Category: tour de france 2009

Ready? Okay! TdF Stage 19

*** SPOILERS ***

Tour de France 2009 Stage Nineteen

What do we call Cav’s victory salute today? The cheerleader “Ready? Okay!”

Cheerleader Holding Pompoms Jumping in the Air

Or did Cav look more like a drum majorette as he crossed the finish line today?

He looks happy to have this win — his 5th stage win in the 2009 Tour de France — even if there’s no chance for him to get the Green Jersey with his 25 point deficit against Cervelo’s Thor Hushovd. If Mark Cavendish hadn’t nudged green jersey rival Hushovd towards the barriers in Stage 14, Cav undoubtably would have the points to take the green lead. Ah well, the misfortunes of racing.

Tour de France 2009 Stage 19

Bisbee: Surprise sprint finish.

Team Columbia HTC: Cavendish’s 5th Win.

Garmin Slipstream: Millar in the breakaway.

Other TdF commentary

VN: Contador for Garmin?

Hugger: Cavendish bike notches

NY Velocity: AC is such a ****

Science of Sport: Contador VO2Max.

Science of Sport: Time Trial Analysis. With props to Cozy Beehive.

Velochimp: Horner spills the beans. “Horner pulls no punches talking about the situation at Astana and the reasons he was left behind. Horner also gives insight into the turmoil surrounding the team. Will we see Radio Shack jerseys sooner than anticipated?”

Streetsblog actually mentions the Tour de France…. in their Weekly Carnage roundup of automotive (and motorcycle) fatalities in the news.

TdF Stage 18: Otra pregunta

While everybody else rode today’s time trial stage with black wheels, Lance Armstrong turned some heads with another pretty cool art bike from artist Yoshimoto Nara.

Tour de France 2009 Stage Eighteen - Individual Time Trial

Even his teammate, Alberto Contador, got a little stylish with his aero wheel.

Tour de France 2009 Stage Eighteen - Individual Time Trial

*** SPOILERS ***

Contador’s amazing performance today is prompting questions on doping, which Contador declines to answer. Alberto Contador is known for his climbing prowess and dominates on the hills in the same way Lance Armstrong did in 1999. For him to beat time trialist Fabian Cancellara at his own game, however, invites suspicion. The riders are being tested daily and The Tour de France has so far remained free of doping controversy, though it can take a few weeks for some tests to be run.

Cancellara can’t figure out how he lost by six seconds and now claims Contador drafted for the win.

Team Radio Shack

As you all know, Team Radio Shack was announced today. Here they are on Twitter.

Elsewhere on Tour de France Stage 18

TdFBlog: Team Radio Shack.

Bike World News: Stage 18 Results.

Bike Rumor: Contador smokes ’em. See also How to enter the Tour to France in six easy steps. Contador crushes.

Jens Voigt

There’s been a lot of talk of Jens Voigt’s crash today during Stage 16 of the Tour de France. He took a really nasty spill during a high speed descent and hit the ground at 40+ mph. I’m not posting some of the more gruesome photos that are available (you can find them elsewhere if you’re inclined), but Jens face got pretty beat up in the crash.

Tour de France 2009 Stage Sixteen

A statement on the Saxo Bank team website says Jens Voigt has a broken cheekbone and a concussion, and quotes Voigt as saying he got off lightly from this crash. Voigt is out of the race and will stay in the hospital at Grenoble for observation.

Early speculation focused on equipment failure, but in the video below you can see the riders in front hitting a bump right where Jens hit the deck.

Original Video– More videos at TinyPic


Stage 16 was won by Spaniard Mikel Astarloza of Team Euskaltel-Euskadi. Team Astana’s Alberto Contador retains the yellow jersey, with team mate Lance Armstrong in second place and Garmin Slipstream’s Bradley Wiggins holding on to 3rd place in the GC.

Tour de France 2009 Stage Sixteen

Tour de France 2009 Stage Sixteen


Missed it by *that* much! TdF Stage 14

Stage 14 Tour de France 2009…


Russian National Champion Serguei Ivanov of Team Katusha won the stage today with a burst of speed when he attacked out of a long breakaway that nobody could catch.

The story for the day, though, is that George Hincapie missed the Yellow Jersey today by just five seconds, and he’s pretty upset about the missed opportunity.

Hincapie was part of a long 12 man breakaway for almost the entire stage today, working to keep the breakaway working together — almost anyone in the breakaway would have a chance at a stage win today.

The peloton, meanwhile, kept just far enough back to “keep the gap manageable,” says Lance Armstrong of Team Astana.

Hincapie – always the bridegroom, never the bride

George Hincapie was Lance Armstrong’s perennial lieutenant to Lance Armstrong, assisting in all seven of Armstrong’s Tour de France wins beginning in 1999. This skillful rider is legendary for his loyalty and leadership, and when it became clear over the final 50 km or so that Hincapie had a shot at the Yellow Jersey today, many riders within the peloton began cheering for “Big George” of Greenville, South Carolina.

“My vision was George would have Yellow Jersey by two minutes,” says Lance Armstrong.

In the final ten kilometers, though — with some effort, Agr2-La Mondiale knew they could protect Rinaldo Nocentini’s Yellow Jersey, and together with Garmin Slipstream they picked up the pace and pulled Nocentini across the finish line.

Although Astana controls the tempo of the race, they’re pointing a lot of fingers at Garmin today.

Astana team director Johan Bruyneel: “Bummed, really bummed about George Hincapie not getting yellow. Won’t elaborate on the strategies but what Garmin did was just BS. Sorry!”

Lance Armstrong: “George Hincapie deserves to be yellow tonight. He deserves more than that. Look to who pulled the last 50k to see who to blame.” That would be Garmin he’s talking about.

Slipsteam: Mind the Gap

Many people question Garmin’s aggressiveness in chasing the breakaway and denying George Hincapie’s lead. Even some members of Team Slipstream are questioning the move, with Dave Zabriskie saying that they’re “Pawns in the game” and Bradley Wiggins saying, “[I don’t] quite understand what went on today. George Hincapie is a legend and deserves to be in yellow tonight!”

Garmin Slipstream Team Manager Jonathan Vaughters responds to the criticism of a rivalry between the two American teams, though: “That had nothing to do with George or Columbia. Wiggo almost lost 15 seconds the other day due to a split. We can’t have that happen again.”

Green Jersey and split objectives

Highroad’s plan was to put sprinter Mark Cavendish in the Green Jersey today ahead of sprinting rival Thor Hushovd, so they didn’t have anybody in the breakaway to help their teammate George Hincapie. When it came time for the team to make their attack to pull Cavendish to the front of the pack, though, Hincapie was within seconds of losing his chance at the Yellow Jersey. They held back just a little and it appeared they even boxed Thor Hushovd in against the barriers. Because of Highroad’s hesitation, I believe, Cavendish missed the Green Jersey by just three points today.

TdF: Stage 13

Just a link roundup today for the 2009 Tour de France Stage 13…

Tour de France 2009 Stage Thirteen

NYT: Climbers don’t touch Tour leaders.

VN: Haussler solos to emotional win.

CN: Haussler escapes.

KWC: Levi tweets from the operating room. Levi Leipheimer had to pull out today because of a broken wrist, which was the only major change in the top contendors in the GC. Levi was in 4th place.

VN: Some idiot shoots a pellet gun at Oscar Freire and Julian Dean!

Bike Intelligencer: Wet Jersey Contest.

More links at commentary at Steephill.TV.