Ride the Puddles

Tour de France 2010: Thoughts #tdf

Posted by bikezilla on July 25, 2010


— Lance RageGate saw Lance Armstrong ride by a pedestrian after Stage 16 and shove the old man into a fence. was the only outfit with the guts to post the video, but not one journalist, not even Oz, had the balls to confront Armstrong about it.

Armstrong’s second public assault of a fan that was actually caught on video in two years and he just keeps on getting a “get out of jail free” card. Literally.

*UPDATE: I wrote to and expressed my disappointment with their unwillingness to confront Lance on this. Here is their reply.

“I love your passion for the sport. Lance is a friend of mine and a friend of the website. The video was simply a drummed up attempt to get more hits on our you tube page and not intended to offend anyone.

I do not see the point in confronting Lance about the clip when you only get a minute or so with him at the finish each day and also its not something he would want to talk about.

Thanks for the feedback anyway,

Dan Jones”

Not a satisfactory answer, but an honest one.

Lance is a friend (don’t want to risk making your friend unhappy).

Lance wouldn’t want to talk about it (a journalist’s first job is to make sure they don’t ask questions the askee doesn’t want to answer. Everyone knows that.).

Which sucks on the part of Oz, but can hardly be considered a flaw held only by Oz. END UPDATE

— For Stage 20, the traditionally ceremonial final stage leading into Paris, Lance Armstong tried to go all LiveStrong on the Tour. Each member of Team RadioSkank wore a black jersey with the #28 on the back, representing the 28 million people in the world fighting cancer.

Or not, as race commissars said “no” and made the team change into their official team jerseys before allowing the stage to begin.

Was it just an enforcement of the rules (and TdF / ASO rules have been proven time and again to be “more guidelines than actual rules”)? Or was it just a chance to tweak Armstrong’s nose that ASO couldn’t resist?

Cyclng and suffering is a beautiful combination, though the author seems not quite certain of what the article’s focus really is.

Stage by stage w/ winners of each Jersey.

Great resource for bloggers.

— Denis Menchov (RaboBank). WTF?

Denis blew off his the entire race season because he was so intensely focused on winning this year’s Tour de France.

Then he gets to the Tour and spends three weeks just kind of hanging out in the background as part of the Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank) / Alberto Contador (Astana) entourage. Again I say, WTF?

Maybe he just couldn’t resist watching Alberto’s silly little wobble / wiggle and needed to position himself to the rear so he could have the best view.

Now you can say, “3rd place in the Tour is a damned fine result” and you’d be 100% correct. But Menchov didn’t forsake the early season race calendar for the purpose of merely riding the podium. He said his goal was to WIN the Tour.

Yet, neither he nor his team ever made a move, except the move along with Alberto to take time on Andy when Andy’s chain dropped.

I kept expecting that they were just biding their time, waiting for the opportune moment, but here we are, Tour over, and apparently the moment never did quite become opportune.

You never tried, Denis. You never even forkin’ tried.

— Chaingate? Crybabies. 39 seconds, waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

First, “Chaingate” was fair payment for “Cobblegate”, where Andy gained a similar amount of time on Alberto after Alberto had problems.

So call it turn-about and take it as even up.

I think that’s pretty much how sports in general go: You have one bad call or unfortunate occurrence that goes against you, but you have another that goes in your favor and it all comes out just about level.

Over time it all seems to balance, as it clearly did for Alberto and Andy this year.

— Andy Schleck and big brother Frank.

Last year Andy had Frank and Alberto had pretty much nobody. What was the result? Right, Alberto won his second Tour de France.

But last year Alberto was stronger and Andy was weaker, so maybe Frank would have been that little something extra that would have put Andy over the top. Maybe.

A few days after crashing out, Frank Schleck tweeted that his goal for next year is to beat Andy Schleck.

Does that indicate that the brothers will not be riding on the same team next season?

Frank seemed the stronger of the brothers coming into the Tour. It would have been interesting to see which of them sat higher on the podium had Frank not broken his collarbone.

— Andy and Alberto Contador.

Ok, it’s nice that the two best road racers in the world are bestest best buddies. It’s also nice that the chaingate hatchet was quickly buried.

But listening to Alberto talk about their “relationship” and watching his extended and repeated touches of Andy’s face, shoulder, then face again, was . . . creepy.


— Twitter.

Twitter is amazingly fun and cool. It gives me a place to jot down my hurried thoughts as the race goes on and lets me look back on them as a source of notes while I’m writing up the post race articles.

It’s also a very strange form of social gathering; follow, unfollow, read tweets but not blogs, tweet complaints but not comment in articles, tweet your thoughts, retweet someone else’s, agree, debate, all in 140 characters or less.

I’ve really enjoyed the whole Twitter experience this year. I think it considerably enhanced following the Tour.

— Going into this year’s Tour I put up a list of contenders and my opinions of their chances.

How’d I do? Honestly, I have no idea. I haven’t looked back at it.

So this look with you is my first clue, as well.

And since I took mine from The Cycling Examiner I’ll rate myself against him and see who wins.

I’ll give us 1 point each for being correct, 0 points for being wrong, 1/2 point if we partially got it. No, really, I haven’t looked at any of it yet.

1. Lance Armstrong (RadioSkank:

CE: 1

Bikezilla: 1

We both thought Lance was lacking something and that his age might be a factor.

2. Ivan Basso (Liquigas)

CE: 1

Bikezilla: 1/2

Both said Ivan wasn’t gonna double up on Grand Tour wins.

I expected Liquigas to have multiple stage wins and top ten GC guys. They ended up w/ zero stage wins and w/ Roman Kreuziger taking 9th.

3. Alberto Contador (Astana)

CE: 1

Bikezilla: 0

CE thought he’d likely win it all.

I thought he seemed too much weaker than last year and lacked an adequately strong team.

4. Cadel Evans (BMC):

CE: 0

Bikezilla: 0

Cadel was taken out early by a broken elbow, though he suffered through the entire Tour and did finish. So no telling if our predictions for him were worth a damn.

But it’s for damn sure that BMC has no reason to feel let down. Cadel gave them one amazing season.

5. Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas)

CE: 0

Bikezilla: 1

CE gave an opinion but not a prediction beyond “contending”.

I rightly predicted a strong showing but no overall win and no podium.

6. Denis Menchov (Rabobank)

See above for more on Menchov.

CE: 0

Bikezilla: 0

CE again gave an opinion, but no prediction beyond “contending”.

I thought Menchov would be a real contender for the overall.

7. Michael Rogers (HTC)

CE: 0

Bikezilla: 1

CE thought he’d be a real threat for the overall.

I thought he’d be lucky if the team remembered that he needed water bottles.

He finished 37th.

8. Carlos Sastre (Cervelo TestTeam)

CE: 1

Bikezilla: 1

We both expected his back injury to keep him from serious podium efforts.

9. Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank)

CE: 1

Bikezilla: 1

We both correctly predicted that Andy wasn’t gonna be dropping Alberto in the mountains.

10. Fränk Schleck (Saxo Bank)

CE: 0

Bikezilla: 0

See notes above for more on Frank.

Another top guy taken out early by injury (broken collarbone).

11. Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Transitions)

CE: 0

Bikezilla: 1

Vande Velde also crashed out, but I said I wanted to see more than the jagged ends of his broken bones before I’d believe he could win. I, in fact, saw only more jagged bone ends.

12. Bradley Wiggins (Sky)

CE: 0

Bikezilla: 1

CE believed that Wiggins would contend.

I thought his Giro performance said that he couldn’t.

He finished 24th.

Final tally?

CE: 5

Bikezilla: 7 1/2

Victory is mine! Mwa ha ha ha ha ha haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

I crush you, little Cycling Examiner man. I CRUSH you!


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