Sunday, July 26, 2009


Hors Delay

Au soleil, sous la pluie, a midi ou a minuit
Il y a tout ce que vous voulez aux Champs-Elysees
- Joe Dassin, Les Champs Elysees

By now, the morning after a veritable army of French public servants have swept and sprayed the detritus of the 2009 Tour de France from the cobbles of the Champs Elysees, you’ve probably watched, read, and heard just about all you can stand about the race. Every angle of every stage has been analyzed, every alternative outcome dreamed up and debated, every quote taken out of context and scrutinized, every over-the-top paintjob and shiny new bauble photographed, measured, and spun. I know that I, for one, feel sort of overstuffed, like I’ve put on a protective and nourishing layer of cycling-coverage blubber to feed off of until the Giro di Lombardia in October, if not longer.

That said, I still have a need for closure, or maybe it's just the need to force dessert on already bursting dinner guests, I don’t know. So without further adieu, here’s the Service Course’s parting shots from the 2009 Tour de France:

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Armstrong's children were wearing yellow because that's the color of Livestrong, his cancer foundation. His comeback has given a huge boost to that important effort and his new partnership with Radio Shack will do even more. So Bravo Lance! And thank you.
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I found this really interesting, of course how much of it is true we'll never know, but it doesn't seem too far fetched...

From spanish media (translated on the cyclingnews forum):

"Dirty Tale"
Some excerpts translated:

"A Tale of solitude. It happened on Thursday, a few hours before the Annecy ITT. Contador came downstairs to the entrance of the Palace of Menthon, the luxurious Astana hotel. The Tour was on. He looked right, then left. Nobody, nothing. No Astana cars or helpers. Cold sweat. Quick time check. Where are they? The hotel is several kilometers from the start. There he was, the leader of the Tour, in flip-flops, bag in hand and alone. He went to the hall looking for an answer: Armstrong had ordered the helpers to go pick up his wife, kids and friends to the airport.
Contador left his room last because he was the last one starting the ITT. Armstrong had managed to take away his means of transportation. The straw that broke the camel's back. Hot flashes, he was rabid. He called his brother Fran. He came to pick him up by car and took him to Annecy in a private vehicle. He left last and finished first. His best victory. In the ITT. In solitude. The same way he has won his second tour.

Contador's toughest climb was not recorded in images. It was narrated by others. It was fought in the hotel and the bus: during one stage, Armstrong sat his guests at the very back of the bus, right in Contador's usual seat. One more provocation. Armstrong to the luxury suite. Contador to sleep with Paulinho, the only ally. Same deal during the entire tour. Mouth shut, listening to Armstrong's jabs: "It doesn't take a Nobel price to figure out what happens with side winds". Contador didn't reply in the hotel. He did on the road. He attacked in the first mountain finish in Arcalis. Without permission from Bruyneel, Armstrong's DS. That night the Astana hotel was a funeral. Red eyes from the Texan (anger? crying? not sure). The first cyclist that stood up to him. And he did it in silence."
Amazing job during the Tour. Absolutely awesome insight; Thanks for the efforts in consistently putting out great posts. Chapeau.
isn't that the song that plays at the end of Darjeeling Express?

Now, you'd better step up to the plate with the cross coverage this year or we'll drop this site like a bad habit (oh, and that means you personally have to make it to Wednesday morning cross practice)
If we can jump back to the Ventoux for a second, can someone explain to me why Tony Martin (Columbia) looked dead during the entire ascent?

Because he's a Zombie, of course.

Didn't you see what he was pulling out of his musette bag? It was BRAINS! YUMMY BRAINS!

Nice writeup Ryan. Better than mine for sure. Thanks.
Tony Martin had the look of the guy whose just necked his umpteenth E and has no idea how long he's been dancing to happy hardcore. Hardcore disco biscuit ruined.

The story of Contador's quiet resistance throughout the Tour is one of the most magnificent acts of defiance in the face of extreme provocation I've ever seen in the sport.

And you're bang on about Armstrong letting Frankie boy go by track standing Wiggins and then not chasing.
Thanks Fenz for the commentary, I have no doubt it's true. All the Lance/Bruyneel mind games didn't work against Contador. I expect AC will go back to his job as a bike racer in the Vuelta and Lance will continue in his job as media darling.
Keep up the excellent posts, Ryan!!
great coverage of the whole shebang!

tony martin seems to always look like the typical german rave-kid after a 3-day-no-sleep-weekend (hailing form germany i should know) when there is a lot of hard climbing involved, BUT: he almost beat garate to the finish line on ventoux after garate dropped him one k or so earlier. maybe we got us a new ulle, we'll see...

keep it up
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