(I'm going to try something new this year: separate posts for my TDF thoughts. That way if you care you can find them, and if you don't you can skip them :) As always your feedback is solicited. I won't give a stage recap so much as my thoughts; if you want to find out what happened the TDF website is a great source, as of course is Velonews.)
Today's stage 1 was a 15.5km ITT in Monaco. Fabian Cancellara amazed everyone including me by blowing away the field by 18 seconds. He's the best TTer in the world, but with a pretty steep climb I thought this ITT would favor a climber like Levi Leipheimer or Alberto Contador or Cadel Evans. A big story was Lance Armstrong who finished a strong 10th, perhaps disappointing himself and those who thought he might be able to win, but actually an amazing performance considering he is 37 and took three years off from pro cycling. Unfortunately for Lance three of his own teammates were faster, including Contador, who finished a strong second, thereby establishing himself as the favorite overall, Andreas Kloden, who finished fourth and reminded everyone "oh year he's pretty good too", and Levi who finished sixth. Biggest dud was Denis Menchov, my overall rooting favorite (go Rabobank!) who dug himself quite a hole already by losing 1:30 to his GC competition.
Watching the aerial views of Monaco and Monte Carlo, I was amazed as always by the amount of wealth on display. The yacht harbor alone was stunning. The Cote d'Azur is amazing.