for Garmin. He almost made it, but the sprinters were too hungry. And then Sagan takes it AGAIN! That kid is a phenom! Crazy talented. P & P keep talking about what a star he'll be in the future...what about NOW?!? First Tour and 3 wins in 7 days? Yep, star. :)

    Then today. They always say that the first day in the mountains can be more than a rude awakening. Sky looked awesome as expected, but I didn't expect to see Frank struggling or Tejay going backwards well before the top of the climb. Cadel looked great and I was willing him to make that move at the end stick - but props to Froome. He was great today! I thought Menchov was positioned perfectly until he faded at the end and Nibali looked strong too. Of the guys left, I'm really hoping that Cadel can repeat this year.

    With Garmin basically out of the GC entirely, I'm hoping that they can send someone up the road to at least hunt for stages or mountain points. Not sure if they have anyone left unscathed or not. You have to admire their spirit today though when they were driving the peloton in hopes of sending Martin up the road. Keep going guys!

    Have you been watching Frankie Andreu on Tour Talk at If not...why not? I love those two guys and their banter. Best videos from the Tour for sure. I really was missing the Neal Rogers Tour videos from years past until I started watching them.

    Oh, one more thing. I thought that Fabian looked amazing today on that climb! He wasn't in the first tier of finishers by any means, but he beat a lot of CLIMBERS up that mountain! He should be proud!!

    Looking forward to tomorrow's stage. Heading out camping for several days in the afternoon. What? During the Tour?? I know....apparently there are people in this world that don't understand that the Tour trumps all other activities in July ;)

  2. Another good stage today, wasn't it? Loved seeing Cadel trying to put time into Wiggo, even though he didn't succeed-- hopefully he will have many more chances. It really is surprising how many climbers failed to stay in the peloton today; I wonder if there is some illness going around. Well, the stage was great EXCEPT for seeing poor Sammy Sanchez on the ground, crying. I nearly cried with him. Out of the Olympics, too, I am sure. Respect to Tyler Farrar, he keeps soldiering on.

    But isn't it amazing how well RSNT did today, with Gallopin and Zubeldia finishing with the 1st group and Frank and Horner just behind? You have to consider this a great day for them -- but Frank surely didn't seem happy at all.
    I noticed last year that Zubeldia was strong as a domestique and still pulled high finihes. Hopefully he can keep it up!

    I wonder (I mean I've never understood) how riding at the front with your only 2 strong domestiques would help Daniel Martin. Yes, it is a great display, good for the sponsor, but I don't understand how spending all the energy in that way helps him when they get to the pointy end of the stage.

    I will have to try to remember to check out Tour Talk. Oh, those Neil Rogers videos-- remember the competition to see who would say "meow" the most when interviewed? That was Horner and who else?


  3. How could I forget to mention the winner today, young Pinot!-- and his teammates kept interrupting his interview to hug and kiss -- such joy!


  4. Well, even before today's TT, it looked like the Tour was really just between Wiggins & Cadel & now even more so. Although, unless Cadel & BMC makes some "road deals" with the Shackers & throw down some nifty 1-2-3 attacks in the mts, I don't see how Cadel or anyone else will beat Wiggins. Barring any crashtastrophes. Which of course, can STILL happen at any time. That crash that took out Sammy was just too stupid to believe!

    Right now, the Tour is a bit of a repeat of last year's Vuelta, with Cadel substituting for Cobo. Wiggins & Froome. I wondered last year if Froome was a one-race wonder & now we know - he's a GT contender! And ONCE AGAIN, there was Cadel ALONE on the last mts! Last Fall, I b*tched that BMC was STUPID for throwing money at Thor & PhilGil when they SHOULD have been hiring 1-2 mt helpers for Cadel! And now look - Thor & Gilbert have had sucky seasons & Cadel is alone AGAIN at the Tour! Tejay may be a great GT racer one day but expecting him to be Cadel's sole mt help this year was ridiculous! He certainly didn't do any mt support in last year's Tour on HTC & expecting him to be able to do so at the Tour bordered on naive or worse.

    And poor Garmin. Just like last year for Radio Shack - you just can't believe it! I'm hoping CVV can heal up & stay with the leaders & maybe get a mt stage win. And I have to agree with Rae - I did NOT understand what Garmin was doing yesterday when Dan Martin had not shown fantastic legs the day before, so expending all the energy to 'set him up' was a waste.

    Two things in P2's commentating yesterday drove me crazy - that Liquigas was NOT going to the front before the last mt for SAGAN! Come ON, Phil! They have NIBBLES sitting in 4th! And that RSNT had 4, count 'em FOUR (NOT 3!) guys in that lead group! I thought they were GREAT yesterday & definitely look like the the team to beat in the Team GC!

    And yes, I LOVE the Tour Talk videos! Frankie & James have great chemistry together & I just love how they chat/joke about all the action. Hopefully, Frankie will stay for the entire Tour this year unlike last year when he had to leave after about day 9. As much as I loved Neal's video Tour diaries a few years ago, I have to say, Frankie & James' are my FAVE Tour videos/commentary of all time!

    And camping? CAMPING?! In the middle of the Tour?! Gosh, Janann, wish your kids were a bit older so you could bribe, I mean 'indoctrinate', I mean 'educate' them in the fabulosity of the Tour Tomb!

  5. Well, the TT is over, and boy, Wigg'O looks like it's his to lose. Having not seen one iota of cycling this year (and not really keeping up very well on the internet) I didn't pick him for my fantasy team (nor Cadel either)...I just didn't really see him as quite ready for the BIG time (boy was I WRONG!) Boy oh boy do I have egg on my face! Unless Cadel (and any road-alliances he can make) can do some wicked multi-pronged attacks in the Mts and break Wigs and Sky somehow, I just don't see him getting any of his time back. Sky looks pretty fantastic.

    But the real surprise to me today was Froome and TJ...last year I picked TJ in my fantasy team expecting him to do what he's doing THIS year (and I sadly didn't pick him again this year, expecting he was going to again be total support rider for Cadel).

    I like Menchov and Klodi for my dark horses...hoping they can come thru and podium. Nothing against Cadel, but today he had a taste of how Andy felt last year in the TT...knowing he's up against somebody who is gonna give him a real smak-down. For Wigs to go on and WIN the TT by that margin...well, that was class and a REAL show of what he's I have to give him huge kudo's there. If he can just stay with the rest in the high mtns, he's untouchable.

    And with the final TT the day before Paris being even longer than today's, I'd say that every other GC wanna-be this year is quaking in their collective boots after today (including Cadel). The thought that it could very well be Wigs and Froome 1/2 in Paris is crossing my mind...and Cadel must be thinking that too.

    If Cadel falters or has bad luck, I'd say BMC is still looking pretty good w/ TJ...we'll just see how the Mts go...I'd think Cadel might just be a tad bit worried about his own teammate (or at least he should be). By next year, there will be some real dogfighting w/ multiple contenders for a change. Going to be an interesting off-season to see how the teams shape up.

    Thankfully tomorrow is a REST I can finally get some SLEEP! Sheesh...seems like it just started, and now it's almost HALF over!


  6. Hey Matt - Teejay failed miserably on the 1st mt stage - couldn't keep up at all (& thus was of no help to Cadel) & then on Sunday's stage he was better but still could not stay with Cadel & the other leaders (including the 4 Shackers). With age & experience, I think he could definitely be a GC contender one day but he's still got a lot to learn.

    I'm hoping that the Shackers & Cadel pull some BOLD moves like Andy did last year but at least going by what his DS (Lelangue) said yesterday, it doesn't look like that's BMC's "plan". One of the things I've never understood is why some of the GC teams don't allign MORE against the one dominant guy. Unless catastrophe gets Wiggins, it is the ONLY hope for the other GC teams this year & I will be VERY disappointed if they don't come up with something daring! What do they have to lose?!

    As for Wiggins - did you HEAR/read his comments after Sunday? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! He says that shit in a PUBLIC FORUM?!! Who the f*ck does that WANKER think he is?! As you know, I have nothing against "colorful" language, but you do not ever, EVER say the "c word"! It's bad enough if he talks that way privately, but in freakin PRESS CONFERENCE?!! I don't care if the reporter had actually accused him of doping! He's an 'ARSE' & I now would rather have Contador beat that smirk off his face by dancing his own skinny ass up the mountains! And you KNOW how I feel about Contador! If I didn't like Cadel before, I would LOVE him now! Even Frank! ANYbody would be a better TDF winner than Wanker Wiggins!

  7. If I recall from something I read a long time ago, the 'c' word in England doesn't have quite the same extra super-dooper vulgarity that we consider it here in USA, so if you keep that in mind, Wiggo didn't really go all profane on the interviewer. I like that he shows so much fire and passion, but I think the pressure of the extra responsibilities that go with wearing yellow will weigh on him and possibly be his undoing. It's no picnic at the end of each day or beginning of the next to fulfill all the duties of the Maillot Jaune. Time will tell! He's definitely colorful!

    I think my team and three or four others will take it to Wiggo and Cadel - I know our team has nothing to lose, so why not? Our Tour is already a huge success and the only way to get more results is to go for it. Who benefits? WE DO AS FANS! Would love to see attack after attack whenever possible. Evans doesn't really have a good team for the mountains so he is once again vulnerable just like last year, and it would be fun to see if Sky can hold up under pressure. Will they crack or just get better, stronger, more focused? Fun, fun, fun!

    1. Even if it is not such an offensive word where he comes from, I'd hope that he would show some respect to the international audience -- but Wiggo is not noted for being respectful and polite, is he? I hope that SOMEthing will be his undoing! short of injury, of course! If RSNT keeps riding like they have been, they will have someone in the top ten at least.

      Rather than worrying about TJ, Cadel might be worrying about why his team management failed to get him better support for this race!

      I was yelling for Jens all the way to the line today! What a performance! Wish he could have won, but happy that Tommy V. got the reward for all his work in the breakaway!


  8. I don't care if the 'bloody wanker' is from Mars, he crossed a line. Not only should be be blasted by EVERY member of the press, but also FINED by his team, the ASO & the UCI. I personally hope the media feeds on him like a ravenous pack of pirranha every damn day for the next 2 weeks.

    But MOST of all, I want some teams to work TOGETHER to crack him like an egg! It's souffle time fellas, get crackin!

  9. *****SPOILER ALERT!******

    Yippeeee for David Millar! He just saved Garmin's Tour! So, so happy for him & the team!

    As for yesterday - well, the good news is that Tejay was FINALLY able to stay with Cadel on the final mt, the bad news was that Cadel had a bad day & could not stay up with Wiggins. Crap! But Cadel is a fighter so I think he will keep plugging away. Wiggins can have bad legs or bad luck ANY day, so Cadel & Nibbles need to be ever vigilant. Plus, if Wiggins does show the slightest crack, the internal Sky polemics will get even more heated. From some comments I read this morning, I don't think Froome is quite the one-for-all-all-for-one musketeer he was at the Grand Departe. Will be ver-rrryyyyyy interesting the next 10 days!

    Meanwhile, I think the Shackers are doing great in the Team GC! Was sorry to read this morning that Spartacus left to be with his wife, but it's certainly understandable. Will miss him on the final podium in the team photo! :)

  10. This is a really good blog piece by Wiggo. Haven't particularly been a fan in the past, but I like what he says here and think he means it. I think about what Floyd did and how long he lied about all of it....I still have a vision of his step-daughter standing on the final podium with him, wearing her yellow dress, and wonder if he ever considered the same things Wiggo writes about.

    Also, I'm reading David Millar's book right now - a really good read. Keeping me up at nights and I'm just now getting to the part where he gets busted!! Have also downloaded Riis' book - that will be my vacation read after the Tour.