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The W - Sports that aren't Baseball, Football, Basketball, or Hockey - How're the Americans on Le Tour doing?
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CRZ
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Since: 9.12.01
From: ミネアポリス

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.00
After stage 4, everybody's still tightly packed...

5T. George Hincapie (+0:43 back)
33T. MY MAIN MAN Levi Leipheimer (+1:00)
69T. Christopher Horner (+1:13)
119. Fred Rodriguez (who?) (+1:25)
172. Christian Vandevelde (+3:54)
183. Dave Zabriskie (+7:09)

(of 189 - well, 186 since three have dropped out)

Current leader is Zabriskie and Vandevelde's TEAM CSC teammate Fabian Cancellara (SUI). I know, I don't care either. Bring on some climbin'!




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Since: 9.12.01
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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.00
This weekend's stages were REALLY fun to watch.

Current GC leader AND King of the Mountains is Sweden's Michael Rasmussen after his great performance during yesterday's Stage 8.

Where're the Americans?

13. MY MAIN MAN Levi Leipheimer (+3:53)
25. Christopher Horner (+6:29)
45. George Hincapie (+20:19)
61. Christian Vande Velde (+30:04)
155. Fred Rodriguez (+67:18)
171. David Zabriskie (+74:40)

Leipheimer had a great opportunity yesterday but had some early mechanical problems which kinda took that away. Right now Discovery Channel teammate Alberto Contador (ESP) has 43 seconds on him (8th place). Those who know, however, say nothing will really be sorted out until the Pyrenees - and that's still a week away. As long as Leipheimer continues to hang with the "favourites" (in a year where there aren't really any - but of the consensus picks, he's within a minute), his chances will look better and better the closer we get to the end in just under two weeks.

Rest day today - back to the grind tomorrow.

As always, Versus' live coverage is so great it makes me want to skip work...or at least spend a little more time in the break room early in the morning. Their "enhanced prime coverage" only seems enhanced by all the extra commercials as well as replacing Paul & Phil's real-time commentary with that of (noted cycling expert) Al Trautwig & Bob Roll, and I tell you to skip it every year and this year's no exception.



I AM CRZ
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Since: 3.1.02
From: Brisbane, Australia

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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.71
Stage 8 was fun to watch, but not if you were a fan of Aussie cyclists.
3 Aussies down - 2 crashes and a missed cut off.
Cadel Evans is the only realistic hope of a top 10 finish for an Aussie.
I'm pretty sure I said this last year, but he just doesn't have the explosive uphill burst to be a realistic top 3 rider though. Guys like Rasmussen can get 10m gaps in the blink of an eye, Cadel has to work really hard to cover any breaks. If he had the explosiveness, he could/should have tried to help Moreau break them up even more and maybe crush Vinokourov's chances completely.
Canard
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Since: 25.7.05
From: England

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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.14
Well in a Tour that has defied all the "normal" rules and seems to change course with every day, it's hard to say that any stage is decisive, but the after the last two, things are finally starting to clear up a little.

Vinokourov is now definately out - no matter how well the guy time-trials, he can't make up today's half-hour loss.

Rasmussen (who by the way is Danish, CRZ) could well be the first pure climber in a long time to win the Tour. He's now starting to get a lead that his rivals might not be able to eat in to in that final TT - but he might just need one more breakaway in the mountains to be sure.

Leipheimer lost a little time to Rasmussen today, but compared to many of his rivals who lost more, he ended up doing pretty well. His problem is that his teammate Contador is now the guy in second and the only one who seems able to stick with Rasmussen on the climbs - will Levi decide to give his backing to the young Spainard, or does he still hold out hopes for himself? At 4:29 down, he's got to decide soon which horse to back.

Today was the first time we've seen Cadel Evans crack, but even then it took repeated attacks from Contador to really hurt him - most of the time while he didn't look comfortable, he was managing to stick with them while others like Kloden and Valverde were being dropped easily.

Another tough stage in the Pyrenees tomorrow and with a rest day coming up, many expect Rasmussen's rivals to try and test him, knowing they've got that extra day to recover.
Merc
Potato korv








Since: 3.1.02
From: Brisbane, Australia

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.72
Evans was gutsy, but I wonder how much that hurts him long term. The commentators were making a point of the fact he time trials better than Rasmussen, but if he loses a couple of minutes again tonight, it's hard to see him getting all that back in 1 time trial.
Vino was excellent in the time trial and it was a bit sad to see him struggle after that. I guess he didn't really have his climbing legs like he thought.
I think it's Rasmussen's tour to lose now, but we might actually get a last day ride into Paris that can dramatically change the GC.
CRZ
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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.00
    Originally posted by Canard
    Rasmussen (who by the way is Danish, CRZ) could well be the first pure climber in a long time to win the Tour.
Yeah, I don't know how I typed "Sweden." Oh well.

For all the "can't time trial" talk, Rasmussen looked awfully good Saturday during the time trial. I SUPPOSE you could say the road conditions were better the nearer the end you went, but it sure didn't seem to help Evans any. I don't think counting on the time trial to save you is smart thinking at this point.

I really don't know how Levi can win this thing. His strength is more his consistentcy, and unless Rasmussen suddenly stops being a great climber I don't know how he can make up the time. Again there's also the fact that Contador is up on him and at least today he looked to have a MUCH easier time of staying with Rasmussen than Leipheimer did. But again again, this is only one day in the Pyrenees and a lot could happen in the next two stages...although at this point would it really be a surprise if Rasmussen could just keep the yellow jersey all the way to the end? Any rate, Discovery Channel Team look to be able to support GC winner...provided they get around to picking a horse. It'll REALLY be interesting to see how long this "co-captaincy" thing lasts. (Wait, I said that a week ago. Well, it's still interesting!)

By the way: Didn't they used to make yellow, spotted jerseys when the leader happened to also be the King of the Mountain, or am I remembering things wrong?

(Consults Wikipedia)

Hmmmm....I wonder if I was thinking of the Combination jersey (en.wikipedia.org) which Greg LeMond won a couple years during the 1980s and hasn't been awarded since 1989.

1. Michael Rasmussen
2. Alberto Contador (+2'23")
3. Cadel Evans (+3'04")
4. GO LEVI GO (+4'29")
5. Andreas Klöden (+4'38")

17. Christopher Horner (+17'23")
36T. George Hincapie (+40'01")
41. Christian Vande Velde (+47'08")
154. Fred Rodriguez (+2h21'01")

OUT Dave Zabriskie (time)

Contador's quote is on the letour.fr front page: "I have to attack Michael Rasmussen..." we'll know in about 12 hours whether or not he's been able to follow up on those words.



I AM CRZ
Texas Kelly
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Since: 3.1.02
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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.54
Ladies and gentlemen, the following public service message is brought to you by your friends from D-Generation X, who would like to remind each and every one of you that if you're not down with that, we've got two words for you...

Well, Klden's out, along with the rest of Astana, thanks to Vinokourov...

Vinokourov's team quits Tour as positive test comes to light (sports.espn.go.com)

Honestly, at this point, it's a Sisyphean task as far as getting rid of doping in the sport. No matter of positive tests or team bannings is doing anything to change the culture. (And that's not even counting Landis, who I still think was set up.)



e-mail me at texas (dot) kelly (at) gmailread a bunch of incoherent nonsense
now 52% more incoherent!
smark/net attack Advisory System is Elevatedsmark/net attack Advisory System Status is: Elevated
(Holds; June 18, 2006)
While the switch from Cena to RVD should alleviate some complaints, the inevitability of the belt's return to Cena (note where Summerslam is this year) and the poor initial showing by the new ECW are enough to keep the indicator where it is for now. The pieces are in place, though, especially on RAW, for improvements to be made to the IWC's psyche in the near future.
Canard
Cotechino








Since: 25.7.05
From: England

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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.14
Well it just goes from bad to worse for the Tour.

First of all today we had one big drugs story break during the stage itself (Cofidis join Astana and exit Tour de France over doping (uk.eurosport.yahoo.com)) and that was bad enough, but then I've just seen this news in the last few minutes :

Tour de France leader Rasmussen sacked by team (uk.eurosport.yahoo.com)

I'm now just waiting for a cyclist to be photographed injecting himself while actually on the stage tomorrow! On the other hand, Contador must be laughing his socks off at the Team Discovery hotel - only 24 years old and he's been handed a Tour de France win on a plate.

(edited by Canard on 25.7.07 2306)
dMp
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Since: 4.1.02
From: The Hague, Netherlands (Europe)

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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.55
Well..the Rabo team just fired Rasmussen and taken him out of the competition.
http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/tdf2007/news/story?id=2949116

Can this get any worse?
yes, after Italian cyclist Moreni was caught using dope, the entire Cofidis was pulled.

So..isn't it time to say everybody is using illegal substances and just quit with the damn thing and start anew? *shrug*

Edit: ooops. Too late.
Right now it's still unclear if the Rabo team will start tomorrow.
But apparently they have a bit more info about Rasmussen and what he has been doing.

(edited by dMp on 26.7.07 0011)


*sigh* Why bother?
kwik
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Since: 5.9.02
From: Norwich, NY

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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.83
    Originally posted by Canard
    Well it just goes from bad to worse for the Tour.

    First of all today we had one big drugs story break during the stage itself (Cofidis join Astana and exit Tour de France over doping (uk.eurosport.yahoo.com)) and that was bad enough, but then I've just seen this news in the last few minutes :

    Tour de France leader Rasmussen sacked by team (uk.eurosport.yahoo.com)

    I'm now just waiting for a cyclist to be photographed injecting himself while actually on the stage tomorrow! On the other hand, Contador must be laughing his socks off at the Team Discovery hotel - only 24 years old and he's been handed a Tour de France win on a plate.

    (edited by Canard on 25.7.07 2306)


Something's been up with Rasmussen for a while though, he's apparently this close to being kicked off the Danish national team (if he hasn't been already) for not notifying them of his whereabouts, and apparently missing some random drug tests.

So, have we reached the point where the presumption of innocence is totally gone?



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Texas Kelly
Lap cheong








Since: 3.1.02
From: FOREST HILLS CONTROLS THE UNIVERSE

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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.53
Ladies and gentlemen, the following public service message is brought to you by your friends from D-Generation X, who would like to remind each and every one of you that if you're not down with that, we've got two words for you...

The Tour has officially become a farce - and now it's time for justice to truly be served and Landis be exonerated. That would pretty much be the final death blow to whatever credibility the Tour has left.



e-mail me at texas (dot) kelly (at) gmailread a bunch of incoherent nonsense
now 52% more incoherent!
smark/net attack Advisory System is Elevatedsmark/net attack Advisory System Status is: Elevated
(Holds; June 18, 2006)
While the switch from Cena to RVD should alleviate some complaints, the inevitability of the belt's return to Cena (note where Summerslam is this year) and the poor initial showing by the new ECW are enough to keep the indicator where it is for now. The pieces are in place, though, especially on RAW, for improvements to be made to the IWC's psyche in the near future.
Merc
Potato korv








Since: 3.1.02
From: Brisbane, Australia

Since last post: 1103 days
Last activity: 1081 days
#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.72
I really can't see how you can find anything other than guilt for Landis now. I know the fact that others are doing it doesn't mean he did, but it casts doubt over the whole sport.
If he is cleared despite having a massive ratio it sets a horrible precedent for a sport that is struggling to clean itself up.
I'd suggest that in the unlikely event he was cleared, no professional team would touch him.
At this stage I can only see compulsory year round testing having any effect. Choose the smallest detection window there is (I am assuming here it would be something like a 4 week window at the minimum) for any doping procedure and test them inside that period as many times a year as it takes.
I watched last night and thought Rasmussen did an amazing job on the final climb. It was very disheartening to see the news.
Texas Kelly
Lap cheong








Since: 3.1.02
From: FOREST HILLS CONTROLS THE UNIVERSE

Since last post: 11 days
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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.53
Ladies and gentlemen, the following public service message is brought to you by your friends from D-Generation X, who would like to remind each and every one of you that if you're not down with that, we've got two words for you...

    Originally posted by Merc
    I really can't see how you can find anything other than guilt for Landis now. I know the fact that others are doing it doesn't mean he did, but it casts doubt over the whole sport. If he is cleared despite having a massive ratio it sets a horrible precedent for a sport that is struggling to clean itself up.

I think a worse precedent would be set if Landis is not cleared. By any reasonable standard of due process, he should already have been exonerated by now. Keep in mind the following truths:

- Landis was tested numerous times during the Tour and only the one time did his A sample come back positive. Elevated testosterone is not something that clears from the blood system quickly.
- Numerous errors and missteps in policy and procedure have been admitted to by the laboratory in question during Landis's hearings.
- The cycling federation, in gross violation of international standards for testing and without Landis's consent, authorized the testing of B samples where the A samples had already been found to be negative. (The fact that the B samples then came back positive is a further sign of something fishy.)
- The federation also blatantly defied an order by the courts by which Landis was permitted to have a representative present when the samples that caused the original positive were re-tested. (This would be grounds for immediate exclusion of the evidence in question in almost any other legal proceeding.)

A guilty verdict for Landis would indicate that the doping mafia can target anyone they feel like, without any fear of reprisal, since the system is so stacked against athletes in the first place. (It's a crime, in my mind, that in doping cases, the athlete is presumed guilty by the test and must prove his/her innocence, when common sense says it should be the other way around.) Unfortunately, I think that's what we're headed towards.

(edited by Texas Kelly on 26.7.07 1147)


e-mail me at texas (dot) kelly (at) gmailread a bunch of incoherent nonsense
now 52% more incoherent!
smark/net attack Advisory System is Elevatedsmark/net attack Advisory System Status is: Elevated
(Holds; June 18, 2006)
While the switch from Cena to RVD should alleviate some complaints, the inevitability of the belt's return to Cena (note where Summerslam is this year) and the poor initial showing by the new ECW are enough to keep the indicator where it is for now. The pieces are in place, though, especially on RAW, for improvements to be made to the IWC's psyche in the near future.
Merc
Potato korv








Since: 3.1.02
From: Brisbane, Australia

Since last post: 1103 days
Last activity: 1081 days
#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.71
    Originally posted by Texas Kelly
    since the system is so stacked against athletes in the first place. (It's a crime, in my mind, that in doping cases, the athlete is presumed guilty by the test and must prove his/her innocence, when common sense says it should be the other way around.) Unfortunately, I think that's what we're headed towards...

I can't really comment on the procedural issues, but this bit has me confused.
They are presumed innocent until they fail a test. You could argue that they shouldn't have the publicity etc before the B sample is tested, but I'm not sure how you could keep a positive A secret.

That said, it's about 20 minutes until Evans goes in the TT. C'mon Aussie, C'mon!

Edit: Well, he was close. Levi must have ridden a cracker. Still, Evans loses no fans in Australia with this:
http://www.foxsports.com.au/story/0,8659,22152782-23218,00.html

"CADEL Evans has apologised to fellow Australians, cheering him on at home, after narrowly missing out on claiming the leader's yellow jersey on the penultimate stage of the Tour de France..............."

(edited by Merc on 29.7.07 1143)
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I thought it was a very good show, with nothing too unexpected happening but solid action throughout the card. Out of the six or so Pride events I've been ordering with friends to try and convert them to MMA, this is the card they were most into.
Related threads: Tour de France update - American in Yellow once again! - Tour de France, Tour de France - More...
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