Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Now what do we do?

Well...Le Tour is done. Over. Ka-put.

And with it, July is nearly done also. This is always a sad time of year for me...when PTDS (Post Tour Depression Syndrome) sets in. The good news is it doesn't last too long, as we've got the Tour of Utah and the US Pro Championships (Tour of Colorado) hot on Le Tour's heels! YAY!! And the Vuelta (not that I ever see any of it, as it's not televised).

My final thoughts on this years Tour...I didn't post yesterday as I wanted to chew on them for an extra day. I think the ASO did a very fine job on this years 100th edition, and loved the spectacle in the dark after. Especially awesome was using the Arc de Triumph as the basis for an anamzing light show...must have been a substantial amount of work put into that, and having it as a backdrop for the podium was the BOMB!

I was a bit disappointed that Jens didn't get Most Combative rider overall...that honor went to a Frenchman (not that I'm dissing him, his win on stage 18 was quite dramatic, and very Jens-like. Knowing that this is Jen's last Tour (PLEASE say it isn't so! He hasn't actually SAID that for SURE, has he?), I just can't think of anybody day in and day out so willing to ATTACK. How many times this Tour did we see him out there?

Also I just saw that Stuart O Grady is calling it quits also...another hard-working veteran that has been a great ambassador for the sport...he will be missed. Speaking of 'missed', not seeing Chris Horner out there riding his guts out this year was just WRONG.

I see Froome has said that his yellow jersey "will stand the test of time". I sure hope so. For now I will give him the benefit of the doubt and hope and pray we don't later find this just another case of what we've had WAY too much of already. I saw an article on Velo News talking about this subject last week...all the riders must know that in this day and age, and after what we've been thru, that a win is subject to recall YEARS down the road. All their drug samples will be saved for a very long period of time, and as progress is made in testing in the future they will surely be re-tested. I truly hope Froome is as honest as he seems. If that be the case, then congrats to an AMAZING win Chris! He seems too good to be true, and I hope he is someone I can believe in.

Also amazing this year was the overall 2nd place kid from Columbia Nairo Quintana. He came out of nowhwere back in the first Mt stage down in the Pyrnees...can you imagine placing 2nd OVERALL in your very first Tour at the tender age of 23? His smile on the podium is infectious and I can't imagine that he won't be giving Froome a real run for his money next year. If he learns to Time Trial, he will be a force to deal with.

And Cathy already mentioned it...but the 2nd and 3rd places on Stage 19 by Kloden and Bakelants was spectacular! It will be very interesting to see how Radio Shack firms up after switching to full American sponsorship next year. I can only assume it won't include Andy Schleck..which is sad as I think he is just now getting some confidence back, and have no doubt he'll be back in the top echelon of GC contenders next year, whichever team he finds himself on (with his brother Frank no doubt).

Watching Contador crack and having Quintana and Rodriguez jump him to the podium on stage 20 was tough, but it was an awesome stage to watch unfold. I'm hoping he continues his comeback and also will be at the pinnacle of GC cycling next year. I'd LOVE to see a real shootout where maybe 5 or more guys are all within a minute of each other (much like this year's race for 2nd thru 5th) only having that include the Yellow jersey...maybe changing hands back and forth throughout the race.

Valverde had a very tough day WAY back (was it stage 7 I think?) when he flatted and was left behind the charging peleton in the wind and went from 2nd to 14th (I think) place, losing over 10 minutes. THAT was a sad day for him, however it opened the door for Quintana to fly free, so it wasn't all bad. I think he was in pretty good form and if not for that bad luck would have been a real protaginist throughout the race, and could very well have made podium. It's moments like that when I think back to "he who shall not be named" and SEVEN consecutive years in a row of NOT having even one moment like that. I don't care how strong your team is...bad luck in the wrong moment = loss of ANY chance of winning. Even on the final day...can you imagine if the race was close and a mechanical drops you from the speeding peleton on the Champs? Would the entire peleton slow and wait for the yellow on the final stage? Or what about a touch of wheels and the yellow jersey crashes in the final day....wonder if that has ever happened?

Anyway, I did enjoy watching it this year, even if the winner was a foregone conclusion...seeing the battles for 2nd thru 5th, and the Polka dot jersey, and the battle for the white jersey...it was just a great race! Also I really liked Todd, Bobke and Scott...I wish they would have been allowed to commentate the prime time version...I would have recorded that one instead of the morning 'live' version. Not that I don't still like P&P, but I have to admit I'd just prefer to listen to Bobke. I was also sad there was only like 2 zany Bobke commercials...and both were for American Classic wheels. Would have loved to see a few more.

OH...and also, I recieved my FREE Pearl Izumi Tour of California jersey in the mail last week (THANKS Rae for the link to that back in May!). It's a pretty nice jersey, and I wore it yesterday on a nice long ride! Yes...for ONE day I was a professional cyclist! You see...Sunday was my 14th straight day of work, and we have an agreement with our customer that after 14 straight days you get an 8 hour day of paid time off (and I'm not talking vacation or sick leave...this is actual pay from the customer!) So I actually got PAID to ride my bike yesterday! I left the house at 9am sharp (after FINALLY watching the finale of stage 21...I fell asleep Sunday evening early into the stage (10 of those 14 days were 12 hr shifts, and I was plain whipped). So after watching the END of Le Tour I hit the road and did an 80 miler. It all went very well until mile 55. That's when Evil Mr. Wind made a grand entrance and kicked my ASS all the way home...25 miles of headwind so strong I could barely hear my ipod, and as I rode Foxen Cyn north (which is a 1 to 2% descenet) I was averaging 11 to 12 mph, which even with 'normal' winds would be about a 16-18mph ride. I felt like I was moving so slow I could walk it faster. Nothing sucks your morale faster than the wind. By the time I got home I was truly crushed. But hey...I got paid for it...so how bad can it be? Looking back, well...you forget the pain and remember the good parts. I was WARM for a change, which was WONDERFUL!

OK. It's 5am now (I'm back on my 12's...so much for my 1-day break!) and I've finally found a way around big-brother and his internet blocking tactics, so not only can I comment here, but I can even POST!

Here's hoping you find a way out of your PTDS too.

Stay Frosty!


  1. I was just wondering earlier today if you got your jersey! seeing a couple of unusual ones on my way home from work tonight made me think of it.

    Tour withdrawal--happens to me every year. The three weeks seem to go so quickly! I am looking forward to Colorado, then the gran prix of Montreal and Quebec.

    Did you see Christian VdV on the evening show on Sunday? I wonder what kind of a commentator he would make (Have I mentioned the rumors that Phil is retiring?)


    1. Rae, I saw CVV twice with Bobke and Todd...I couldn't help but think that he'd make an excellent commentator...and I do believe you had mentioned the Phil retiring thing...however a few times during the race he said things that made me wonder...maybe he's not totally sure?)

      I really like the Jersey..only thing...they put a nifty little cell phone water-proof pouch sewed to the back (against your back I mean) inside the rear middle pocket...seems like a GREAT idea..then you try to put anything in your pocket, and the little pouch is totally in your way..EVERY time I try to get inside the pocket I'm almost ripping out the pouch...I might see if I can very carefully un-sew it...I'd rather just have the full use of the pocket. But otherwise it's a wicked nice jersey (and I really like the colors too).

  2. Andy and Frank have both signed with the new Trek team, along with Fabs, so the headliners are in place and the general manager is busy filling out the roster now. It's big business!

    Speaking of days off, I haven't had one since June 22 and don't get one for awhile yet - it's either a work day for my regular business or a race! Too much!

    Firefighter son is back from a fire in Monterey, safe and sound. Yay.

    Final thoughts from my hubby on wondering if cycling performances are doped or clean: "Well, sometimes we are watching fiction. We just don't know it."

    1. Cathy...I thought we had all heard that the team wasn't going to resign Frank? (Didn't that come out a week or so before the tour, and had Andy all upset?) Good to hear though...and same w/ Fabian...I like the three of them together...I think that bodes well for NEXT years Tour...Andy will be even more motivated to be 'back'...and having Frank at his side (who is no slouch either, only they both typically stink up the road during TT's) is a great thing...a really awesome tag-team of climbing if they are both on their A game. And Fabian..what can you say...he's been accused of having an electric motor in his bike...not much higher praise than that!

      Glad your son is back safe...just tonight as I was heading home from work I had just passed the fire-station on Southbase and sirens went off...it was the Hotshot crew vehicle swooping out on a call, and I immediately thought of your son...brave people firefighters!

      It was a very very long day (again)..same for yesterday...my schedule is I leave home before 3am now (about quarter till) to get all the way out to SLC-6 (the farthest south launch-pad on base) by 3:45am...and get out of there @ 4:30pm, home around 5:30pm...eat din din and hit the sack by 8 or so...and do it again... and again...until launch (Late August hopefully). This thing better work!

  3. What people weren't realizing is that the firing of Frank is on the current license, which runs to the end of 2013 and is then taken over by new Trek team. It's the current license holder who didn't re-sign Frank although if press is correct, they negotiated and could not reach an agreement. Frank and Andy have signed new contracts with the Trek team for next year - it's a different beast. That's the way sponsorship and licenses work in cycling.

    I'm curious about how people feel about Stuey??

  4. Hey Cathy...thanks for clearing that up (about Frank)..I didn't understand it at all! AWESOME that the Schlecks and Fabian will be on next years team!!

    And hey..this is a week or more old but I hadn't seen it before...a very interesting article that talks about those 7 years we don't have a winner for any more, and is that just (considering all the other winners who have been shown to be doping that still have their wins). Here's the link...


    OK..back to work...crazy busy! Another long weekend here at the pad!