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Archive: July 5, 2010

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TDF stage 2 / rollers / crashes on slippery descent cause peloton to stop racing; Chavanel escapes to victory

Monday,  07/05/10  10:23 PM

Sylvain Chavanel escapes to a solo victory!Well today was as weird a day in the Tour de France as you could ever hope to see.  Rain exacerbated by gasoline from a crashed motorcycle resulted in a slippery descent on the backside of the penultimate climb, and caused a large number of crashes...  the peloton called an informal halt to racing, and finished as a pack.  Meanwhile Sylvain Chavanel escaped in the early break and stayed out all day, getting the victory as well as three minutes on the entire field, putting him in yellow and green!

Fabian Cancellara and Lance Armstrong lead the parade as the peloton shuts down racing for the dayFabian Cancellara was in yellow and was driving the peloton toward Chavanel when he heard that his teammates Andy and Frank Schleck had crashed hard.  He throttled back and convinced the rest of the peloton to do likewise, enabling most of the crashees to rejoin, whereupon it crossed the finish en mas at a leisurely pace.

My own view is that while Cancellara did the right thing for his teammates, the peloton was under no obligation to stop; rain, slippery roads, crashes, and so on are part of bike racing, and it is what it is.  I'm honestly surprised some of the sprinters didn't race it out for second.  I've read that the officials have neuralized all the points for the peloton after Chavanel, which makes sense given the way they didn't race, but if ten guys had sprinted for the finish, surely they would have been awarded points also?  How very weird.

Tomorrow we have the infamous stage 3 over cobblestones; doubtless there will be those who fall, and those who have mechanicals, and so on; let's hope the peloton race it out!

[Update: the various reactions from riders are interesting; I am a little more sympathetic now to the peloton's actions...]

[ Tour de France 2010: all postsindex ]


Monday,  07/05/10  10:45 PM

And so it was back to work for me today (after a relaxing weekend "off"); much to do, much to catch up on, and while I got a lot done I have a lot left to do... so what else is new, I know, cue the violins :)  Seems like everything is due at once, feels like finals week!  Meanwhile it was a quiet day "out there" - I think everyone else was on holiday - but tomorrow will be a big day; we have The Netherlands against Uruguay in the World Cup semifinals (go Oranje!), and the much-anticipated stage 3 of the Tour de France on the cobblestoned streets of Belgium.  And the work week gets going again for everyone... but in the meantime, a quick filter pass...

Couple of notes: Today I rode Rockstore for the first time since the Tour of California stage (in 1:36 no less, which is a *good* time for me), and I have now gone five days without having an M&M.

Random thought: what the heck happened to Hilary Clinton?  Is it just me, or has she disappeared?

Panasonic camera ad: if it has a ringtone, it's not a camera (taken with a Palm pre, which has a ringtone)Have you seen this Panasonic camera ad?  They're everywhere... I took a picture of it with my Palm Pre, which of course has a ringtone.  What a dumb ad, to fly in the face of reality like that...

wine pricing: does expensive wine become good, or does good wine become expensive?Snooth asks What Makes Wine so Expensive?  They miss the point entirely; there is causality here, but it flows in the other direction; it isn't that expensive wine is good, it is that good wine is expensive.  Pricing is set to what the market will bear; it has no relationship to cost whatsoever.

Razib considers Authenticity and the Fermi Paradox.  It defies synopsis but it's an interesting hypothesis.  (The Fermi Paradox is the apparent contradiction between high estimates of the probability of the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations and the lack of evidence for, or contact with, such civilizations.)

There really is such a thing as underwater basket weaving.  Who knew?

Plack telescope's whole sky imageThis is just awesome: Planck telescope reveals ancient cosmic light.  "The picture is the first full-sky image from Europe's Planck telescope which was sent into space last year to survey the 'oldest light'" in the cosmos.  It took the 600m-euro observatory just over six months to assemble the map."


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