07/10/2014 at 11:38 pm #69910
Anyone watching the Tour de France? Amazing ride this year don’t you think? Any comments?07/11/2014 at 12:22 am #69911
No. Unfortunately I just got burned out/disillusioned/whatever during the Landis days. I should probably start watching again though. Same announcers? I swear sometimes that was the best part :) So many phrases that would just make me laugh.07/11/2014 at 2:09 am #69912
Is there some non-pay way to watch live coverage? I went to the NBC Universal Sports site and left it once I saw what they were charging. I do think it was pretty neat to have the initial stages in the UK (the free NBC coverage last weekend was nice).07/11/2014 at 7:02 am #69917
I’ve been watching it VB. The cobblestones were brutal.07/11/2014 at 9:03 am #69919
I watched over the weekend (that’s always the most exciting time to watch)! So speaking of cobblestones is that what took out Froome? They always are dangerous. Over the last few years they have always taken out a big name, or so my memory tells me.07/11/2014 at 9:18 am #69921
Penny – you are right, the “cobbles” were really brutal in that weather, I just love the way that some riders just go for it and ride them like they are on a mountain bike!
MoB – it was that stage that got him but he fell twice I think, both times on the regular road, which was uneven, full of ruts and WET! And he had a really bad fall the day before that messed up his left hand so he was probably in a lot of pain at the start.
Mondo – I have cable so not sure if there is a way to watch without, maybe on the web. Also the tour official site has all the current info.
I love that Team Europcar has two black riders and a rider from Japan and Team Giant-Shimano have a Chinese rider. And that finally there will be a women’s ride in Paris on the klast day of the tour, eventually there may be a women only Tour de France.07/11/2014 at 6:55 pm #69946
I love Le Tour! Yesterday’s ride to Reims was epic! Nibali showed the power of the maillot jaune, with an amazing ride.
The Team Sky manager, Dave Brailsford, can only be kicking himself for leaving Bradley Wiggens off of the Team Sky tour team. I saw an interview with him after Froome crashed out, and he said he didn’t have any regrets with his decision. Yeah, right. Even before Froome crashed out, I thought that was a damn stupid move.
This year’s tour has been the most interesting in years. I love that the GC riders had to work it on the second stage, and a brutal cobble rainy day was just what was needed to really spice it up. Can’t wait for the mountains!
At this point, I’m not sure who to root for. Love Peter Sagan. Would like to see Richie Port step up for team Sky and fill some mighty big cleats. I have to root for Nibali too, with his great riding so far, and he is from Italy. I was sad to see that Nairo Quintana isn’t riding again this year, because he was such a factor last year, and with his Giro win, he must be in top form. Sounds like he might not defend the Giro next year and will focus on le Tour. Marcel Kittel has shown how powerful he is, I would love to see him win a few more stages.07/11/2014 at 8:07 pm #69950
SB – I am with you there, I love the Tour!
I agree about Team Sky, sort of shot them selves in the foot so to speak.
This Tour is string out with a lot of surprises and should get even more interesting.
Sagan is fantastic, have you seen this:
He is one heck of a rider and has amazing control of the bike and he is just a funny guy, seems like he has a good time and works hard at what he does.
Agree with you about Quintana, I was looking forward to seeing what he would do this year, now maybe next year.
I like to support the underdogs and anyone who seems like they don’t have a chance so I am hoping that Ji Cheng and Arashiro both get to win a stage at some point and I wish that Kevin Reza would win a stage.07/14/2014 at 11:26 am #70024
Thanks for that clip of Sagan, I had never seen it. I’ve seen his wheelies at Ghent-Wevelgem when he won there, at last year’s TDF, on Mount Ventoux and Alpe d’Huez.
Sagan sure got sucker punched on Friday in Nancy! The Omega team had two riders in front of him leading out the sprint, and I think Sagan thought the first rider was going to do the lead out and the second rider would do the sprint, with Sagan third wheel. Well, the lead out man actually took the sprint, and then Sagan figured it out too late, passing the second wheel and almost catching the Omega sprinter, Matteo Trentin. Sagan sure wasn’t happy on the podium getting his green jersey. His team had worked hard all day for him to win, they put him in the right position, and he blew it.07/15/2014 at 6:02 pm #70079
SB – you are welcome. Have you seen the Froome vid of him riding through the Channel Tunnel?
I believe he is the only person that has done that. Shame he didn’t get to finish the Tour.
Rest day today…
I rode to downtown and back and can’t imagine what these guys go through every day they ride! Amazing.
I found out today that both Mercer St. and Roy St. near the Seattle Center are now two way streets, Roy Street has a nice bike lane in both directions!
This is an interesting TDF – Cavendish, Froome, Contador and now Cancellara all gone, anything can happen and they still have the Alps and the Pyrenees to go!07/16/2014 at 12:12 pm #70097
Oh that is pretty cool, that service corridor looks like a bike path. How cool would that be, to be able to ride from England to France in the tunnel? Froome even says that would make a good stage. Like a time trial from England to France. I bet that happens some day.
Looks like Nibali is going to win. He looked amazing on Monday’s mountain top finish to take back yellow. He is for sure the one to beat. Of course, with so many twists and turns from this tour, anything can still happen. But the rest of the strong competition seems to be out.
I rode STP in one day last year, and I can’t imagine doing that day after day after day for three weeks, in race mode no less, going over mountain passes.07/17/2014 at 12:18 am #70121
Very cool videos above. Thanks for those. After watching things like that, mere mortal bikers must hang their heads in shame. I looked up a bunch of video clips from the Tour (this year and past years), and I am really impressed with all the strategizing and teamwork involved. I had imagined the Tour was a bunch of lone bike riders. It’s very hard to watch the crashes. These guys seem to be energized by the punishing rides and the competition.
But then there are the real gluttons for punishment — the participants in Race Across the West and Race Across America (Pippa Middleton notwithstanding). This year’s RAAM, the first finisher was Christoph Strasser who cycled 3020 miles in 7d 15h 56 m and that’s including sleeping and eating and off the bike time. Holee Moley. I couldn’t drive that route in that amount of time.07/17/2014 at 10:23 am #70138
SB – I agree that Nibali has a good chance of winning this years race.
You are a on day STP rider! I am impressed.
Shelly – The TDF is brutal! And there is so much admiration and support as was seen yesterday (Wednesday) with Andrew Talansky who almost dropped out but then rode to the finish line, ending over 30 minutes after everyone else and many supporters waited along the route to cheer him on, amazing.
And if you want “gluttons for punishment” check out The Tour Divide Mountain Race.
I know Kent Peterson that attempted it a few years ago, great guy from Issaquah:
Kent didn’t complete the ride that year but not very many riders do. You can read about his adventure in the archives for 2010 on his blog: http://kentsbike.blogspot.com/07/17/2014 at 10:54 am #70139
Andrew Talansky had to drop out.07/17/2014 at 6:07 pm #70161
VB that Tour Divide route makes my ischial tuberosities ache just reading about it. I rode my old 10 speed about 50 miles on good roads earlier this year, and I think it took about 5 days for the ache to go away.
So have they really banished PEDs for real from le Tour de France? It’s probably like playing whack-a-mole to catch all the possible drugs and use patterns though. Seems like le Tour has a pretty tainted rep, even back to the times of Eddy Merckx. Might as well enjoy the spectacle now. Still great cycling. :)07/17/2014 at 6:58 pm #70163
Oh, VB! I’m one of those people who need a life. I get up at sunrise to watch the live broadcast. When I worked I used to push the on-time envelope because I just had to see the finish but I justified it to my colleagues by saying I couldn’t abide the night-time broadcast (too much Bob Roll, not enough Phil and Paul). I hate seeing the GC favorites crash out but this year that throws the tour wide open. Nibali has been the rider whose promise has not turned into the maillot jaune in Paris but, perhaps, this year! He’s riding smart and Team Astana are doing everything right.
While I like Peter Sagan, my favorite sprinter has been Thor Hushovd and I’m saddened he wasn’t selected for the TdF team for his last year of professional cycling. But, hey! There is always Jens Voigt! And, one of my personal faves, Thomas Voeckler.
Shelley, I suspect professional cycling still has a PED problem but nothing like it was in the ’80s, ’90s, and ’00s. I believe UCI and TdF officials have made it harder and harder for cyclists who dope to succeed for long (biologic passports, off-competition testing, stricter controls everywhere). Still, it means the fan gets excited about a rider or a stage effort only to learn a few weeks later that the cyclist tested dirty and the victory is excised from the history books.07/17/2014 at 7:08 pm #70164
I highly doubt that anyone is dabbling in PEDs after the Armstrong debacle. Look at this tour and who has dropped out. If they were taking PEDs they would have been able to carry on regardless of the pain.07/18/2014 at 8:20 am #70187
Sadly, Pennygirl, riders still use PEDs. Team Sky just sacked a rider (Jonathan Tiernan-Locke) who was suspended by the British cycling federation for doping detected using his biological passport. UCI just sanctioned retired TdF rider Denis Menchov, stripping him of his Tour stage victories between 2009 and 2012, based on PED use as evidenced by his biological passport. PED use has been part of cycling for a long time (think Anquetil and Merckx, who have both admitted doing so) and will take some time to eradicate. But that doesn’t diminish my joy in watching these riders, admiring their athleticism and skill. Seeing Alessandro de Marchi’s solo ride today and watching Nibali attack on the last climb of the day to likely take the stage? The stuff of the TdF!07/18/2014 at 9:32 am #70188
Hmmmm. Not having TV means trying to watch bits and pieces in odd orders. Probably the one sporting event I’m interested in. It’s hard to get an overall sense of the progress of this year’s TdF.
Thanks Sunset Hill Irish for reminding me of Anquetil. I had pretty much blocked him out of memory after reading Paul Howard’s Sex, Lies and Handlebar Tape a few years back. He was very definitely forthright and owned using drugs. You have to respect that compared to folk like Armstrong. Review of the book here (including almost enough information to draw a very tortuous genealogical diagram): http://books.google.com/books?id=v0eNTAHzlyEC07/18/2014 at 9:50 am #70196
Agree that the PEDs are still around, and in fact they have been since the very inception of the race. My view is that all riders should be tested as best as the organizers can, as I would hate to see the competition be openly about PEDs, but with that being done, the playing field is then pretty level for all. Lance was on PEDs, and never got caught by the TDF organizers. All of his competitors were doing exactly the same thing. And it has been that way for the history of this great race. For what it’s worth, Lance got flushed out after he had retired by the United States Anti Doping Agency, not by the TDF organizers. For me, Lance’s accomplishments are not diminished one bit by this BS.
Vegan Biker, very interesting that you posted the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. I’m leaving Monday to ride some of that in Montana. Sadly, I’m going to miss a bunch of the TDF. This year’s race sure has been super interesting. So many twists and turns! I’m a couple of stages behind right now, they’re on the DVR for viewing tonight and this weekend.07/18/2014 at 10:56 am #70210
Agree wholeheartedly, Salmon Bay.
Hadn’t heard about the Tour Divide Mountain Race, Vegan Biker. 200,000 total feet of vertical climbing? Yeesh! Even if one does it over many weeks, yeesh!07/18/2014 at 11:37 am #7021507/18/2014 at 12:39 pm #70225
For me, Lance’s accomplishments are not diminished one bit by this BS
@ Salmon Bay I think that depends on what you mean by BS. I take your point about all competitors doing the same thing Lance did. In that sense, I can still appreciate what he achieved, but his accomplishments as a rider don’t excuse the disgusting way he went after people who spoke about what he did. Thats the real offense, not the drug use. The moral failings of Lance are so complex they are hard to describe, but his actions are not much different than those of a sociopath.07/18/2014 at 1:15 pm #70228
By BS, I mean the witch hunt by a US agency regarding Lance’s involvement in the Tour de FRANCE years after he retired, not during competition, and then the stripping of his titles by the TDF. That BS. I mean, they could go back to most, if not all, of the previous winners and do something similar. For me, The TDF tested him during the race, he passed, he won. Move along. Improve the testing, but don’t rewrite history. And as a distinction, Floyd Landis’ case was different. TDF caught him on the spot, for which he was rightfully disqualified.
I distinguish Lance’s actions as a rider from his actions as a person. I know people that have had to deal with Lance, mostly in Austin. Turns out, he is a real piece of work. But I really don’t care much about his personality off the bike, away from the race. He wasn’t stripped of his titles for being a jackhole.
It turns out that the majority of surving TDF winners think Lance should keep his titles. I think at some point in the future, he will again be listed as the TDF champion he is.07/18/2014 at 1:45 pm #70240
I distinguish Lance’s actions as a rider from his actions as a person
For some athletes I can cut them slack, for others I can’t. And these feelings come straight from the heart and are visceral for me. With Lebron’s recent return to Cleveland, I’ve been thinking about this a lot. I can’t come up with a good rule as to why I’m willing to ignore or forgive the transgressions of some athletes, and be intolerant for others. FWIW – I was not just dumping on Lance, I’ve been thinking about him along with OJ, Jordan, Woods, Rose, Vick just to name a few.
The only conclusion can come up with is that Muhammad Ali is the benchmark for moral purity among all athletes.
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