By Yokota Fritz
Stage 17 of the Tour de France tomorrow will feature the famous Alpe de Wheeze. You can visit this alpine meadow virtually through Google Streetview.
The Alpe d'Huez, which has hosted a Tour de France stage almost every year since 1976, is probably the most famous mountain climb of the Tour de France, which large and enthusiastic crowds of fans crowding along the hairpin turns that lead to the ski resort in the French Alps.
A Frenchman gets his stage win
French cyclist Cyril Dessel got his stage win today, in Stage 16 that started in Italy.
By Yokota Fritz
Mark Cavendish is pooped after his spectacular 4 stage wins this week, so he took it easy and finished towards the end of the pack on Stage 14 today. Oscar Freire wins the Stage today, Cadel Evans still has the yellow jersey, Garmin-Chipotle/H30's Christian Vande Velde is on the GC podium, Colubmia's Kim Kirchen is still in the top 10.
It's the weekend, I've got things to do and people to see, so I'll point you to KWC's Stage 14 link robot for more news and commentary.
Speaking of Frank Steele of TdFBlog, hinted at some anti-Americanism by the TdF web team when he tweeted the lack of the American flag on the Tour de France website. In years past, the button for the English version of the site was a split UK/USA flag, while this year it's a UK flag only. Still, if you look at the English language link URL, the page is listed under "US", not "UK."
Is Cavendish clean?
Some of my friends look at the news of Ricco, Beltran and Duenas as proof that pro cycling and the Tour de France is awash in doping. Many people are asking the question of Cavendish: Are you really clean? Can we trust that your wins are real?
Agency for Cycling Ethics PURE Sport
Cavendish's Team Columbia uses the same "bio passport" system from the Agency for Cycling Ethics (ACE) that Team Garmin-Chipotle uses. While the T-Mobile cycling team had its share of doping scandals when Jan Ullrich, Oscar Sevilla and Patrick Sinkewitz were expelled from the team, Bob Stapleton worked to clean house when he took over management of the team in 2007. Team High Road began the ACE biological passport testing last October.
"Passports" are created for each cyclist participating in the program. Changes in blood and urine chemistry are measured and noted over time. Instead of measuring for specific banned substances or looking at absolute blood chemistry values that can vary greatly between individual like current doping protocols do, the biological passport instead detects the body's reaction to performance enhancing drugs over time.
Under standard doping tests, some athletes can dope and still remain under the official threshold for that measurement. According to ACE, the biological parameters they measure can vary greatly between individuals, but within an individual these measurements don't change much over time.
ACE bio passports cannot detect specifically which drug was used to, for example, enhance the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood, but they trade this lack of specificity with sensitivity. EPO, for example, can only be detected in the urine for up to four days at the most, but with the passport the effect of EPO can be detected for weeks afterwards.
To detect blood doping, ACE’s PURE Sport program measures Hemoglobin, Hematocrit, Recticulocyte count and MCV as its main biological markers. ACE also measures for various steroid markers in the blood and urine to test for steroid use. When an athelete takes an anabolic androgenic steroid that person immediately alters his body’s steroid profile. LH and FSH are immediately suppressed. This in turn suppresses the body’s own steroid production, altering the biological markers listed above for a substantial time and in a predictable manner. Because of the frequency of testing, ACE claims they can even detect human growth hormone use, which is currently considered undetectable.
I look at Cavendish's amazing fourth stage win today as evidence that you can ride clean and win.
By Yokota Fritz
Don't read this if you're waiting for the highlights video later tonight.
First the fun news: Team Columbia's Mark Cavendish sprinted for his third stage win today in the 105 mile 12th Stage from Lavelanet to Narbonne, showing that a team with a strong bio passport anti-drug program can still win and beat the cheaters. Silence Lotto's Cadel Evans retains the overall lead in spite of getting hung out to dry by his teammates who couldn't hang with the peloton towards the end of the stage. Julian Dean of Garmin-Chipotle/H30 -- another team with a bio passport program -- placed 9th in the field of 158 finishers. Team Columbia, Silence-Lotto, and Garmin-Chipotle are in first, second and third places respectively.
Some more commentary on today's stage and Ricco's bust:
The big news today was of course the loss of Stupido Ricco, who demonstrated that his poor judgment when he runs his mouth is as bad as his judgment otherwise. Also, it is too much to have two amazing mountain stages in a row. Saunier Duval became the first team to withdraw, which makes me wonder what they caught Ricco with.
Visit velo.kwc.org for the latest in links to Tour de France news.
By Yokota Fritz
Maybe not too unbelievable, but disappointing none the less: Italian cyclist Riccardo Ricco of Team Saunier Duval tested positive for synthetic EPO and CERA before the start of today's 12th Stage of the Tour de France. Saunier Duval has pulled out of the Tour de France.
Before he was pulled from the race this morning, Ricco was in the top 10 of the GC and points and led in the mountains. His team, Saunier Duval - Scott, was in third place when Stage 11 concluded yesterday.
As I write this, Stage 12 is almost concluded in Narbonne. Watch Velo.kwc.org for complete updates.
EPO is a hormone that stimulates the production of red blood cells. Continuous erythropoiesis receptor activator (CERA) is a new drug still undergoing FDA review that's used to enhance the effect of EPO on red blood cell production.
Trust But Verify plenty of commentary on how this story is breaking. The comments there at TBV are interesting, too. Among the tidbits there:
The disappointment is indescribably immense because of this new betrayal. Here on Sui Pedali I always focus on the sport of cycling and don't emphasize the problem of doping. We don't do this because of disinterest or because I'm convinced the problem doesn't exist, but because there are so many other beautiful stories to tell. Faced with this case, however, I cannot remain vague or leave this as a footnote of another article.
We get a rock 'em sock 'em mountain stage with carnage spread over two giant mountains. The race was blown up like a pinata by CSC and Saunier Duval swept in to pick up the candy.
The only thing missing was a metaphor about storming the gates of Bastille on this French national holiday in which French cyclist Rémy Di Grégorio of Française des Jeux win Most Aggressive Rider. Compare against this humdrum "just the facts" reporting from Velo News:
Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto) seized the yellow jersey atop Hautacam on Monday as Leonardo Piepoli (Saunier Duval-Scott) won the mountainous stage 10 of the Tour de France.
l'Espagnol Manuel Beltran (Liquigas), 37 ans, présente des traces d'EPO dans l'échantillon A de ses urines prélevé à l'issue de la première étape du Tour de France, samedi 5 juillet entre Brest et Plumelec.
Professionnel depuis 1995, Beltran a débuté sa carrière chez Mapei avant de passer par Banesto, Team Coast et de devenir l'un des principaux équipiers en montagne de Lance Armstrong à l'US Postal et chez Discovery Channel.
Beltran fait partie de ceux qui avaient été ciblés par l'Agence Française de lutte contre le dopage (AFLD) lors des prélèvements sanguins effectués les 3 et 4 juillet derniers à Brest avant le départ.
That's French for "37 year old Spaniard Manuel Beltran of Liquigas is SO busted! His A sample from Stage 1 tested positive for EPO." Beltran has been pulled from competition.
Beltran started racing professionally in 1995 with Mapei. From 2003 to 2006, he raced on the USPS Team and Team Discovery, often assisting Lance Armstrong with his wins as his teammate.
By Yokota Fritz
Who is this guy who won the Yellow Jersey in today's Stage 4 of the Tour de France?
German cyclist Stefan Schumacher came out of nowhere today to snag the first place finish during the individual time trial today during the Tour de France. Stage 4 today started and finished in a loop from the town of Cholet, France. Schumacher has been racing for Team Gerolsteiner since he made his UCI ProTour debut two years ago. He will celebrate his 27th birthday on the rest day in two weeks between Stages 15 and 16.
More on today's Individual Time Trial in the Tour de France:
Google maps announces Streetview Europe with Tour de France routes
By Yokota Fritz
Google launched their European edition of Streetview last week which provides an interactive "street view" of various map locations. The really cool thing is that they launched with almost the entire Tour de France 2008 route included in their Streetview coverage. Here's the view from Avenue du Commandant de Champagny in Cholet near the beginning of Tuesday's Stage 4 time trial race.
Rob Gizzy has a couple of nice shots in his TdF set.
I've always wondered about how race organizers get the team name so quickly on the winner jerseys that are presented on the podium just moments after the race end. Ron at Cozy Beehive uncovers the magic of heat pressing podium jerseys. I guess they're like big iron ons.
Earlier this morning I saw that bicycle.net is down, with a note about some quota was exceeded. It looks like Jonathan has upped his service plan, however, and the site is back up. As interest in cycling as skyrocketed over the past six months I've been keeping an eye on my bandwidth to ensure Cyclelicious doesn't go dark!
By Yokota Fritz
KWC spent the weeekend writing a tool that automatically finds the best Tour de France stage summaries. The result is the amazing velo.kwc.org. He links to stage summaries, photos, commentary and analysis, team blogs, podcasts, video, and blog posts for each stage.
I need to figure out a way to manage my Tour de France Twitter tweets -- since le Tour started, my phone message box has been overflowing, but that's because I subscribe to too many tour updates. I need to cull some of that back.
Unfortunately, I haven't found any decent Tour de France 2008 photos posted to Flickr yet, though I ran across an interesting "Tour de Fleece" set of some Navajo textiles.
By Yokota Fritz
Google product manager Dylan Casey raced professionally for five years for the U.S. Postal Service Team. In this one hour "Google Tech Talk," he talks about the life of a professional cyclist racing in Europe. The video is an hour long so set some time aside to watch this.
In the United States, Versus TV will show some live coverage from every stage of the 2008 Tour de France beginning this Saturday, July 5. Coverages begins at 8:30 AM on most days and continues through 11:30 AM, though Versus will begin coverage as early as 6:30 AM for some stages. The complete Versus TV schedule is available here.
Your options are very limited if you live in the United States, don't have cable TV and you want live Internet streaming video, and the streaming video providers in Europe are getting very good at blocking access from outside of their regions. Versus will show live streaming video online for the early risers before TV coverage begins in the States.
For worldwide television schedules and Internet viewing options, Steve has a comprehensive listing of global television schedules and Internet video options at Steephill.TV.
Tour de France teams
Of the 20 teams participating in the 2008 Tour de France, three will have new title sponsors. Team CSC is now Team CSC Saxo Bank; Team High Road became Team Columbia after signing Columbia Sportswear as title sponsor; and Slipstream Chiptotle is now Team Garmin-Chipotle Presented by H30. Ken writes about the new sponsorships. I've seen the new CSC/Saxo kit; I've missed it if Garmin and Columbia kit has been unveiled yet.
Does anybody have idea when Garmin/Chipotle will be promoted to a ProTour team? They certainly have the roster for it and it looks like they now have the sponsorship commitment.
By Yokota Fritz
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has dismissed the appeal filed by Floyd Landis. Landis has also been ordered to pay $100,000 to the US Anti Doping Agency for the costs incurred by his appeals.
The full details are posted everywhere; Trust But Verify is dedicated to tracking Floyd Landis and his doping appeals so it seems like as good a place as any to following the discussion. Moving forward, the Tour de France starts this Saturday! Woo hoo!
By Yokota Fritz
Riis Cycling (RC) announced that Saxo Bank will be a title sponsor for the cycling team. The agreement will let Saxo Bank become a co-sponsor of Team CSC together with CSC. The agreement becomes effective immediately, which means that Team CSC will appear as Team CSC/Saxo Bank at the upcoming Tour De France. Computer Sciences Corporation announced last March that they would not renew their sponsorship of the cycling team after the 2008 season.
The agreement runs to the end of this year, and on January 1st 2009 Saxo Bank becomes the sole main sponsor of the team that, from then on, will be known as Team Saxo Bank. The duration term of the contract is three years.
"With Saxo Bank, we have found the perfect partner for the future. We are extremely proud to become associated with such a strong brand and a company that has a great passion for our team and our values. It has been a pleasure closing a deal with such dedicated and professional people as Kim Fournais and Lars Seier Christensen. From day one, we have found a great understanding and this promises to become a first class collaboration for the years to come," says Bjarne Riis.
Signing the agreement with RC, Saxo Bank's founders and joint CEOs, Kim Fournais and Lars Seier Christensen pointed out that this is an opportunity they have been waiting for for a long time. "For a global bank like ours, this is the perfect match and when it became possible, we just could not let this chance pass by," they said in a joint statement. "Team CSC/Saxo Bank has the international reach and name recognition that means that we will be able to get our message out to most of our clients group around the globe. We love the sport, we trust Bjarne Riis, and believe that together we will be winners."
"At the same time, I want to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to our main sponsor CSC for their passionate and consistent support," Riis said. "They have made it possible for us to become the best team in the world. We have achieved fantastic results thanks to their dedication. The level and the quality of this partnership is what we want to continue with Saxo Bank as our new sponsor."
Saxo Bank takes over the sponsorship from CSC whose contract with the team expires by the end of the year: CSC has been the team's main sponsor since 2001.
In explaining their decision to sponsor the team, Kim Fournais and Lars Seier Christensen in their statement said that, in addition to being one of the world's most popular and watched sports with an audience of billions of viewers, cycling on this level expresses the same kind of values and attitudes that Saxo Banks identifies with. "Winning and team work, is what Saxo Bank has been about from the outset," they said. "Endurance and passion are some of the other features that we have in common. We are proud that we now will have the opportunity to highlight these values and show what sports and business can do together."
The two CEOs have worked closely with their counterparts at CSC during this transition, and they point out that the CSC executives generously have shared their sponsorship experience with them. "We are very pleased that CSC has included us a co-sponsors for the remainder of their contract with RC creating the best possible transition for the team and us as the new main sponsors," Fournais and Christensen said. "It goes without saying that this is the best possible scenario for all stakeholders."
At CSC, this is also significant and good news.
"We are pleased to welcome Saxo Bank onboard as a co-sponsor of Team CSC for the remainder of 2008 and thrilled that they will become the team's title sponsor in 2009," said David Booth, President of Global Sales and Marketing for CSC. "We have enjoyed an incredible partnership with the Team for these past eight years; helping them secure another strong partner like Saxo Bank is in keeping with that spirit of partnership."
For Bjarne Riis, the partnership with Saxo Bank will secure the kind of stability that is necessary for the team's future success. He too, sees the sponsorship agreement with Saxo Bank as a match between two partners that have much to offer each other.
"Now we can focus on the next big event - Tour de France knowing that we have the possibility to build a team for the future with Saxobank. We are very ambitious about being the best team in the world and with Saxobank on board we have found the best possible partner for this project," says Bjarne Riis.
The nine RC riders will get started as Team CSC-Saxo Bank in Brest when Tour de France takes off on July 5th.
Discovery Team's Alberto Contador rode victorously into Paris looking like a yellow canary with his yellow jersey, yellow shorts, yellow framed shades, yellow Trek bike and yellow Giro helmet as Lance Armstrong cheered Team Discovery on from a team car. The tradition of a rolling parade and party onto the Champs-Elysées prevailed and the 141 remaining riders completed the 94th Tour de France.
Stage Twenty Results
1. BENNATI Daniele LAMPRE-FONDITAL 3h 51' 03" 2. HUSHOVD Thor CREDIT AGRICOLE 3h 51' 03" 3. ZABEL Erik TEAM MILRAM 3h 51' 03" 4. HUNTER Robert BARLOWORLD 3h 51' 03" 5. BOONEN Tom QUICK STEP - INNERGETIC 3h 51' 03" 6. CHAVANEL Sébastien FRANCAISE DES JEUX 3h 51' 03" 7. CANCELLARA Fabian TEAM CSC 3h 51' 03" 8. MILLAR David SAUNIER DUVAL - PRODIR 3h 51' 03" 9. FÖRSTER Robert GEROLSTEINER 3h 51' 03" 10. QUINZIATO Manuel LIQUIGAS 3h 51' 03"
By Yokota Fritz
Wow, Leipheimer really poured on the steam today in the Individual Time Trial averaging 33 mph! This gives him the fourth fastest time trial speed in the history of the Tour de France and his first career win of the Tour de France in today's stage, bringing him within seconds of race leader Alberto Contador. Although one more stage remains in the 94th Tour de France, the final ride to the Champs-Élysées in Paris is considered almost ceremonial for the GC contenders and the Yellow Jersey is foreordained for Contador, though with less than a minute between 1st and 3rd place we'll see what kind of action happens tomorrow.
David Millar had hoped to win today's time trial, but as he came off the starting ramp his carbon fiber Mavic TT wheel flew apart. He threw is bike down and got another one, but this mechanical failure cost Millar some time.
1 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 1.02.44 (53.068 km/h) 2 Cadel Evans (Aus) Predictor - Lotto 0.51 3 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Caisse d'Epargne 1.56 4 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 2.01 5 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 2.18 6 José Ivan Gutierrez Palacios (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 2.27 7 George Hincapie (USA) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 2.33 8 Oscar Pereiro Sio (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 2.36 9 Leif Hoste (Bel) Predictor - Lotto 2.48 10 Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 2.50
1 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 87.09.18 2 Cadel Evans (Aus) Predictor - Lotto 0.23 3 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 0.31 4 Carlos Sastre Candil (Spa) Team CSC 7.08 5 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 8.17 6 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 11.37 7 Kim Kirchen (Lux) T-Mobile Team 12.18 8 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 12.30 9 Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 14.14 10 Oscar Pereiro Sio (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 14.25
That was an epic time trial today through the Cognac region of France. It was billed as the battle between Albert Contador and Cadel Evans- which it was but that would do the race an injustice.
Leipheimer was superb, riding the race of his life, admitting that he had always dreamed of winning the time trial stage, this afternoon that was dream achieved - added to that was his other dream of a podium finish at the Tour.
Discovery Channel had an amazing day with Lance in attendance. They finished 1-4-5-7 on the stage and will head into the final Paris stage tomorrow in 1-3 overall. Levi will start 8" behind Evans, so the final standings are not settled yet. Contador has a 23" lead and should be able to cruise to the top podium spot tomorrow.
What's the 94th TdF without doping news? Though Andreas Kloden claims he's never doped, he plans to retire from cycling because he fears prison if "somebody pours something banned in my salad and I test positive." Uh huh.
Watch the live Twitter links at Cyclelicious for the latest Tour de France news.
By Yokota Fritz
First of all, check out Masi Guy's passionate expression of his love for the sport of cycling:
Why love a dirty sport? Well, because not all riders are dirty and because it's a beautiful sport. The roads of France were still lined today as the Tour rolled through their towns. Sure, many people booed and chided the riders, but they were still there to watch because of the amazing spectacle that is the Tour and cycling.
Tim links to quite a few other commentaries about the whole doping scandal:
Bike Hugger's: "With Interbike coming up, the Fall, and another bike season, I expect many are thinking of “other things” than racing. Like, comfort bikes, SUBs, cargo bikes, and the like."
I also liked Donna's post: "We as the every day bike riders can still make sure that kids find the love of bike riding. It's not all about the pros. It's about all of us bike riders - there are a ton of us out there. Start your own Tour Day Neighborhood today. Don't sit around and stew about the 'state of the sport'. It's only the state of the pro sport that is in shambles. The state of bike riding is as great as it has always been."
The Tour is open. Most of the course is free of barricades. No tickets, no exorbitant parking, no luxury boxes. All it takes to be part of it is whatever effort you want to put into getting there and setting up your folding chairs and your picnic table.
Fans can walk right up to the top-heavy rolling locker rooms called team buses at the finish and plant themselves in a rider's path when he wheels in still lathered in sweat from covering more than 100 grueling miles.
If doping scandals make you doubt that the physical feats you see in a bike race are real, look again. Look at the whole sport. It's convulsing in a very real, human, imperfect way. Things may get worse before they get better, though it's hard to imagine how much worse they could be than they were this week at the Tour de France.
Finally, here's some more troubling news about Rasmussen, who's been accused now of smuggling plums. (Via TdF Blog.)
By Yokota Fritz
Over the years several people have commented that pro cycling needs to get serious about doping and the drug culture that's rampant among the ranks of professional cyclists.
UCI and le Tour organizers finally are cracking down on the problem -- and I believe pro cycling is probably the only organized sport that is serious about a problem that exists across almost every sport and almost every level of competition -- and we're seeing the results. Evidence of drug use is decimating the peloton, with entire teams eliminated from the world's premier cycling race.
While we shouldn't exactly be rejoicing, we should stand behind those who choose to race clean and continue to support them. The news this week has been a hard pill to swallow, but I think cycling has possibly reached a tipping point toward no tolerance to drug use.
I will continue to follow the 2007 Tour de France. Velonews writer Jason Sumner wonders if the competition matters anymore. Of course it matters -- I believe the competition is more meaningful now than last week. I'm excited to know that those who compete and win will have done so without the benefit of banned substances.
By Yokota FritzTour de France 2007 Stage 16 Today's stage started 20 minutes late as the French and German teams protested the doping scandals with a brief sit-in. Stage 16 at 130 miles and five categorized climbs -- including two hors catégorie -- is probably the toughest stage of the 2007 Tour de France.
If Europeans historically have had a laissez-faire attitude toward doping, this was not in evidence today as many spectators booed the GC leaders as they rode by. With all of the scandal, I have to wonder if anybody in the top five today are drug free? Rasmussen rode strong and confidently through the entire stage, seemingly unaffected by the controversy swirling around him. His Stage 15 rival, Alberto Contador, held back as Contador's teammate Levi Leipheimer took second place.
"I know how well I went in the time trial, what power output I had," said Wiggins. "I know that in order to put two minutes into me, what power Vino would have had to have put out and the effort he would have had to make and it didn't add up. I didn't want to accuse people because they had beaten me outright. But when you saw him limping the week before you couldn't help thinking about it." He added "I think everyone has been suspicious of Astana"
Wow, another amazing Stage as Contador and Rasmussen battled it out on the Col de Peyresourde today. But the story of the day is watching Alexander Vinokourov get another stage win. After his crash early in the 2007 Tour de France, the man looks hungry, and nobody deserves it more than the Kazakh. I feel like I'm watching Rocky Balboa coming up against the odds to win the fight, except this isn't a movie.
Vinokourov, though is in 23rd place overall, a full 28 minutes behind Michael Rasmussen, who continues to hold the yellow jersey. American Levi Leipheimer is in 4th place overall with a five minute deficit.
Suspicions of doping continue to dog Michael Rasmussen. Rasmussen recently was booted from the Danish national team for September's world cycling championships and the 2008 Olympic games because he missed mandatory random dope tests. David Millar spoke out against Rasmussen telling L'Equipe that Rasmussen has ruined the Tour de France with his presence. Several other teams are expressing their anger about Rasmussen's participation peloton. There's a lot of suspicion that the Danish cycling federation purposely withheld the news about Rasmussen's failure to take the tests because Rasmussen might have been barred from le Tour.
Meanwhile, French customs officials searched TdF team buses in a surprise inspection, apparently to search for contraband.
Leipheimer had to sit content with the rest of the contenders as he watched his teammate up the road. The accelerations aren't his style and he couldn't help the others bridge back. Contador needed the time gaps on Evans to protect himself in the upcoming time trial. We'll see if Leipheimer gets a chance to put his own attacks on Evans after tomorrow's rest stage -- 1:25 on Evans separates Levi from the podium right now. Kloden is also nipping at Levi's heels, 9 seconds behind.
Steephill.TV Stage 15 updates, with cool photos of Vinokourov pushing his way through the amazing crowds.
Road-rash Rasmussen actually rode a very respectable TT today- likely the best of his life. It's amazing what the yellow jersey can do for you- it'll either weigh you down or give you wings. Raz-ma-taz finished an impressive 11th, only 2'55" behind a very resurgent Vinokourov. The Krazy Kazakh stormed across the finish line with the fastest time of the day to get his first stage win of this Tour and a taste of redemption.
[Valverde & Mayo's poor showing in the time trial] So much for the resurgence of the Spanish Armada... that ship has sunk.
Kazakh Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) was hurting yesterday and he went into today's stage hoping to just make it to Paris. Vinokourov found his legs in the 54 kilometer individual time trial today and blew away the competition, coming in more than 7 minutes faster than second place Cadel Evans (Predictor-Lotto). The look of determination on his face was amazing as he pushed himself hard. He showed he wanted it and he got it.
"I am happy with my performance," said Vinokourov after his run on the rainy road. "I am finding my legs again. Now I want to attack in the Pyrénées. I want to thank everyone in and around the team that gave me the encourage to get through the Alps."
Way to go, Vino! It's good to see him find his legs. With today's stage win, Vinokourov moves into the top 10 of the General Classification. Michael Rasmussen, who placed 11th today, retains the yellow jersey.
What a race! With just another week to go, the 2007 Tour de France is still anybody's to win. Here's Levi Leipheimer tearing it up to make ninth place in the ITT today. More coverage:
Spare Cycles: Stage 13 with that great photo of Vino's raw determination chiseled into his face with spittle running down his chin.
Early rain saw many riders finish with wet and bloody skinsuits. Cancellara put in a good early time check but quickly fell from the standings after he crashed and appeared to hurt his arm. Wiggins instead had the top early mark on the day, which stood until Vinokourov put in a shockingly fast TT: 2:13 faster than Wiggins. Gusev was putting in a good time until he crashed into a roundabout and went skidding over the curb.
Today’s rain soaked Individual Time Trial was remarkable not so much for the fine performances put in by Vinokourov, Evans and Kloden, but for the meltdown that did not appear. Michael Rasmussen was widely considered vulnerable in the yellow jersey because of his self professed dificulty in the ITT, which was highlighted by his disastrous performance in the the Tour in 2005 which lost him a spot on the podium. But while Rasmussen’s 11th place finish today lost him a few precious minutes to Vinokourov, Kloden and Evans, it was not the disaster that was feared or expected.
For live Tour coverage every day, don't forget about the Twitter feeds that are automatically posted to the front page of Cyclelicious.
Stage 13 Top 10
1. Alexander Vinokourov (Kz), Astana, 54km in 1:06:35 2. Cadel Evans (Aus), Predictor-Lotto, at 1:14 3. Andréas Klöden (G), Astana, at 1:39 4. Andrey Kashechkin (Kz), Astana, at 1:44 5. Bradley Wiggins (GB), Cofidis, at 2:14 6. Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr), Discovery Channel, 2:16 7. Alberto Contador (Sp), Discovery Channel, 2:18 8. Sylvain Chavanel (F), Cofidis, 2:38 9. Levi Leipheimer (USA), Discovery Channel, 2:39 10. Mikel Astarloza (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 2:42
1. Michael Rasmussen (Dk), Rabobank, 58:46:39 2. Cadel Evans (Aus), Predictor-Lotto, at 1:00 3. Alberto Contador (Sp), Discovery, at 2:31 4. Andréas Klöden (G), Astana, at 2:34 5. Levi Leipheimer (USA), Discovery Channel, at 3:37 6. Andrey Kashechkin (Kz), Astana, at 4:23 7. Carlos Sastre (Sp), CSC, at 4:45 8. Mikel Astarloza (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 5:07 9. Alexander Vinokourov (Kz), Astana, at 5:10 10. Kim Kirchen (Lux), T-Mobile, at 5:29
By Yokota FritzStage 12: Go Tom Boonen!!! Erik Zabel and Robbie Hunter (go Barloworld!) tried to pass Boonen up at the end of the race but they couldn't quite out-sprint the Belgium's legs. See the recap at TDF Blog, Spare Cycles, Group News Blog, Biking Bis, and TdF07.
Rasmussen asked Whitney Richards to transport a box containing cycling shoes. In an effort to fit all his belongings in his luggage, Richards opened the box to discard it and just bring the shoes. "I was blown away," Richards told VeloNews. "This wasn't a pair of SIDIs... it was frickin' dog medicine or something."
According to labels, the bags were filled with a hemoglobin-based oxygen carrier (HBOC) known as Hemopure, manufactured by the U.S.-based Biopure Corporation. The product is made from hemoglobin molecules that have been removed from the red cells of cow's blood.
By Yokota Fritz
After Jan Ullrich, Erik Zabel, Rolf Aldag and Bjarne Riis were implicated in the Puerto scandal last year, the German TV networks ARD and ZDF threatened they would suspend Tour de France coverage if new doping allegations against German cyclists appeared. ARD and ZDF followed through on this threat after the news was released that Patrik Sinkewitz tested positive for testosterone.
According to L'Equipe, the German networks made it clear to German cycling that they would only broadcast cycling events if the sport is clean. "It is a warning to cycling and all the other sports," says ZDF Editor in Chief Nikolaus Brender. "We discussed this in length with the team managers, the German Cycling Federation, and race organizers, telling them that we were ready to support cycling if doping is controlled. However, this news shows that the teams are not even able to control what their cyclists do."
TdF organizer ASO is critical of German TV's decision to suspend broadcast of le Tour. "It is hypocritical to sanction the drug testing by not publishing the results," said ASO president Patrice Clerc.
In the meantime, the private German Sat 1 broadcaster quickly arranged broadcast rights for the Tour de France in the aftermath of the ZDF and ARD boycott. Sat one now has exclusive broadcast rights in Germany.
And after I painstakingly and slowly translated the French reports, I see the same thing in the English language International Herald Tribune. Oh well.
By Yokota Fritz
Believe it or not, I get my Tour de France updates via the Twitter reports from Dave, Ken, and Frank. Sure, I can get the live reports by continually hitting the reset button at Cyclingnews and VeloNews, but I really like just getting this stuff asynchronously. I was a little disappointed, then, when Twitter went down during the last part of Stage 10. Twitter is headquartered in San Francisco, but I wonder if maybe they have a datacenter in the East Bay, which has been plagued with power outages this morning. Ah well, the gift and the curse of technology.
Frenchman Cedric Vasseur of Quick Step-Innergetic claimed a win for the host nation today when he took the lead in a breakaway in the final quarter mile in today's 130 mile stage. His countryman Sandy Casar of Française des Jeux took second place. Overall, Michael Rasumussen continues to hold the yellow jersey, while American Levi Leipheimer of Discovery remains in the top 10 at 9th place.
As usual, an excellent link roundup of stage 10 can be found at Spare Cycles, with videos, photos, news and commentary. See also Steephill.TV for more Stage 10 results.
By Yokota Fritz
Colombian Mauricio Soler of the underdog Team Barloworld took stage 9 of the Tour de France on Tuesday, breaking away and leaving the chase group in the wind.
The team sponsor Barloworld is an "Industrial Brand Management Company", whatever that's supposed to mean. The website is horrible to navigate, but they seem to be a truck, car and heavy equipment distributor in South Africa.
Team Barloworld is a UCI Professional Continental cycling team based in the United Kingdom. The obtained a wild card entry to the 2007 Tour de France, making them the first British-based team to compete in the TdF since 1987.
That's an old photo of Danish cyclist Michael Rasmussen. He placed first in today's stage in the Tour de France 2007, also winning the Yellow Jersey and King of the Mountain. Visiting the long tail once again for Stage 8 commentary:
Chooky Fuzzbang: "So the big question is, “who’s the favorite to win GC?” I’ll be honest. I don’t have a clue. Leip, Vino, Kloden, etc. don’t look like contenders on a day like today. They didn’t do poorly but they didn’t ride like leaders. But they could be saving themselves. They didn’t look particularly strained. Valverde looks pretty good here."
Tour de Denver -- this guy is riding his bike every day, trying to recreate the stages of the Tour de France in Colorado.
Today is Bastille Day. That's the French national holiday in which they commemorate the storming of a nearly empty prison. To avoid hurting the invading hordes, the prison commander opened the gates. The rioters then proceeded to slaughter everybody inside, including the commander who let them inside.
Over the years, Phil has come up with some great one-liners affectionately known as Liggettisms. One of my favorites goes all the way back to 1986 when Bernard Hinault had his sixth Tour victory all but wrapped up when he betrayed Lemond in the Pyrenees. Sitting on a five-minute lead Hinault was unable to control his bravado and attacked solo with three huge Pyrenean climbs remaining. Phil's words were prophetic as he exclaimed, "is he a superman or a fool?" Bernie blew up and Greg beat him by 5 minutes setting the match all square.
The Stage 7 top 10 finishers were:
1. Linus Gerdemann (G), T-Mobile, 4:53:13 2. Inigo Landaluze (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 0:40 3. David De La Fuente (Sp), Saunier Duval-Prodir, at 1:39 4. Juan Mauricio Hernandez Soler (Col), Barloworld, at 2:14 5. Laurent Lefevre (F), Bouygues Telecom, at 2:21 6. Fabian Wegmann (G), Gerolsteiner, at 3:32 7. Juan Manuel Garate (Sp), Quick Step-Innergetic, at 3:38 8. Xavier Florencio (Sp), Bouygues Telecom, same time 9. Christophe Moreau (F), Ag2r Prevoyance, s.t. 10. Alejandro Valverde (Sp) Caisse D'epargne, s.t.
Linus Gerdemann also took the Yellow Jersey today, as well as Best Young Rider recognition. Sylvain Chavanel is King of the Mountains.
Streaming video: How to bypass country restrictions
By Yokota Fritz
Steephill.TV provides an excellent list of links to live streaming video of the Tour de France. Unfortunately, most of them have country restrictions due to their licensing agreements with the Tour organizer. There is a way to bypass these restrictions. I haven't done this in a long time, but here's the theory. If you get this to work, please comment with your experience or link to your own how to.
2. Choose a public proxy that will anonymize or hide your origin. Software that will automatically test this for you is Charon. Charon will also automatically search proxy lists for you and tell you which proxies are good, saving you a lot of time and effort. Within Charon, select "Check Proxies" and "Check anonymity of proxies." Then select "Connect Options" and "Use External Judges." Let Charon due its magic and wait for it to generate the report. Charon can sort proxies by country so pick one in France or whatever country to you want to browse in.
3. Change your web browser settings to use the proxy.
In Firefox, select Tools -> Options -> Advanced -> Network -> Settings. Click the "Manual Proxy Configuration" button and fill in the proxy IP address and port number (as reported by Charon).
In Internet Explorer, Select Tools -> Internet Options -> Connections (tab) -> Lan Settings. Click the button for "Use a proxy server for your LAN." Enter the proxy server IP address and port.
In Safari, select Edit -> Preferences -> Advanced. Click the "Change Settings" button next to the "Proxies" label. Click the "Web Proxy" button and enter the proxy server IP address and port.
Select your country-restricted video feed and let me know how it works! After you're finished, don't forget to reverse the steps above to disable proxy usage. You typically don't want to send any sensitive information like usernames and passwords through untrusted proxy servers.
“DO NOT speak of TODAY’s TOUR DE FRANCE (I haven’t watched it yet.)”
That’s a sign that adorns the chair of the most recent member to join our team — Richard Crowley. He was willing to assist with image selection for this post as long as it didn’t become a spoiler for the 3 hours of Tour (apologies if this lodges the theme song for Gilligan’s Island in your noggin*) he’ll enjoy tonight.
By Yokota Fritz
Tom Boonen finally gets his stage win today! He squeezed past Freire and Hunter in the final sprint of today's picturesque race to cross the finish line first and regain the Green Jersey. The results:
1 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quickstep-Innergetic 2 Oscar Freire (Spa) Rabobank 3 Erik Zabel (Ger) Milram 4 Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) Française Des Jeux 5 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Crédit Agricole 6 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Lampre-Fondital 7 Robert Förster (Ger) Gerolsteiner 8 Robert Hunter (RSA) Barloworld 9 Romain Feillu (Fra) Agritubel 10 Murilo Fischer (Bra) Liquigas
Today is a busy day for me, so I'll just point you to my buddy up the road, Spare Cycles for his Tour de France news and commentary. Also don't forget:
By Yokota FritzStage 5: Chablis to Autun. It was another exiting day on the Tour de France as the sprint to the finish line hit almost 50 mph / 79 kph! Italy's Filippo Pozzato of Liquigas pushed his way passed Millar, Hincapie, Zabel, Bennati, Freire and others to win Stage 5.
Yellow Jersey Fabian Cancellara was chasing a Disovery Team rider toward the end of the stage when they both missed a turn and ended up in the grass. Though they stayed upright, Cancellara lost valuable seconds but, surprisingly, he still holds the Yellow Jersey at the end of the Stage.
Several crashes in the stage resulted in numerous cyclists going down, including today's favorite Alexandre Vinokourov.
By Yokota Fritz2007 Tour de France. I've noticed that Versus has had to adjust their television programming because the races are running a little longer than planned. Spare Cycles joked about "slow peloton, no attacks = no doping" during Stage 3 before Cancellara's finishing sprint. Graham Watson notes in his audio report that perhaps the riders feel "funny" without their drugs.
By Yokota Fritz
2007 Tour de France Stage 3 AMAZING SPRINT FINISH! CSC's Fabian Cancellara hammered hard over the cobbles in the last kilometer of Stage 3 and won Stage 3 of the Tour de France, passing up some of the favorites in the peloton such as Robbie McEwen, Tom Boonen and Erik Zabel. That final sprint was amazing to watch as the Yellow Jersey took the lead and the rest of the pack tried to catch him but falling short at the finish line.
Tom Boonen retains the point leader green jersey, while Stephane Auge takes the polka dots as King of the Mountains. The Stage 3 results:
1 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Team CSC 2 Erik Zabel (Ger) Milram 3 Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Lampre-Fondital 4 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quickstep-Innergetic 5 Robert Hunter (RSA) Barloworld 6 Robert Förster (Ger) Gerolsteiner 7 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Predictor-Lotto 8 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) T-Mobile 9 Mark Cavendish (GBr) T-Mobile 10 Heinrich Haussler (Ger) Gerolsteiner
By Yokota Fritz
If you visit Cyclelicious you might have noticed the automatic Tour de France Twitter updates in the left sidebar. I've aggregated a number of feeds from those who are sending their Tour de France live updates to Twitter and displaying them here on Cyclelicious. As of this writing, I'm grabbing Twitter output from TdFBlog's Frank Steele, Dave Bernstein aka FredCast, and Phil aka Spinopsys. Dave has also created several 2007 Tour de France podcasts which you can download from The FredCast.
The SRAM Force group is in its inaugural Tour de France, with all Saunier Duval-Prodi team bikes equipped with this new high-end road group from SRAM. David Millar of Saunier Duval-Prodi is currently in third place overall after the 2nd Stage.
Stage 2 of the 2007 Tour de France from Dunkirk to Ghent was marked by a spectacular pileup in the final stretch. The big crash knocked down nearly two dozen riders and created a blockade that held most of the peloton back as Belgian Gert Steegmans of Quick Step-Innergetic pulled ahead to win the stage in his home country.
Although CSC Fabian Cancellara fell in the crash, he retains the yellow jersey ahead of Andreas Kloden (Astana), David Millar (Saunier Duval - Prodir) and Discovery Team's George Hincapie. Cancellara cross the finish line holding his arm in obvious pain.
The top finishers of Stage 2 are:
1. Gert Steegmans / Quick Step-Innergetic / Belgium 2. Tom Boonen / Quick Step-Innergetic / Belgium 3. Filippo Pozzato / Liquigas / Italy 4. Robert Hunter / Barloworld / South Africa 5. Romain Feillu / Agritubel / France 6. Robbie McEwen / Predictor-Lotto / Australia 7. Erik Zabel / Team Milram / Germany 8. Heinrich Haussler / Gerolsteiner / Germany 9. Oscar Freire / Rabobank / Spain
Cosmo @ PodiumCafe has an interesting observation about David Millar: "David Millar accomplished a fairly rare Tour de France feat - he has now worn each of the race's four leaders' jerseys. He wore yellow after his prologue win in 2000, spent several days in white in 2002, got green as a consolation prize after his chain fell off in 2003, and then picked up the spots today," (with today being yesterday).
Bicycles are the new SUV. I'm way ahead of the curve on this one, but bicycles are poised for a quantum leap in popularity. Continuing concerns about global warming, rising obesity, diabetes and traffic snarls will prompt more people to ride bicycles in the coming years.
Which is the biggest reason I love the Tour. Most of America's most popular sports are enjoyed only from the couch. Not biking. No matter your age or weight, everyone can bike -- and should. It's fun, and a good way to get around -- the extra time it takes to bike somewhere is easily made up by the time you save not looking for a parking space or going to the club for a workout.
More importantly, it's good for you, good for the environment and good for the country. Who is more patriotic, the person who commutes to work on a bike, or the guy who slaps a U.S. flag decal on his SUV that gets 12 miles per gallon?
Australian Robbie McEwen of team Predictor-Lotto recovered from a crash to win Stage 1 of the 2007 Tour de France from London to Canterbury in the UK. Team CSC Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland retains the overall lead and the Yellow Jersey after finishing 22nd.
Ken Conley's Stage 1 Link Roundup will take you to Graham Watson photos, YouTube videos, stage reports, and news about today's stage of the TdF.
Stage 17: Visit the l'Alpe d'Huez
..."Stage 17 of the Tour de France tomorrow will feature the famous Alpe de Wheeze."...
..."alpe de wheeze" indeed, sir !!!...dammit, fritz, are you making fun of the way i ride a bicycle w/ these inflammatory statements ???...
...& btw, i was racing down la montagne on 'google streetview' & pulled a "john lee augustyne /(barloworld)...over the edge, down the scree slope & my virtual bike went so far it may have landed in your computer...
...non, non, monsieur, j'ai a-ok...nothing more than a scrap on one typing hand...
...j'ai continuez, eh ???...au, revoir...
You crack me up, BGW!
Did you really PODIUM at BSNYC yesterday??
...sacre bleu, monsieur fritz...none other than 'le blaireau', bernard hinault himself, zipped up my jersey...but you must understand my 'oh so dark' "mod op" secret...
...normally i'm good natured, but when it comes to podiums ???...well, personally i don't covet podium spots whatsoever but that dark, dark streak in me loves to deprive others of the top step...
...therefor, when so many, strive so hard, to achieve so little, i occasionally like to make sure they leave w/ even less...
Tour de France 2008 Stage 14
Mark Cavendish woo hoo!
...i'll echo that "mark cavendish woo hoo!" wow !!!...just awesome to see this kid come through the way he is...
...every interview, he's looking a little more tired from the daily schlog around france, but his team keeps bringing him up in good position & w/ his great tactical savvy, he delivers the goods...amazing display...
...& fritz...great article & info to dispel the naysayers...despite the ugly headlines at times, i believe cycling is leading the way to cleaner sports...
Call me a cynic, but sometimes I wonder if those team-induced drug tests aren't there to ensure their doping levels 'just aren't high enough to get caught'. I mean, what's better than putting together a system to check for doping--hype it up as ensuring your riders are clean, and still utilize it to make sure your riders dont get kicked out (and you have lots of data to fight if they threaten)... yet still use it to make sure anything they are doing is outside detection. I'd like to think that isn't what those teams are doing.. but you never know.
It certainly wouldn't be hard to twist it around and misuse an internal system like that.
I tried to watch the tour this year...but I just couldn't do it. I used to enjoy watching it before all the doping, now it seems like anytime you hear about a guy winning a stage he's immediately suspected of doping. The TdF still has a pretty big black eye as far as I'm concerned. It's true that a few bad apples ruin the whole bunch.
Its sad that as a cyclists I don't even enjoy watching the big events...what does that say for everyone else that is less involved in the sport than I am?
I am hoping, HOPING, that we can see Mark Cavendish as the new cycling hero...it seems all we CAN do is hope.
Tour de France 2008 Stage 12 *SPOILERS*
...& yet i feel like an idiot for being stunned...
Mayo was popped last year. Why did ASO allow these guys to start and not Astana, which is same sponsor but new team and management.
TdF: Another one bites the dust
The regulators are really taking their responsibility seriously... they know that this valuable product needs protecting.
In European courts, Tiffany wins a lawsuit against eBay but in the USA, eBay wins. The value of property, particularly brand names, are highly valued and protected there... and now the TdF too. Jack
"MA: Well, you see synthetic EPO in urine in the form of bars on an electrophoregram. If a rider's taken Micera, the bars are located in a different place to those you see in a sample containing synthetic EPO."
There may not be a simple "test" for CERA, but the expert himself indicates that it is recognizable if you're looking for it. If it was used in the Giro as indicated they are probable checking all the samples for it specifically now.
@Jack: For some reason my brain flashed back to that 80s teen pop star.
@Joel: Good point.
Is not a good thing Riccardo Riccò is a liar ...
Tour de France Stage 10
...it's pezcycling news for my money...oh, really ???...i can stop sending checks...ahh, they probably all bounced anyway...
...pez has a daily race report, a regular 'tour de pez' 'human interest' story & a 'tour de france' coach article for each stage, wherein chris carmicheal adds some interesting insight regarding what's transpired on each stage...
...been a fan, since i realized as fritz pointed out, that their posts (& photos) are not the typically dry reportage of the "usual suspects"...v-news & c-news journalists cross their t's & dot their i's like they learned in school but as far as personality, ehh, not so much...
...bob 'bobke' roll is doing a nice daily blog during the tdf over at road bike action & as most will know, mr roll is always entertaining...tim maloney is in france & writes well for that same rag...
...just my deux francs worth...
don't forget the daily distractions :)
Manuel Beltran - EPO
Just talked with Bob Roll about this. His comments are over on our blog. My comments. C'MON GUYS! Did he NOT think he'd get caught? Why...because he's special or something? Oy!
This is actually a good thing.
If a non-significant rider like Beltran can be nabbed and tossed out, it sends a message to contenders, up-and-comers, and any of the veteran riders who may think that they can extend their career for another year or two by using the "better life by chemistry" technique.
That's too bad about Triki Beltran. I always thought highly of him as the tireless Postal/Discovery rider. Not anymore.
I don't consider this a big surprise. Schumacher has won some very hard, very important races and has a kick. He's a true roleur, and this course was made for that - shorter than typical and a bit hilly. Further evidence, note the performance of Jens Voigt.
Certainly I wouldn't have picked him for the win but if I had to pick 15 riders he would make the list, once you are there on such a short course it could even come down to when you started.
If it had been 15 more kilometers it would have probably been Evans and riders like Kirchen, Millar, Schumacher and Voigt would fade down the standings. At that distance I might even tip Vande Velde.
But what do I know. The only time I got one right was with Landis, and only after I dosed his beer.
err... I mean if it had been 15 more kilometers it would have been Cancellara. Duh.
Google maps announces Streetview Europe with Tour de France routes
I looked at that, it was pretty cool. I didn't know when this streetview thing came on but its really nice.
Hey, I tagged you in another game (i know right). Here's the link
The funny thing is that the town shown in the google video is definitely NOT Narbonne, even though the operator clicks on Narbonne. Narbonne has a very gentle canal flowing through it, not a river. The map itself seems fine though. Very odd!
Danny Pate in Garmin / Chipotle kit
Good photo links Fritz. I didn't even know that Carlton had a Flickr account, but he does have some nice shots.
Tour de France 2008 updates
How to ride in the Tour de France
Tour de France 2008 TV and streaming video
...oh, is it time for the annual "le debacle' du francais" already ???...excuse me, i meant to say "le grand bocoule"...my, my, where is my head, anyway ???...
...ok, ok, i'm intentionally sounding jaded but is hard to see it w/ out a certain sense of 'ho-hum'...no defending champion & his team (which also includes last years third place)...rabobank is included as is cofidis...& who else am i missing but they're including...wtf ???...
...we now know, a week before the tour, that epo testing is crap, so we're not assured of anything, monsieur prudhomme...we also know that the dilettante-ish aso is, through financially investing in the vuelta & forming an alliance w/ the organizers of the amgen TofC maybe, just maybe (do ya think ???) looking to control the world of pro cycling, as opposed to just "ensuring that we have a drug free tour de france"... ..that circle is getting more vicious, monsieur prudhomme...watch that it doesn't come around & bite you, s'il vous plait...
...but ya, i'll get there, when the wheels start rolling & phil, paul & mr roll mention that the pedals are being turned in anger...
...we all so easily put aside our knowledge of murky pasts & sit like children in rapt attention, letting ourselves dream of who might lift the trophy, backdropped by "le arc d' triomphe"...
Garmin-Chipotle won't be in the ProTour and may or may not be added next year. However, the whole ProTour thing seems to be flailing away since the major Grand Tours such as the Giro, Tour and Vuelta did not take part this year.
...i just realized i made a serious mistake...'le tour' is often referred to as <"le grand boule" or the big ball, the big circle not whatever word i seem to have made up...
...i will now do whatever penance fritz deems necessary...i'd suggest three weeks of following le tour, on the ground in france but i have to miss the final day in paris... ...i can live w/ that...
BGW, I've FedExed your plane tickets to your home address; you should get them in time to make the 2nd Stage. You're on your own for ground transport, though.
...monsieur fritz...zut alors, ami...quelle awesomeness...it would only be fitting penance, to pedale le velo, non ???...
...viva la fritz...now i am ready to appreciate le tour...
Floyd Landis loses CAS appeal
That is a bummer, but not a surprise. Oh well, I'm still excited about the Tour too.
the only bummer about it was it didnt carry a death penalty.
He should have kept Lance's doctor.
...it doesn't really matter what the decision is, the whole fricking ball of wax is as screwed up as possible...all parties & all actions concerned, whether "guilty or not guilty" have left an ugly scar on the sport of cycling...
Team CSC finds sponsor
Tour de France: Slipstream/Chipotle is in!
Just saw this, how cool, and it's organic
Tour de France Finale
What a rough Tour. Man, I'm glad it's over so we can focus on ridding the sport of dopers and getting back to loving to watch the greatest sporting event of all time.
Damn that Mayo!
TdF Stage 19: Individual Time Trial
Millar: struck down by the curse of the British. At least he's been spared Wiggins' fate.
Tour de France: Stages of grief
Thanks for the mention.
It's been such a heartbreaking Tour and though I have continued to read the results and am still interested in who wins, my "love" for the race is destroyed for this year. It'll be back, I know it will. I look forward to seeing the sport getting cleaner and better- I know it will. My passion is still intact. I hope everybody else's is too.
Maybe we'll get a clean Vuelta now... I hope.
Tour de France good news
Great comments, Fritz. I'd like to see the percentage of the people who are abandoning the Tour but are still watching the steroid-ridden Barry Bonds chase the Hank Aaron home run record without batting an eyelash. I bet it's pretty high.
I agree with you Fritz and I am continuing to follow the tour.
Jamie, good point. I have heard several people point out that Barry Bonds has never tested positive for anything. Maybe that is because MLB is not serious about addressing the problem. As long as they choose to just look away, steroid use will never be a "problem" in baseball as it is in cycling. I am just glad that our sport is making an attempt to clean itself up.
Agree and this Sunday I will be sad when it ends again. Although disappointed with the revelations, I think it has been a fantastic TdF.
Well said, Fritz. I really appreciate your positive feelings and comments. More than ever now is the time to support cycling.
Thanks for the comments, all. If you haven't seen it yet you should check out what MasiGuy has to write after some reflection.
I'm debating if I even want to watch the rest of the Tour...
Same here. I've watched the end of each race with my 11 year-old son. Now I'm going to have to explain the whole doping thing to him. My only solace is that his favorite for the last week or so has been Contador. Please, oh please tell me he is clean...
What's next, who's next?!
TdF Stage 16: Who's clean?This post has been removed by the author.Michael Rasmussen has been sacked by his team.
I want to puke
It's all so...so...bad. I'm at a loss, really. I want to believe so badly in pro cycling. I've enjoyed the Tour this year more than the last couple. But, this is harsh. Maybe he did it, maybe he didn't. I have no clue. BUT, what I do know is that everyone touting the 'system' as working is wrong. No matter whether he did or didn't, he deserves to have his B sample tested without people knowing who it belongs to. Do you think there is anyone in France, much less the lab, that doesn't know who has a sample coming??? How is that not biased testing? Now, I'm not implying that it would change the test, but it is still a flaw in the 'system'. Ugh. Makes me so SAD.
Great roundup, Fritz; thanks for all the links. It's the Tour de Frauds. Who isn't just sickened?
I was upset about this yesterday and a coworker of mine pinged me this link: http://infospigot.typepad.com/infospigot_the_chronicles/
TdF Stage 15: Eye of the Tiger
Suite au contrôle positif du Kazakh Alexandre Vinokourov, révélé par L'Equipe, la formation Astana dont il était le leader a décidé de quitter le Tour, mardi lors de la journée de repos.
Or in English, e.g. from: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19932813/
PAU, France - Tour de France rider Alexandre Vinokourov tested positive for a banned blood transfusion after winning last weekend’s time trial, prompting his Astana team to pull out of the race.
The positive test of the Kazakh rider, a one-time favorite to win cycling’s premier event, dealt a heavy blow to a sport already reeling from a spate of doping scandals.
“Vino has tested positive having to do with a blood transfusion and the team is leaving the Tour,” team spokeswoman Corinne Druey said, using the rider’s nickname.
Stinks, don't it?
Best Stage 13 commentary...
Glad you liked that- now and again I string a few words together and they actually make sense. I know it isn't often... but I still try.
TdF Stage 13: Vinokourov strikes back!
TdF update straight from Bob Roll!
Hey there, Fritz - hasn't the tour been great!? Vino kicked butt on the TT. Impressive. Contador yesterday on the mountain. Yikes! I haven't looked today, but I'm sure someone did something friggin' amazing, too. Can't wait to see it all tonight with Bob and Al. Bobke will check in again later this week for a final Tour DAY France update, too. Stay tuned...
Friday Tour de France 2007 Stage 12
Interesting that you mention Sinkewitz's case next to the anniversary of Floyd Landis's amazing breakaway win on Stage 17 to Morzine. Ironically, Sinkewitz was the last man Landis dropped on his way to victory that day. And now they have both tested positive for testosterone.
German television and drug-free cycling
TdF Stage 10: Twitter Death!
The little twitter blips also crash Firefox -- not very nice! It's amazing that such a simple app can be so complicated. Firefox also picked that particular moment to slowly install 126.96.36.199 when I restarted.
I'm probably going to switch to a non-browser Twitter client to better isolate the damage.
TdF: Who is Team Barloworld?
Little know fact: Team Barloworld is actually sponsored by former Jethro Tull drummer Barriemore Barlow. Who says he's too old to rock 'n' roll?
(I learned in preparing this joke that Mr. Barlow and I share a birthday. It's a comedy goldmine!)
What's your source of news for le Tour?
I listen to Phil and Paul in the ayem. If someone else claims the TV, I'll check the updates via CyclingNews or listen in on Eurosport.
Tour de France 2007: Stage 8
My favorite part from Sunday's stage had to be this:
I've never laughed so hard during the TdF.
I'm with Vera on this one.
Michael, I missed that part. Thanks for the link. I've been watching quite a bit of TdF with my youngest son (11 years-old) and find it amusing when he starts talking about breakaways and the peloton in front of others who have no idea what is going on. I leaving now to find a link of the guy going over the guard rail...
Rasmussen is just so cute! so happy for him.
TdF Stage 7: The Long Tail
Thanks for noticing my blog. I'm headed over the Paris on Monday and will keeping up with the blog in more real-time via Eurosport in the cafes.
I love the way you've arranged stuff here. Keep up the good work. I expect that I'll probably mention you in some upcoming posts this weekend and Monday before I go.
Jeff *my other blog - fewer bikes - is http://www.bowlofcheese.com
I watched that stage on a real TV at my sister's, who's not a cycling aficionado, whose comment at the podium scene was "I didn't know they let girls ride in the Tour de France! And she won~"
And those winning girls on the podium always look so clean and fresh after their long ride!
Streaming video: How to bypass country restrictions
Excellent -- didn't think of this approach when I found myself nearly locked out a several stages ago (bad Comcast)
Have you tested this out for streaming video? Getting good streaming video is tough enough, but in the past I've never been successful through a public proxy server. There are a bunch of sites that track proxy servers and rank the best, but even the top performers are too slow for video... that's been my experience anyway. What's been your experience?
This is awesome information! I need to leave town after tomorrow's stage and the hotel on the road probably won't have Versus. If this works, you saved me. Thanks, Fritz!
um i want to play maple story so im gonna try this
HOPE IT WORKS!!!!!!
Flickr blog features Tour de France photos
TdF Stage 6: 120 miles trhough the countryside
Tour de France Stage 5: 50 mph finish sprint!
No dope = slow tour
Interesting that one of my students who's not really into biking noted, when I said something about Stage 3 being a bit slow before the last part, "must be 'cause they're not ..." and body-languaged being doped. Told me that yes, the public perception is that they're a bunch of hyped-up enhanced humans.
In the meantime, Barry Bonds is indisputably awash in drugs, yet no body cares, at least not in the Bay Area.
Certainly possible, but I think we would see slower speeds later in the race rather than the first week. The dope doesn't necessarily make the riders go faster, but allows them to recover quickly.
The initial slow pace has more to do with boredom than dope.
Reality is for people who can't handle drugs...
Tour de France Stage 4
TdF: Fabian Cancellara takes Stage 3! Wow!
As always, great site. Could I make a small request that folks not put race results in the headline? I clicked on your feed in my feedreader and learned who won the race I'll be watching on the rebroadcast tonight.
Thanks for all the great articles!
Ah, I didn't think about that. I'll keep that in mind. Thanks for the note.
That was unreal! Fabian makes me love this sport.
Twitter and le Tour
Actually Frank Steele has a feed at http://twitter.com/tdfblog the tdf_updates is someone else ;)
Wow! Thanks for including DailyTour and FredCast Twitter feeds on your site. How very cool.
SRAM Force group ad
I never thought that I would one day be willingly watching commercials on the web. Now I find my self watching this one multiple times. It just shows that SRAM gets it. They did a nice job with this and it is cool to see it spreading around the net.
I have this grouppo, just waiting for my frame.
2007 Tour de France live video
Don't forget that the David of FredCast is also posting race updates via Twitter and so is Frank at the TdF blog.
It's actually good fun to have company like this using Twitter, lets you kow what others are thinking in real time.
Tour de France and bike design
Stage 2: Tour de Crash
ESPN: Everyone can and should bike
Cycling should be a faster growth industry than others... for the reasons stated.