Archive: July 23, 2009

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TDF stage 18 / ITT - Contador wins (wow!), Andy, Lance, Bradley, Andreas left for GC

Thursday,  07/23/09  11:30 AM

Okay, we're going to have to admit it now: Alberto Contador is the best rider in the world.  He won the individual time trial around Lake Annecy today, edging Fabian Cancellara by four seconds and asserting his dominance.  As expected the Schleck brothers lost time, but Andy held on to 2nd overall, now 4:11 back, while Lance Armstrong moved up to 3rd (5:25), Bradley Wiggins to 4th (5:36), and Andreas Kloden to 5th (5:38).  The race is now for second, and really with only the mountain stage up to Mont Ventoux left to shuffle GC Andy looks pretty safe, so the real race is now for third.  After Cancellara posted his time I didn't think there was any way anyone could touch him, and nobody could until Contador.  He's not only a great climber, he's a great TTer, beating the best in the world on a classic (pretty flat) TT course.

I'm going to confess, I was pretty disappointed with today's results.  First, I don't like Alberto.  Okay, okay, he's a great rider, but that doesn't mean I have to like him.  That business with him attacking Kloden yesterday was bad, just like him attacking Lance in Andorra was bad.  Second, I do like Cancellara, and was rooting for him to win.  Third, I do like Lance, and was rooting for him to win, or at least to do really well.  He did pick up time on the Schlecks but the Lance of old would not have finished 16th in an ITT.  Overall it was kind of a boring and disappointing day...

... and so tomorrow's transitional stage is likely to feature a break while the GC rests in anticipation of the fireworks Saturday.  It would have been a great stage for Jens Voigt (who sadly crashed out of the Tour with a broken cheekbone); I'm going to pick one of the GC guys who hasn't really done anything to get in the break and win; someone like Cadel Evans or Denis Menchov or David Millar.  We'll see...

In other cycling news, Lance announced he's forming a new team next year with Radio Shack and Livestrong as sponsors; presumably Johan Bruyneel will be the DS.  You could guess Levi Leipheimer will join him, but Alberto will not :)

And finally this is GREAT news: UCI won't oppose Rasmussen's return.  Yay, we might get the chicken back!  Keep in mind, he's the one guy who has proven he can climb with Contador (remember his battles in the '07 Tour, see pic at right); it will be interesting to see where he lands...

[ Tour de France 2009: all postsindex ]


Thursday,  07/23/09  10:21 PM

Yay I'm back home.  Man, did I enjoy being back home.  I have been on the road again too long, and under too much stress, and not sleeping enough.  Can't wait to sleep tonight!  But first, this...

Here we have the Governor of California announcing budget cuts.  Wow.  I'm glad he's cutting spending - we don't have the money - but not sure this indicates the required level of seriousness.  Well, I guess he is who he is :) 

Powerline wonders if Obamacare won't end up being Obama's Waterloo.  "Metaphors aside, the Democrats' 'never let a crisis go to waste' strategy appears to be crumbling. Americans are steadily turning against the Democrats' health care plan, even though hardly anyone knows what is actually in it."  I find that among my friends even those who are big Obama fans are not fans of the health care plans he's proposed, and the same seems true among legislators. 

Jeff Bezos apologizes for the 1984 Kindle debacle: "Our 'solution' to the problem was stupid, thoughtless, and painfully out of line with our principles."  So I guess that means maybe it won't happen again? 

More Pre-celebration: WebOS update 1.1 was released today, and I applied it, and it was good.  Everyone is reporting the bit about restoring compatibility with iTunes, but there are a lot of other nice features in this release, including an improvement to email formatting which I really appreciate. 

Wow, John Donahoe, CEO of eBay, says PayPal will be bigger than within 4-6 years.  I happen to believe that, and I'm impressed that he does too, because he can help make it happen.  Back in the day at PayPal we wore "the new world currency" tee-shirts, and we believed it; after the acquisition by eBay it seemed for a while that PayPal might be relegated to "just" auction settlement, which despite being a big opportunity is massively smaller than the total opportunity for online payments worldwide.  Cool. 

Oh, and PayPal just announced a new developer program which features an API for payments that doesn't require payees to visit the PayPal site.  That is going to be very big.  A great move, this paves the way for PayPal to replace credit cards online.

Scott Loftesness notes some stunning numbers

  • reported quarterly revenues up 14%
  • Apple reporting quarterly revenues UP 12% - amazingly good!
  • PayPal reported 11% revenue growth on a 12% increase in payment volume
  • The New York Times Company reporting advertising revenues OFF 32% - a very big, ugly number!
  • Microsoft reporting its first ever annual DECLINE in revenue - capped by a 17% decline in quarterly revenues year over year - UGLY indeed.

It is a new world.  The Microsoft numbers were especially interesting; I guess they couldn't survive the Vista debacle forever, and people are just not buying new versions of Office.

John Gruber is starting to feel bad for Rob Enderle; "'I’m expecting some really good news in terms of outlook for [Microsoft],' Enderle told CNBC"  Hah.

Wired Autopia: Racing flat out for the clouds.  Which includes an amazing POV video taken while climbing Pike's Peak.  I love the moment where he passes the 20mph sign at 100+mph.  COOL! 

Google rocks: did you mean recursion?



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