Tag Archives: leTour

Tour de Jank, Stage 4* – River Road and Neighborhood Crit

The Ride

The ride was a short one for Stage 4 – just 9.5 miles needed. I headed down to River Road in the rapidly fading twilight, rode it into town, turned around, and rode back. Once I got to the Neighborhood, I did two laps of the place at roughly a mile each to bring the total up to 11 miles. Such an overachiever.

The Race

Man, lots to talk about in the Tour. First, there was the disaster that was Stage 2 – who freaking cancels 20 km of racing due to rain? Though, to be fair, there was a huge amount of carnage in the peleton – VdV out, everyone down. But the interview with Thor Hushvold after he got his stage win stolen from him…

Stage 3 was no less gripping – Thor coming back from insult in stage 3 to take the stage on the cobbles; the remaining Schleck stunning the world by riding well, Lance Armstrong losing time and giving yet another classic sound bite (“Riding between cars and trying to pass, eating dirt – literally!”)

And Stage 4 was visually stunning – through fields of sunflowers, and ending with a full-on bunch sprint without major carnage.

Man, what a race

*I’m dink on Stage 3 – busy at work getting back on Tuesday, plus I’m looking for a suitable set of cobbles to ride. And, speaking of “busy at work” – Dave has a wonderful post about what a load of BS that is.

2008 Tour de France

Here’s the deal – I’ve got nothing concrete to say about this year’s Tour de France. In a way, it’s a phenomenal race – after two and a half weeks, there’s seconds separating the top riders, and a couple of time trialists within minutes before a 50km trial on Saturday.

But I’m still kind of cold on the whole thing. All of the leaders have been riding the careful, calculating, race that’s all about waiting for other riders to make a mistake instead of riding away with the race.

But if that’s what a clean Tour looks like, I’ll take it.

Other observations:
Podcasts – The best, by far, is the ITV podcast (search for “ITV Cycling” on iTunes). Great British regulars, and a regular dose of Bob Roll. Today’s stage, stage 18 (day late), started with Phil Sherwin and Johann Bruyneel, and the rest of the commentary is the greatest.

My second favorite is the Bicycling.com podcast with James Start. It’s short, and the production value is terrible, but Start’s got a great combination of wide-eyed wonder and akwardness, highlighted by his handling of the sponsor – the Saab 9-3 Turbo, Born. From. Jets.

The last one I’ve found worth listening is the bikeradar.com podcast. The biggest drawback is the intro and outro by Brad Gibson. He just sounds artificial in a way that isn’t amenable like Start’s. But aside from that, it’s usually pretty good.

***Breaking News***
Astana, Johann Bruyneel’s team, and somewhat a continuation of USPS and Discovery Channel, canned Vladimir Gusev today for abnormal blood chemistry in the team’s internal testing program. Sucks for the Goose, and a bold, bold move by Bruyneel, who wasn’t invited to the Tour despite having last year’s winner.