Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Tour de France 2010: Blood, Sweat and Tears

I'm back at last, and thankfully so since it is July, and the Tour de France is well underway.  I broke down and coughed up the $12.50 extra a month to order the Versus Channel so I can keep up with the action in the evening.  At first, $12.50 seemed like a lot to pay since my  Mediacom package is already outrageously priced, but last night I learned the true value of what I had purchased.  Not only does the new channel package come with Versus, but also the "Chill" channel which meant that after watching the harrowing Stage 3 cobbles, we got to flip over and watch the last hour of the movie Ghoulies.
And if you are like me, and you have some TdF catching up to do, I though I would post a bit of a recap thus far...

Prologue:  Spartacus prevails despite Armstrong using a helmet that cost $15,000 to produce.

While Armstrong's 4th place finish was certainly impressive, I cannot say that it warranted the hefty pricetag.  That said, something tells me Cadel Evans should have probably spent a little more on his own TT helmet which kind of made him look like the Flinstone's martian, the Great Gazoo.

And while Armstrong had a replica model made of his head and torso so that his TT helmet could be wind-tunnel-tested without him actually having to be present....
Other cyclists, like poor Andy Shleck, had to test their TT helmets out while sitting on the can.

Maybe this is why he finished in 122nd place.

And keeping with the theme of Armstrong not being present, he also began employing press conferences that were pre-recorded onto a laptop, which the media is now trying to interview after each day's stage.  Alarmingly, the pre-recorded messages don't respond to questions.

Stage 1:  Ale-JET Petacchi takes the sprint finish after Cavendish turns left instead of right and removes several sprinters.

And Lloyd Mondory crashes into Tyler Farrar, lodging his bike onto Tyler's rear derailleur.  As a result, Mondory suffers the double indignity of losing some skin on the left cheek of his ass... addition to being called a "kikker" by Farrar in Flemish, which translates to the word "frog" meant to describe Mondory's erratic riding behavior, but unknowingly also doubles as an ethnic slur to the Frenchman.  Farrar apologizes, but still thinks Mondory rides like shit.  The theme for the day?  Here.

Stage 2:  Sylvain Chavenel rides into yellow in a breakaway performance on the same course where he fractured his skull during Liege-BastogneLiege not 3 months ago, as the peloton takes it's turn doing an impression of Bambi on ice....including Farrar who fractures his wrist and sees his chances at a green Jersey slip away...

Spartacus decides to neutralize the stage because of the carnage  which also includes his teammate Andy Shleck who ate some pavement, but later posed nude for his brother who posted the photo session on Twitter.

This thoroughly pisses of Thor Hushovd:

"I've been riding all day for the stage win and the green jersey and I end up with nothing," Hushovd continued. "This is not fair. Will the same thing happen tomorrow? Will the times for GC be taken before the pavés sections? If Alberto Contador or another big rider crashes tomorrow on the cobblestones, he's entitled to ask for the race to be neutralised too! So when will we race, really?"

Stage 3:  Thor gets his wish.  Real racing on real cobbles and real winning for the Norwegian national champion.  And despite Spartacus pulling Andy Shleck to the line in the lead group and recovering the golden fleece back from Chavanel, Saxo Bank is still cranky as Franky fractures a collar bone and Jens Voigt thinks the whole thing is stupid.

“I think the ASO owes the entire Tour peloton a public apology,” an emotional Voigt screamed from his bike. “I lost one of the best friends I have in cycling, Fränk Schleck. And it was written all over the road before the stage even started.

“It was a stupid race, and a stupid mistake from the race organization. All I want is a public apology. They should say ‘Dear riders, it was a mistake, putting on a stage like that.’ It was stupid, it’s as simple as that.”

Meanwhile Armstrong loses time after he flats, has to go it alone and ends up eating a lot of dirt....

....while Vino does an impressive job keeping his team together and tucked in nicely, thus putting Contador in a good position after the epic day.

I love July!

1 comment:

  1. Thank goodness you are back. COMO was lost without you and your wisdom.