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Friday, July 24, 2009
  Ready? Okay! TdF Stage 19
By Yokota Fritz 
*** 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.

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Thursday, July 23, 2009
  TdF Stage 18: Otra pregunta
By Yokota Fritz 
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.

Bicycle.net: Contador crushes.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009
  Jens Voigt
By Yokota Fritz 
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

** SPOILERS **

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

More:

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Saturday, July 18, 2009
  Missed it by *that* much! TdF Stage 14
By Yokota Fritz 
Stage 14 Tour de France 2009...

*SPOILERS*

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.

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Friday, July 17, 2009
  TdF: Stage 13
By Yokota Fritz 
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.

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Thursday, July 16, 2009
  Rinaldo Nocentini's last day wearing yellow
By Yokota Fritz 
Italian Rinaldo Nocentini of Agr2 / La Mondiale enjoys his last day wearing the Yellow Jersey during Stage 12 of the 2009 Tour de France.

Tour de France 2009 Stage Twelve

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  TdF Stage 12: Magnificent Seven
By Yokota Fritz 
A seven man breakaway led off for most of the day during today's stage of the 2009 Tour de France from Tonnerre to Vittel. No big shakeups occurred today, but the Tour de France should get interesting tomorrow as the race goes into the big mountain stages.

Spoilers below....

Bicycle.net: Soerenson wins.

CN: Sorenson speeds to super stage win.

VN: Nicki Sorenson wins.

Astana blog: Stage 12 recap with photos.

LIVESTRONG Video: Chris Brewer recap of Stage 12.

Big collection of links at out Steephill.TV Tour de France dashboard.

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009
  TdF Stage 11: Conspiracy?
By Yokota Fritz 
The GC standings are really starting to freak me out. Ever since Stage 7, the top three rankings have invariably looked like this:

    NOCENTINI Rinaldo (Italy) Agr2-La Mondial
    CONTADOR Alberto  (Spain) Astana          +00'06"
    ARMSTRGONG Lance  (USA)   Astana          +00'08"
With the exception of Stage 10 when Andreas Kloden briefly bested him, American Levi Leipheimer has been consistently in 4th place at 39 seconds behind NOCENTINI.

What's up with that?

Spoilers in the links out...

You'll see race details in the race reports but Cavendish's win moved him up one place in the GC from 135th place to 134th at 1 hour 14 minutes behind race leader Rinaldo Nocentini.

KWC: Cav unbeatable.

Bike Rumor: Cavendish Continues.

Bike World News: Stage 11 results.

VN: Cav leaps uphill.

CN: Cavendish ties British record with his 4th Stage win

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009
  TdF Stage 10: Radio Free Europe
By Yokota Fritz 
2009 Tour de France Stage 10: Bastille Day Edition

Frenchmen Thierry Hupond (Skil-Shimano), Benoït Vaugrenard (Française des Jeux) and Samuel Dumoulin (Cofidis, Le Credit en Ligne) felt the Bastille Day spirit today as they attacked early in Stage 10 of the 2009 Tour de France today, with Russian Mikhail Ignatiev (Team Katusha) joining in the early breakaway. In spite of the radio ban (or maybe because of it?), the peloton reeled them in just a mile from the finish today.


German rider Grischa Niermann of Rabobank with CB radio antenna Rabobank's Gricscha Niermann mounts a CB radio antenna to his helmet before Stage 10 of the Tour de France to protest today's race radio ban.
Spoilers below...

Well, alleged spoilers, anyway. Not much has changed in rankings since last week.

Cavendish beat Thor Hushovd and Tyler Farrar as they all sprinted for the finish line in Issoudun. Italian Rinaldo Nocentini (AG2R La Mondiale) retains the Yellow Jersey, while Astana still owns the next four places.

Links out...

KWC: Well, that didn't work....

Bike World News: Stage 10 Report.

Bike Rumor: Cavendish wins.

Steephill.TV's "Highlights from today's action" features a photo of snails on the side of the road :-)

CN: Cavendish goes long.

VN: Cav charges.

Bicycle.net: Media focus on Andy difficult for older Schleck.

TdF Blog: Armstrong may return for 2010?

Video: Rabobank's Grischa Niermann mounts a CB antenna on his helmet.

Mild Stallion's TdF Haiku.

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Monday, July 13, 2009
  UCI to limit radio technology
By Yokota Fritz 
The Union Cicliste Internationale (UCI), the world wide governing body for competitive cycling, is rumored to be drawing up rules to limit the radio technology used in bicycle races, according to this report in the French sports daily L'Equipe.

An anonymous staffer at the UCI officer in Switzerland says the goal is to preserve the purity of the sport by restricting radio technology to what was available in 1972. Race directors and coaches will be required to use vintage CB transmitters from their cars while cyclists will use transistor radios with 9 volt zinc-carbon cells that have been modified to receive CB frequencies. Though cyclists will also be permitted to use transmitters, the power and electronics required effectively restricts their use since they would more than double the weight of the bicycle.

Two way radios were first used in the early 1990s when Motorola sponsored a bike racing team and have since become ubiquitous in the pro peloton.

Several cyclists and teams have been outspoken in their opposition to the race radio ban for Stage 10 Tuesday and Stage 13. The UCI effort to use "traditional" radio technology is thought to be a compromise between those fans who wish to completely eliminate the technology and the teams who benefit from electronic communication.

English translation of the L'Equipe article on the technology restriction here.

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Saturday, July 11, 2009
  Partial feeds and advertising
By Yokota Fritz 
The Freakonomics blogs offers a partial feed, meaning the RSS feed only shows a portion of the blog post so you must click on the link to read the full article. Here's what I saw on my RSS reader Friday night.

Danger of partial feeds


You can read what Thomas Voeckler said of his Tour de France Stage 6 win on Freakanomics.

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Friday, July 10, 2009
  TdF Stage 7 multimedia
By Yokota Fritz 
Tour de France Stage 7 finish video, with commentary in French.





Frenchman Brice Feillu of team Agritubel crosses the finish line. did Feillu unzip to protest Agritubel pulling it's support of the team after the 2009 season is complete?

Tour de France 2009 Stage Seven


Bradley Wiggins of Garmin-Slipstream crosses the finish line and is now in 5th place in the GC.

Tour de France 2009 Stage Seven


Alberto Contador on Stage 7.

Tour de France 2009 Stage Seven


Rinaldo Nocentini celebrates his place on the podium after Stage 7.

Tour de France 2009 Stage Seven


Rinaldo Nocentini, happy to be in the Yellow Jersey during his very first Tour de France.

Tour de France 2009 Stage Seven

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  TdF Stage 7: Unexpected treats
By Yokota Fritz 
Italian Rinaldo Nocentini from Ag2r-La Mondiale, who now wears the Yellow Jersey, was in 32nd place before Stage 7 when he joined a long breakaway that the peloton, lead by Team Astana, never caught. Nocentini moved up 31 places in a field of nearly 200 to gain the yellow jersey today. Well done!

Amgen Tour of California Stage 7


Astana set the pace for the peloton today, mostly going at what seemed a fast training pace before Contador hit the gas in the final kilometers of Stage 7 as he and his team neared the finish in Andorra. While Contador missed the Yellow Jersey by just six seconds -- six seconds! -- he asserted his leadership of Team Astana, with he and Armstrong swapping their relative positions in the G.C.

Astana holds a commanding position in the GC, with four Astana riders in the top 10. American riders also dominate, with Lance Armstrong in 3rd, his teammate Levi Leipheimer behind him in 4th, and Slipstreams Christian Van de Velde in 8th place.

Will we see a podium peopled completely by Team Astana in at a stage finish soon?

Elsewhere...

* KWC: Are we clear yet?
* BWN: Stage 7 Results.
* Bicycle.Net: Contador attacks.
* CN: Stage 7 results.
* VN: Feillu wins.
* Left Field: Contador proves his point.

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Thursday, July 09, 2009
  Andy Schleck Specialized commercial
By Yokota Fritz 
"My Tarmac is the fastest bike I've had so far."



Andy and his brother Frank Schleck race for Team Saxo Bank. Saxo Bank rider Fabian Cancellara wears the Yellow Jersey so far, but climbers like Frank and Andy Schleck are expected to do well on the mountain stages that begin with Friday's Stage 7.

See more about Team Saxo Bank -- including daily video diary entries -- at their website: Saxo Bank - Taking the Lead. See also Saxo Bank Story Planet, which seems to be a website to help you publish online slideshows.

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  Mark Cavendish bicycle
By Yokota Fritz 
Detail of Mark Cavendish's bicycle at the start of Tour de France Stage 6. Cavendish races for Team Colubmia-HTC. At the conclusion of Stage 6 in Barcelona, he holds the Green Jersey by just a single point after Thor Hushovd bested him in the sprint finish.

Tour de France 2009 Stage Six

Photo by Bryn Lennon / Getty Images.

See more TdF Stage 6 photos and reports.

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  TdF Stage 6 - The rain in Spain
By Yokota Fritz 
Rain + mountain roads + speeding bike race = crashes.

I won't spoil it for you all just yet, but the interesting players were David Millar, Amets Txurruka, Oscar Freire and Thor Hushovd.

Links out to commentary, race results, and photos (with spoilers) below...





David Millar pants like a race horse after his tremendous breakaway effort in Stage 6.

Tour de France 2009 Stage Six


The riders near the beginning of Stage 6 Tour de France 2009.

Tour de France 2009 Stage Six


Team Astana during Tour de France Stage 6 from Girona to Barcelona.

Tour de France 2009 Stage Six


Thor Hushovd on the podium after his explosive sprint finish.

Tour de France 2009 Stage Six


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  Tour de France: Bernard Hinault on Stage 6
By Yokota Fritz 
Update: Click here for Tour de France Stage 6 results. The race turned out nothing at all like I surmised it might below!

In video below, Bernard Hinault gives a "just the facts" summary of today's stage 6 from Gerone to Barcelona. He gives some advice to Fabian Cancellara, telling him to stay on Lance Armstrong's wheel to retain the yellow jersey.

My prediction: I think the story today will be Alberto Contador as he enters his native Spain. Team Astana has kept Contador relatively fresh coming into Stage 6, and his climbing legs will serve him well on the moderate terrain on today's stage. Maybe he won't win, but I see him gaining the yellow jersey today after he makes up the 19 seconds that current leader Cancellara has on him. Stage 6 isn't mountainous enough to kill time trialing specialist Cancellara, but he and Saxo Bank will have to work for him to retain the lead.

Tour de France 2009 - 15-km individual time-trial and first stage - Monaco

I think Stage 6 will also be the moment of truth when the question of Astana's leadership will be defined.

I'm writing this late Wednesday night; by the time most Americans read this Stage 6 preview the Stage 6 results will be known as the racers cross the finish line in Barcelona at about 8 AM USA Pacific Time.

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Wednesday, July 08, 2009
  2009 Tour de France Stage 5 photos
By Yokota Fritz 
Bike World News has some interesting trivia regarding Stage 5 today. For example, Fabian Cancellara broke the record for most days spent in yellow by a Swiss rider. Read more at Bike World News.

All photos used with permission / Getty Images. Hover over images for full attribution and captions.


Frenchman Thomas Voeckler of Bbox Bouygues Telecom celebrates his first place finish during stage five of the 2009 Tour de France from Le Cap d'Agde to Perpignan on July 8, 2009 in Perpignan, France.

Tour de France 2009 Stage Five


Tony Martin of Germany and Team Columbia HTC rides at the front of the peloton during stage 5 of 2009 Tour de France from Le Cap D' Agde to Perpignan the on July 8, 2009.

Tour de France 2009 Stage Five

Mark Cavendish of Great Britain and Team Columbia HTC celebrates on the podium after receiving the green jersey at the end of stage five of the 2009 Tour de France

Tour de France 2009 Stage Five


Fabian Cancellara once again dons the Yellow Jersey.

Tour de France 2009 Stage Five

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Tuesday, July 07, 2009
  Tour de France Stage 4 Photos
By Yokota Fritz 

MONTPELLIER, FRANCE - JULY 07: The Cervelo Test Team in action on stage four of the 2009 Tour de France, a 39km Team Time Trial through Montpellier, on July 7, 2009 in Montpellier, France. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

Tour de France 2009 Stage Four - Team Trial


The BBOX Bouygues Telecom Team in action on stage four of the 2009 Tour de France, a 39km Team Time Trial through Montpellier, on July 7, 2009 in Montpellier, France. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

Tour de France 2009 Stage Four - Team Trial

The Cofidis Team in action on stage four of the 2009 Tour de France, a 39km Team Time Trial through Montpellier, on July 7, 2009 in Montpellier, France. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

Tour de France 2009 Stage Four - Team Trial

Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland and Team Saxo Bank catches his breath just after the team time trial of the 2009 Tour de France on July 7, 2009 in Montpellier, France. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)

Tour de France 2009 Stage Four - Team Trial


The Astana Team in action during stage four of the 2009 Tour de France, a 39km Team Time Trial through Montpellier, on July 7, 2009 in Montpellier, France. Spaniard ALberto Contador is in his red and yellow skinsuit. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

Tour de France 2009 Stage Four - Team Trial

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  Practice makes perfect
By Yokota Fritz 
"Missed it by that much!": Team Astana's Lance Armstrong on missing the yellow jersey today by a fraction of a second.

Astana previewed the course in Montpellier in the days leading up to the Tour start, and this practice paid off for them as they expertly navigated the technical course with its tight twists and turns. Other teams lost time and riders when they overshot some of the tighter turns and had to regroup afterwards.

Is the 2009 Tour de France turning out to be a great show, or what?

Commentary elsewhere:

* KWC: Now that's excitement.

* VN: Astana steamrolls team time trial.

* CN: Team Astana asserts dominance.

* Pez: Astana Dominant, Fab Still Yellow.

* Intelligencer: Fab's monster pull.

* Guardian: Lance Armstrong.

Apologies for making Cyclelicious "All Lance" -- I hoped to avoid it this time around, but it's difficult to do so far in the 2009 TdF. Because of this apparent comeback so far, it appears Sony Pictures is now producing a documentary about Lance Armstrong.

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Monday, July 06, 2009
  What would Johan do?
By Yokota Fritz 
The drama of the Tour de France got a lot more interesting today with Lance Armstrong moving up to 3rd place in the G.C. today in the Tour de France, and Astana team leader Alberto Contador 19 seconds behind in 4th place, leaving everybody asking:

* Who will don the Yellow Jersey after tomorrow?

* Will Armstrong give up his lead to help Contador?

* Which rider will Team Astana support?

Tour de France 2009 Stage Three


Armstrong finished with the breakaway group with two other Astana riders, while Contador finished in the second group back with almost the entire Astana team, including American Levi Leipheimer.

You're Astana team manager Johan Bruyneel. What do you tell the team?

See also KWC: Questions on Leadership.

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  Q. Why no aero wheels on the front?
By Yokota Fritz 
During the Tour de France, Bike Hugger is hosting a live chat during the race over at Hub.BikeHugger.com. One of the questions that popped up during the Individual Time Trial on Monaco concerned the aero wheels on the time trial bikes.

Q. I'm a mountain biker and we don't use aero wheels, but watching the Tour I wonder why they don't use aero wheels on the front.

The inquiry was concerning the disk wheels used during the time trial. Several chatters answered the question: Full disk wheels on the front make the bike difficult to control, especially in a crosswind.

If you have questions regarding equipment, teams, people, rules, or any other aspect of the Tour de France, jump in during the race at Bike Hugger Hub chat. We're mostly pretty friendly and there are no stupid questions.

Bike Hugger closes the chat out right at the stage finish. Today's Stage 3 (Monday, July 6) will be finished by about 8:30 AM Pacific Time, but drop in to see when the next chat time is.

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Saturday, July 04, 2009
  Tour de France for Dummies
By Yokota Fritz 
Just for the fun of it I thought I'd see if there's a Tour de France for Dummies -- and there is! Not only that, it was written by Phil Liggett!

Book: Tour de France for Dummies


This book was published in 2005 so it won't have the latest info, but this book with cycling commentator Phil Liggett as a contributor should be authoritative and it's gotten good reviews on Amazon.com.

The product description says Tour de France for Dummies is a plain-English guide to the world's most famous-and grueling-bicycle race. It's an easy-to-follow, entertaining guide that demystifies the history, strategy, rules, techniques, equipment, and competitors in what is arguably the most grueling and intriguing multiday, multistage sporting event in the world.

Click here to see more and purchase. The Tour de France runs for three weeks so you should have plenty of time to read this book.

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  Americans in the Tour de France 2009
By Yokota Fritz 
Happy USA Independence Day, all!

When Greg LeMond became the first American to race the Tour de France in 1984 and then started beating the Europeans at their own game, he paved the way for the current generation of professional American cyclists who have joined the peloton along with Lance Armstrong. They've turned this greatest of bike races into an American sport as much as a European one, with Americans winning more races since LeMond donned the Yellow Jersey in 1986 than any other single nation.

For Americans, however, the only name most of us recognize is Lance Armstrong. Seven world class cyclists will represent the United States from three different teams, two of which are American teams. Here are the names from the United States to follow as you watch the action.


Team Astana has the winningest cyclist in Tour history, Lance Armstrong. The 37 year old came out of retirement to show that it can be done, but for this year's tour Armstrong says he'll ride to support team leader Alberto Contador of Spain.

The other American on Astana, Levi Leipheimer, hails from northern California, where he won the Tour of California three years in a row. He's been racing for pro teams in Europe for the last decade. Leipheimer placed 6th in the 2009 Giro d'Italia last May.

Look for Levi and Lance in the Team Astana blue and yellow.




The American Garmin-Slipstream has several Americans on its roster. They are the flamboyant and funny David Zabriskie of Salt Lake City; European racing veteran Christian Van de Velde of Chicago; Danny Pate of Colorado Springs; and Tyler Farrar of Wenatchee, WA, who is making his TdF debut this year.

You can spot Garmin-Slipstream riders in their distinctive orange and blue argyle kit.



Finally, George Hincapie of Greenville, SC continues racing for the American Team Columbia-HTC (formerly Columbia-High Road). Hincapie was Armstrong's chief lieutenant, assisting Armstrong for all seven of his Tour de France wins. Hincapie also served as domestique for Alberto Contador's Tour de France win in 2007 when he raced with Team Discovery.

You can spot the Columbia-HTC riders in their white jerseys and shorts with yellow and black highlights and logos.

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  Tour de France 2009 on Google Maps and Google Earth
By Yokota Fritz 
Paris Thover has done the hard work of transferring detailed Tour de France 2009 route information to Google Maps and Google Earth files. It's pretty cool stuff. Click here to see it all.

Mentioned also with some discussion at the Google Earth blog.

If haven't tried using Google Earth, here's what Stage 15 looks like using that software.

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Friday, July 03, 2009
  Tour de France 2009 on Twitter
By Yokota Fritz 
Here are some of the names I'm following during the Tour de France 2009. You'll note my American bias here.

Franke Steele aka @TdFblog.

Astana

@TeamAstana.

Lance Armstrong.

Team Astana director Johan Bruyneel.

Garmin Slipstream

@TeamSlipStream.

@JakesJournal from Garmin is in France.

Jonathan Vaughters director of Team Garmin-Slipstream.

David Zabriskie.

Christian Van de Velde.

Levi Leipheimer.

Columbia HTC

@TeamColubmiaHTC.

George Hincapie.

Michael Rogers.

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  Tour de France 2009 Internet streaming video
By Yokota Fritz 
Update for USA / Canada: For a fee, you can watch broadcast video of each stage of the Tour de France live at Versus Tour de France Race Tracker.

All of the usual suspects will have Tour de France video recaps on their websites, but live streaming options for viewing the Tour de France are fairly restricted. Links below the photo.

Tour de France 2009 Stage Three


Tour de France official site will have live updates during each stage.

Cycling.TV will have highlights videos each day.

Versus TdF page.

Velonews generally posts videos of rider and coach interviews and the like.

Steephill.TV is probably the best place to turn for the latest video links.

Post your secret, pirated streaming feed to Bike Hugger TdF Hub.

See also: Tour de France for Dummies.

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  2009 Tour de France TV schedule
By Yokota Fritz 
The Tour de France 2009 will be televised in the United States on VERSUS with live coverage every morning of every stage, replays during the day, and "expanded" coverage during primetime each evening.

View the complete TV schedule at Versus.com.

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Monday, June 29, 2009
  Chris Horner, Team Astana and the Tour de France
By Yokota Fritz 
Many people are upset that Chris Horner was passed over when Team Astana selected the Tour de France team. I can't imagine the extreme disappointment that Horner felt. He asked to be released from Astana so he could try to join another team's squad, but Astana's team director Johan Bruyneel denied him.

Steve Hill has his commentary and links out to more articles. See also Velonews: Horner left off Astana Tour roster.

The Tour de France 2009 begins this weekend.

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Friday, June 19, 2009
  Tour de France: No race radio!
By Yokota Fritz 
Wow. Two stages of the Tour de France will be run without race radio.



Parts of the 2009 Tour of California was plagued with technical difficulties reportedly due to the weather. Ineffective race radio made the race a lot more uncertain for the riders since team directors couldn't relay information to the riders, and those of us following the race had no clue what was going on.

It's a controversial decision by race organizers: The Tour de France wants to ban the race radios completely, but teams and riders say they depend on the radios for safety. Taking the radios away puts team leadership squarely back on the cyclists and benefits the those who can quarterback, think quickly and react to conditions on the ground.

Updates:

What do you think?

More:

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