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Archive: July 19, 2010

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TDF stage 15 / climb! / Voeckler wins from break, Contador attacks, takes yellow after Schleck's mechanical

Monday,  07/19/10  07:59 PM

TDF stage 15 profileOh what a day of racing we had today, and it will set up some intense racing in the days ahead! 

Thomas Voeckler wins from the break!As you can see from the profile, we had a long day in the mountains with the massive HC Port du Bales 20km from the finish.  An early break of ten riders took an eight minute lead to the base of the climb, and then immediately exploded.  Crowd favorite Thomas Voeckler rode strong, preserved two minutes of the gap to the summit, and soloed down the back for a well-deserved stage win.

Andy Schleck attacked the GC contenders on the final climb, but an untimely mechanical put Albert Contador in yellowMeanwhile behind him the real fireworks were exploding, as Team Saxobank ground the peloton down into just the GC leaders.  With 5km to go Andy Schleck attacked! and had pulled a gap when suddenly his chain came off.  (Replays were inconclusive as to why, but it looked like maybe the retractor on his back derailleur caught the chain.)  Immediately after Alberto Contador attacked himself, taking Denis Menchov and Samuel Sanchez with him.  After futzing with his chain for about 30s Schleck remounted and chased, getting back to within 20s at the top.  The descent was amazing, with Contador, Menchov, and Sanchez all taking turns pulling to open a gap, and Schleck and Jorgen van den Broek working to close it.  The result was a 49s gap at the finish, putting Contador into yellow for the first time this tour, by 8s.

There will be a lot of controversy over whether Contador should have stopped and waited - Team Cervelo owner Tweeted "Contador just gained a great chance to win, but he lost the chance to win greatly".  My initial reaction was that it was bad luck, and that's racing, but on further review I think Contador might have waited just a beat or two to see what had happened.  Menchov and Samuel probably would have waited, too.  Still in the heat of the moment you have to react, and Alberto reacted like he always reacts to anything - by attacking.

Alberto Contador apologizes for attacking Andy Schleck after the mechanical[Update: I see where Alberto has posted a YouTube apology to Schleck!  "Today I managed to get on the podium, which makes me happy. The problem was the circumstances."  Wow.]

It all sets up a great battle in the queen stage tomorrow, with two Cat 1s followed by two HCs over 200km.  By all means stay tuned!

[ Tour de France 2010: all postsindex ]


manic Monday

Monday,  07/19/10  09:03 PM

Just another manic Monday, wish it was Sunday...  calls and meetings and status reports and emails and waaaaaaaah!  If only I wasn't so busy working, maybe I could get some work done.  I did manage to sneak a nice 20 mile ride into a two hour gap.  And I did have a delightful conversation with a good friend.  And I watched the Tour stage which was amazing, if frustrating.  And ... I did blog a bit...

CNN FAQ on the oil spill: Is the disaster over?  Quick answer: no.

Huh: China passes USA as world's biggest energy consumer.  That's surprising.  It's not all those people though, it's all that manufacturing...  And China passed the USA as the world's biggest polluter some time ago :(

Los Angeles dreams of a new downtown river parkLos Angeles dreams of a new downtown river park.  Yes!  LA is a great city but the downtown of LA is not so great...  we need some development there, freshen things up, revitalize the center...

Inside the world's most advance submarine...Cool!  Inside the world's most advanced submarine.

Scott "Dilbert" Adams admires Apple's response to the iPhone 4 reception issue: High Ground Maneuver.  "If Jobs had not changed the context from the iPhone 4 in particular to all smartphones in general, I could make you a hilarious comic strip about a product so poorly made that it won't work if it comes in contact with a human hand. But as soon as the context is changed to "all smartphones have problems," the humor opportunity is gone. Nothing kills humor like a general and boring truth."

It *is* noticeable that someone all the other smartphone vendors have gotten drawn into this mess...

Jean-Louis Gassee: Antennagate: If you can't fix it, feature it!

Shocker: HP files for "PalmPad" trademark.  Can't wait!

Kindle books outselling hardcover books on Amazon.  Tipping point reached!

I lost one of my longtime favorite bloggers Halley Suitt for some reason - but found her! - and am catching up on old posts, like this one: What?! You're not lost in a book?!:  "I can't believe how few people around me take the time to read for pleasure."  Same!  Good night, off to read a little before falling asleep...


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