18 July 2009

I Think The Tour de France Might Just Kill Me

So, I am watching the replay of The Tour de France as we speak and I know the outcome already so it's pretty well spoiled. Knowing the outcome of todays Tour, I have come to the conclusion that the Tour might just be the death of me. I will be the first to admit that I want to see Lance devastate in France again this year. For the life of me, I can't figure out why he can't just get it done. Furthermore, I can't figure out how some of these Haussler came out of nowhere to stun the crowds. This might just be one of the most exciting and, at the same time, most frustrating tours in my memory.

So that brings us to today, Stage 14, Colmar - Besançon. Things did switch up a bit today, Nocentini (AG2R la Mondiale) is still in first place, Hincapie (Columbia - HTC) came outta nowhere to take second place today at +00:05, and Contador (Astana) is now in third at +00:06. Which... Puts, my boy, Lance (Astana) in fourth at +00:08. Finally Le Mevel (Francaise Des Jeux) is pretty far behind in fifth at +00:43.

Well, that's about all I've got for now. Keep checking back, as I will be posting results daily. Work should allow for me to catch the end of the TdF at lunch and I should be able to post an update in realtime on Monday. Might even pen something tomorrow. Feel free to add what YOU think about the Tour, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the race.


td said...

i think you are taking a much too limited approach to viewing the tour, don. there are many things going on at once in the race. on some stages, it would be nearly impossible, and therefore silly for someone like lance to attack and try to take back the jersey. the gc is an opportunist's game, and much of it is waiting for the correct moment to strike. as far as nocentini goes, it takes pressure off of a team like astana to not have the jersey early on (ie, they do not have pressure to defend it). it creates a little drama for ag2r as they attempt to hold onto it for as long as they can, but none of the top contenders are really worried about nocentini. he will likely fall on the next difficult mountain stage, or at least will not be a threat in the time trials. if that turns out not to be the case, teams like astana will have made a strategical error.
the drama today had to do with columbia's wish to have their cake and eat it. once it was clear the break had enough firepower to outgun ag2r and it would not come down to a sprint, they let hincapie fly and go for the jersey, knowing quite well that he would keep it for a day at the most (sunday's stage is much too hard for hincapie to retain it), but when there are still green jersey points available on the line for cavendish, they still wanted to give him a good leadout to grab them over hushovd. in the process, ag2r was trying to pin back hincapie's gap so that they kept the jersey with nocentini and on top of all that, everyone in the break was trying to win a stage (perhaps the only guy not working in the break, incidentally, was nocentini's teammate roche, who tried to attack for a stage win in the end, but could not come up with the goods -- see hincapie's own win to pla d'adet a few years ago when he did no work [lance had yellow so he did not have to ride] in the break and then won) -- so, even though hincapie was gunning for a stage win, he probably had a yellow jersey more in mind, but his companions surely were only after a stage win, which led to the break screwing around in the end just enough to cost george his jersey. (as an aside, cav took hushovd to the barriers, causing him to be relegated, losing his points on the stage which made columbia's work in the final 2k completely useless in hindsight and would have more than made up the five seconds that would have given george his much deserved yellow jersey -- but that's bike racing, as they say)

so much more was also happening at the same time. you gotta pay attention to all the little races within the races and the jockeying for position and politics of the breaks -- who can go and who is chased down -- and etc to truly appreciate stage racing. it's pretty cool!

Cycling Phun said...

For those of you who might not know...
These are a few of the reasons I like "td".

There is the whole thought that Astana helped Hincapie get the jersey today so that Astana could come back in the end to kick some ass.

Hope all is well, td!