Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Birthday America!

Birthday wishes go out to the entire country today! Always a proud day for someone who has been in the military...and being as I spent a good part of my life in the Navy I feel pretty patriotic! My flag is up and proudly flying, and I look forward to some fireworks tongiht.

And speaking of fireworks, let's talk about Peter Sagan! Holy mackerel!  That kid (KID!) is amazing! I was wondering if the Tour of Cali wins were some kind of a he was on a one-of-a-kind hot streak or something. That appears to NOT be the case, he is for REAL! (Glad he's on my Tour team!)

As to watching stages, sheesh....I'm TWO stages behind already, and it's only Stage FOUR! Monday I had a 14 hour work-day...then Tues was only 10, and now today the 4th of July Jeannie had me out all morning, and then I was Mt biking all finding time to somehow watch a FOUR HOUR stage is hard right now...especially the flat ones (3 hours and 50 minutes of SHEER BOREDOM, followed by 10 minutes of agonizing excitement!)

It's now Weds evening past 8pm, and I JUST finished watching Stage THREE! Haven't even read all the comments yet from today, cuz I'm hoping to SEE who won and be surprised! However I'll go back after I ZOOM thru the stage at most likely about 60x on the DVR and see what the discussion is all about.

Just thought we should have a new doing this every few days for the duration...hate the comments to get too long.

OK...for those who DO NOT have to work tomorrow and Friday, you SUCK! (just kidding...that's pure jealousy talking there!) I don't actually HAVE to work, but I need to save my vacation so Greg and I can go backpacking in late Aug/early Sept. And it SHOULD be somewhat quiet...I'm hoping to see tumbleweeds blowing thru the ghost-town (meaning I can get done what I NEED to do for a change..we have been SO busy lately!)

I'm off to watch today's stage! Happy Forth of July everybody!


  1. So glad Sydney is all healed & HOME safe & sound! Didn't realize she was "a runner"! :) :) Not sure why Sydney's break for FREEEDOMMMM spurred this memory but once upon a time, one of our beagles was given to a neighbor's daughter's family who lived over 100 miles away. My sisters & I were NOT happy about this but it was decided we had "too many dogs" at the time. Well, a few weeks later we got a call that the dog had run away. MONTHS & MONTHS later, she showed up at the farm! She had walked over 100 miles & SOMEHOW had found her way back home! Where she continued to live out her life because she EARNED IT! :) :)

    Alrighty - Tour Talk! Poor Tyler! Just can't catch a break this year. From the clips I've seen, I think the other guy leaned WAY into him, which caused him to crash. I've always been amazed there hasn't been MORE crashes in the sprint stages. One good thing about strong sprint-train teams is they control the peloton a bit more during that chaotic time & this year there just is NOT such a team. It's a shame we've had 2 crash-marred stages back-back. For the sprinters, who only get so many chances at the Tour & for all the guys who get injured.

    Speaking of injuries - how long do you think Tommy D will be able to keep riding? I don't know how he'll be able to go up mountains! Poor guy. At least Ryder seems to have escaped unscathed so far. But I'm just so disappointed that CVV lost time. But, you never know what can happen, so I'm trying to stay optimistic.

    Of course, with today's annual in-the-middle-of-the-Tour doping story to hit, how any of the old US Postal guys can concentrate, I don't know. I'm not surprised at all that this came out now & who knows how much or if any of it is true. I do think if all those guys really do testify at Lance's Hearing, then Lance will go down. Which does nothing but hurt the sport in THIS COUNTRY. It certainly will NOT "clean" it up! Contador got 6 MONTHS & he actually tested positive? Please.

    Cycling is a POOR sport with a ridiculous financial structure. For more than 30 YEARS, the top prize for tennis & golf in the "major" events have been well over $1 million dollars. Not the Tour - THE biggest cycling event. And the FINAL prize for the Green/KOM/WHITE jerseys is a paltry 25,000 Euro. It's pathetic. But oh yes, let's just keep testing & testing & suspend riders for YEARS at a time while the MAJOR sports in each country barely have dope testing & the penalties for a positive are a JOKE. This has ruined Track & Field & cycling may not be far behind - it keeps sputtering & lurching from one sponsor &/or owner to the next while races get cancelled due to lack of financial backing. Arghhhhhh.

  2. As for the early Tour stages, I don't know if they are an "acquired taste" or whether you just like them or don't. I do know that when I 1st got Versus & was able to watch the stages LIVE, I was quite shocked. During all those years of taped coverage, we barely got to see the last 2K of the flat stages, so I was mystified & bored. At 1st. Now, I love them! Not like the mt stages, but I love looking at all the scenery - the chateaux & cows, etc & listening to P2 babble on & on. I also like trying to make out who's who in the zooming peloton. The only days I hate are the RAINY days because then you can barely see anything on camera & it's even more dangerous for the fellas.

    And Matt - this year the Prime Time coverage is pretty much like the AM coverage - except there are more pre-stage interviews thrown in & occasional "analysis" by Funeral Director Scott & Bob. The road action uses P2's commentating of the morning instead of a mixture of Bob & P2 like the last few years. I liked the latter as it was interesting to hear the differences.

    BTW, this weekend, the LIVE coverage is on the NBC channel not NBCsports! So, it you're recording, make note.

    Yooo-hooo, Janann, you out there? We miss ya! Hope all is well.

  3. Susie, what you said. I am SO tired of this witch hunt. I will be just SICK if George, Levi, Christian and Z are actually testifying. Bottom line... he has NEVER tested postive! This will do nothing to help the sport.

    Anyway, back to the race... very exciting finishes this week! Hated to see Tyler almost getting his head bashed in today (Thursday). Bikes flying everywhere.

    Coverage... I miss the Bob commentary in the evenings. He notices different things and explains stuff so well. But it does make my life easier not having to try to watch both versions. (What kind of addiction is that?) As to the flat "boring" stages, the first 2 years I watched the Tour, I had a TV in my home office and watched it all day, and I learned SO MUCH about bike racing. The P2 chatter is very educational!
    I love the scenery - what is it about France? (I was there in May and so enjoyed the views from the train windows!)
    I love when the peloton is ambling along like me on a Sunday morning and then they tell us they're going 24 mph.


    I have my DVR set to record 30 minutes after the posted end time, and every day this week has gone into that last half hour. I'm going to change it to an hour for the mountains.

  4. Hi all! Was out of town for the first couple days of the Tour and then had inlaws staying for the 4th, so I've been watching the stages @ 11 at night on the DVR! Been trying to avoid any kind of media until I have the stages watched, so I've been MIA. Thanks for checking Susie :)

    Loving the Tour so far! Sagan is simply amazing - though after TOC and TdS it isn't a huge surprise. He makes it look so easy though! Lot of chatter about his celebrations. I love them. I think he is a breath of fresh air and seems to be enjoying the heck out of his first TdF experience.

    Poor Garmin....they must have used up their luck for the year in getting the Giro win with Ryder. I felt so bad for Tyler today. I think the day after day of crashing just got to him and led to that storming over to the Argos bus. That is just not like him. I'll bet he regrets it tomorrow. Oh, and hothead Robbie Hunter was there to talk him down - we are in bizarro world now ;) I can't believe that Tommy D is still riding with a separated shoulder. I don't even ride when its too hot or too cold or too windy or too wet, etc, etc, etc!

    I have a team in the Fantasy Cycling Challenge and am in the Velogames leagues this year. I'm like you Matt. I pick with my heart and not always with my head, so I usually am way down in the bottom of the standings. I'm hoping that Cadel can repeat this year (he has won me over again), though Wiggo has been looking really good this year and is probably the fave like you said, Rae. It killed me that CVV lost those 2 minutes the other day. I was SO hoping for him to have a storming Tour again. He's not completely out of things, but I think he'll be back to domestique duties this year. Still cheering for him though. I also have Cav and am really admiring him going after sprint points and wins without his leadout train. Oh, and of course Fabian for the TTs. He has also really been enjoying his week in yellow - chatting up the peloton as he cruises back and forth. Looks really happy :)

    Susie - I'm the same way. I used to HATE the flat stages, but they have grown on me and I really enjoy them now. I like the P&P chatter and the beautiful scenery. Also like how they have consolidated the intermediate sprint points to just one important mid-race sprint. That has really made the sprint stages and the green jersey race more interesting.

    GREAT writeup of your Team Fatty adventures again, Matt. Sounds like you had a fantastic time for a good cause! So glad that Sydney is safe and sound!

    We are MELTING here in the midwest. It's been @ 100 for days with super high humidity. At 2:30 AM a couple of days ago (yes, I know - I had just finished the Tour stage) it was still 78. Ugh. Has it been sweltering for you guys too Rae, Susie? I feel so bad for the folks out your way Susie that are still without power in the heat. Horrible.

    Oh, and thanks for the update Cathy - I'd been wondering how Gary was doing. So much more to say.....but I must head to bed. I'll try to stop by more often because I LOVE this time of year!! Hope you all had a wonderful 4th!

  5. Oh goodness gracious, today's stage! (I won't spoil it for you later watchers, but I am SOOOOO astonished). More chat later, maybe--lots to talk about!

    Yes, it has been 100F (and that is not like 100 in CA, Matt, nothing at all like it!) for days. I can't remember it ever being so hot for so long. At least we are getting some rain, although not enough for the farmers. Be prepared for food to get much more expensive soon.

    I never saw anything in the Farrer crash clip to explain why he was so hot toward Veelers. It was the Liquigas rider that took him down with a touch of wheels. And it looked like TF leaned on Veelers first. So something must have happened before that, that we are not seeing on the replay, don't you think?

    Barbara, I have had the same addiction. Love all the stages--the "less exciting" ones are more like the mindset of listening to baseball on the radio, as I did when I was a child with my Grandpa out under the big maple tree. Only now there are beautiful pictures to go with. Now I listen to Eurosport in the morning and P2 in the evening. My daughter thinks that I am insane. At least I can excuse by saying it is too hot to do anything else!


  6. *****SPOILER ALERT!******

    Well, today Team Garmin has officially wrestled the title of HARD LUCK KIDS from last year's holder (Radio Shack), although RSNT did not escape totally unscathed. God, two years in a row & the Tour is DECIMATED by crashes in the 1st week! The one thing I've never understood is when or if the lucky ones hold up for their unlucky brethren of the road. Last year in that curvy stage crash, the peloton slowed down to wait & this year, the 30 or so guys who did NOT crash actually sped up. Of course last year there was still over 100 miles to go & today the massive crash happened within the last 25k I think.

    I have thought for years that the Tour should be limited to just 20 teams. The roads are too narrow & with so much "road furniture" these days, having more than 180 guys to start is just too much & too dangerous! What do ya'll think?

    There is a photo on ESPN's Tour section now of Tommy D sitting stunned on the side of the road in the aftermath of today's carnage & his jersey & shorts are almost completely ripped off! He had to abandon & I think I heard that they took him to the hospital. Van Summeran (sp?) looked shredded too when he got to the bus & I read he lost consciousness for a spell, so don't know if he'll be able to start tomorrow. I think the only Garmin guy not to go down was DZ in the break! I was really rooting for him to get the stage & he was SO close!

    Somehow, Cadel, Wiggins & Menchov all made it through untouched. But the Tour Gods can turn on any of them in a New Yawk minute so I wouldn't sleep too soundly if I were them! In fact, I might be even more nervous thinking my "number" had to come up at any moment!

    The bad news for RSNT is that Frank was caught up in the crash & lost over 2 minutes. However, Klodi finished in the front bunch so he's still in the top 10, so I guess that means he's the new designated GC guy. I think he was #2 anyway & probably had a better chance this year what with all the TT miles.

    Hey Janann! So glad you're ok & watching the Tour! And yes, it's hot as blazes around here but I still have power, unlike a lot of people who work at my company, so I can't complain! TOO much. ;) :)