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TDF stage 4 / TTT: Astana rolls! Cancellara keeps yellow over Lance (by 0:00)

Tuesday,  07/07/09  09:08 AM

TDF 09 stage 4 - Astana steamrolls team time trial - but Lance misses yellow by 0:00Un-be-lievable.  Did you watch today's TTT?  Astana steamrolled the field, winning by 18s over Garmin, and putting 40s into Saxobank.  For those of you keeping score at home, 40s was the exact margin that Fabian Cancellara had on GC over Lance Armstrong, which means they are now tied, and tie goes to the incumbent.  So Cancellara keeps his yellow jersey, and Lance is in second, 0:00 behind.  The Astana victory means the rest of the top five are all Astana too, with Alberto Contador in third, 0:19 back, followed by Andreas Kloden at 0:23 and Levi Leipheimer at 0:31.  Talk about total domination.

(How cool would it have been for Lance to be in Yellow?  Well, it would have been cool.  But as he said, "that's cycling".  It does give him a little added incentive when the Tour reaches the Pyrenees on the weekend :)

It was quite a technical course, and the day was marked by a number of crashes; at one point the entire Bbox team overcooked a corner and flew off the course.  Garmin had an interesting strategy; they shed four riders over the early part of the course, finishing with the minimum of five (their best TT men).  It obviously worked out as they finished a strong second and picked up time for their GC men Christian Vande Velde and David Millar.  Columbia looked a bit tired and finished a disappointing fifth, reversing the gains Kim Kirchen and Mick Rogers made in yesterday's amazing "echelon" finish and pushing Tony Martin down out of the top five.  Others who lost time included Cadel Evans, who's Silence-Lotto team finished 2:35 back, Denis Menchov, with Rabobank finishing 2:20 behind, and Carlos Sastre, as Cervelo dropped 1:37.  Those three are basically out of it now. 

The next couple of days are relatively flat and likely to end in bunch sprints, which means Cancellara is likely to keep his yellow until Friday (barring some time bonuses at sprint points or something like that).  Friday's stage is a killer with a mountaintop finish on the HC Arcalis; that will be the end of Cancellara's run and it will be quite interesting, perhaps Contador will attack at the end to try to take yellow away from Lance...  Really when you look at GC, you have to say one of the Astanas are going to win.  The question is which one?

What a tour, and this is only the first week!

[ Tour de France 2009: all postsindex ]

 

Tuesday,  07/07/09  10:31 PM

Today began wonderfully, with the awesome TDF TTT, but I quickly descended into funk for some reason and could not recover; had a reasonably productive day of work, a nice hard ride, and a nice dinner, but nothing helped.  Some days are yellow, some are blue, on different days, I'm different too*

*obscure wisdom from Dr. Suess

Tonight I encountered a sad little scene, not sure why but it struck me.  I'm staying at a nice hotel in Carlsbad which has a "great room", a gathering place for guests, and it includes a TV and DVD player and toys and various other sources of entertainment, including an old bookcase filled with old books.  There they are, hundreds of little worlds - novels, nonfiction, mystery, romance, adventure, science fiction - sitting lonely, waiting to be appreciated.  For some reason it caught my eye, and I wondered: Who anymore has the time, the patience, the inclination to grab a book, sit down, and start reading?  If pressed I would say reading beachside or poolside or just in my living room is one of my favorite things, yet I do it rarely; most of my reading is done in bed, on my way to sleep, or as accompaniment to dinner when I'm traveling alone.  I don't know why but I find that quite sad.

Onward!

Sarah Palin says she is not a quitter.  This, right after she resigned as governor of Alaska with over a year left on her term.  I believe she is descending into farce.  The sooner she leaves the public stage the better.

Meg Whitman, rumored to be running for governor of California: "We do not have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem of epic proportions."  Indeed.  Unfortunately the governor has little power over that spending...

Michael Jackson's funeralAccording to MSN, 50% more people watched Michael Jackson's funeral today than watched Barack Obama's inauguration.  And now tell me again that we're not descending into Idiocracy?

Sean Bonner: Remember when CNN actually covered news?  Ouch.

Richard Feynman: why trains stay on their tracksRichard Feynman explains how trains stay on their tracks.  It isn't what you think.  Can I just say that I love Richard Feynman?  Wow, what a wonderful fantastic intellect...

I'm linking this just 'cause I love the headline: In space, no one can hear you blog.  "A new way of communicating with the International Space Station could lead to space's very own Internet."  I can't let you do that, Dave.

Sandia Labs' SunCatcher - like a Magritte painting?I'm linking this just 'cause I love the picture: Sandia Labs' new SunCatcher power system resembles Magritte painting.  Aka, 'this is not a sky'.

Oh goody: Technorati to unveil Twitterrati tomorrow.  The world waits with bated breath.  I on the other hand, yawn.

You could definitely see this coming: the Chrome OS, a Linux distro that does little besides running the Chrome browser.  Will there even be a Windows 8?

blue green illusion - they are the same color!Optical illusion of the day / week / month / year; yes, the "blue" and the "green" in this picture are actually the same exact color.  It seems impossible, and yet...  Photoshop confirms the truth.  This illusion comes about because there are pink stripes in the "blue" and orange stripes in the "green".  Wow.  [ via Kottke ]

 
 

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