Archive: July 22, 2009

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TDF stage 17 / climb - the Schlecks win, Contador and Hushovd solidify yellow and green

Wednesday,  07/22/09  09:13 PM

Wow, what a race!  Today's TDF stage 17 from Bourg-Saint-Maurice to Le Grand-Bornand had everthing, courage, strength, attacks, cracks, great teamwork, and solo moves.  In the end Frank Schleck won with Alberto Contador and his brother Andy Schleck right on his wheel, solidifying Alberto's hold on the yellow jersey.  After all the carnage the Schlecks took over 2nd and 3rd on GC (2:26 and 3:25),  pushing Lance Armstrong down to 4th (3:55), Andreas Kloden to 5th (4:44), and Bradley Wiggins to 6th (4:53).

There were some great sub-plots; Thor Hushovd secured his green jersey with a heroic ride across the Alps, leading alone for most of the race to take maximum points at the two sprint locations.  If you look at the profile above you can see this means he led across three catagorized climbs, wow, how about that.  When I first started watching this morning I couldn't believe Thor was leading.  I guess that puts paid to all the talk about how he doesn't really deserve to be in green because Cavendish was relegated in stage 14.

And Franco Pellizotti secured his polka dot jersey by taking points on all his rivals over the first three climbs; at this point it seems like he has it in the bag, with "only" Saturday's stage to Mont Ventoux left in the KOM competition.

Although Alberto ended up increasing his lead in yellow, perhaps insurmountably, you have to say he again screwed up team tactics.  On the final climb he was riding comfortably in the shadow of the Schlecks accompanied by teammate Kloden, with Armstrong tailing Wiggins in a group about 1:30 behind, and he launched an attack.  No good reason for this, all he had to do was finish with the Schlecks (which happened anyway), but the result was he dropped Andreas and put time into Armstrong, who did follow team tactics by hanging onto Wiggins until the end.  He ended up hurting his own teammates without gaining anything - a typical rookie move.  Still you have to hand it to him, he is now clearly the strongest rider in the race.

Tomorrow is the final ITT - look for Armstrong, Kloden, and Wiggins to gain significant time on the Schlecks, we'll see whether it will be enough to move them up.  At this point Alberto's lead seems safe, and he's a pretty fair TTer himself these days...

[ Tour de France 2009: all postsindex ]


Wednesday,  07/22/09  09:35 PM

Greetings to you from my now-usual spot, the bar at the Dana Point Charthouse, where I am enjoying a Pinot Noir after a blazing attempt on my "Kessel Run" from the harbor here down to Camp Pendleton.  (For the record, no, I didn't hit 20mph; too much wind and not enough strength left after a week of not-enough-sleep.)  It has been a really busy week at work, and I am happy to be heading home so I can get some work done :)

... and so I can watch the Tour in HD ...

Pre-celebration, day three: still working just fine, with enough battery left for blogging :)  Seriously it is now apparent that my previous bad experience with battery life was confined to a bad specimen, and while the battery life may not be excellent, it is good enough for day-in-day-out use.  Meanwhile everything else about the phone is excellent; I love the screen, I love the form factor (smaller and cooler and rounder than my Centro), I love the keyboard, and I love the WebOS UI.  You guys can all have your iPhones and the 65,000 games in the Apple App store, I'm really happy. 

I'm not just being flip, by the way, I'm making a real point.  The Pre comes with a great phone app, threaded messaging, a nice web browser, great camera, MP3 and video players, Google Maps, GPS navigation, Office doc display, etc.  I'm sure there is additional functionality "out there" which would be nice to have, but really, out of the box nothing is missing, Sprint gives you a fully functional smartphone.

Michael Totten: What the West Bank really looks like.  Sounds much nicer than we are sometimes led to believe; it isn't a war zone.  [ via Instapundit

Sailing Anarchy has an awesome picture of a Contender start.  I've always loved these boats, not only are they fast and fun, they're beautiful... 

Jason Kottke links this amazing video of the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium in Japan, which holds 1,981,290 gallons of water.  Please click through, wow, how beautiful.  (Why is it that watching fish swim is so peaceful?) 

In the same vein as my classic The Tyranny of Email, Paul Graham notes Manager's Schedule, Maker's Schedule.  While I agree with the central theme, I would observe that it isn't so binary; there are manager's who make, and maker's who manage, and their schedules tend to be blended, too... 

Yesterday I noted the Cellscope; today HealthImaging asks Can docs accurately diagnose CAD on an iPhone?  "Although this evaluative technique is investigational in the U.S., as it is pending FDA clearance, LaBounty suggested that this proof-of-concept showed that a mobile handheld device may be useful in the diagnosis of CAD."  I think it is inevitable that someday soon smartphones will be used for medical imaging. 

ZooBorn of the day: a tiny Tufted deer.  Aww...



northern lights

Wednesday,  07/22/09  11:42 PM

Northern Lights

...received from my Mom...


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