Ok, ok, ok... Tom is undoubtedly one of the best riders of his time, but he is not at his best at this time. Robbie just keeps making it look easy- for him. Tom, still, is in yellow... but tomorrow is the first big time trial and then all bets are off.
Today's stage was much like each of the previous stages that have ended in sprints this week, so there is really very little to talk about. Probably the biggest news of the day was the fact that Boonen was in the break for the part of the day. What the heck, if you can't win the sprint from the field, try to win the sprint from a smaller break.
So tomorrow is the first major test of the Tour. The wheat shall be seperated from the chaff, the nuts from the shells, the meat from the bone, the boys from the girls... etc.
Look for Landis to try and move up in the GC as well as Hincapie and Leipheimer. Zabriskie will likely try to uncork a big ride too. Savoldelli, Simoni, Popovych, Evans, Moreau, Garzelli, Kloden, Azevedo, Menchov and other GC hopefuls will be doing all they can to try and move up and begin their assault on the podium. Guys like Micheal Rogers, Julich and other TT guys with little or no GC aspirations will be trying to steal a win. Overall, tomorrow is going to be The Big Day. My pick? Dunno yet, but I really like Landis and think he will surprise, but Zabriskie and Hincapie have to be considered as well. Other than than them, Rogers is a sure top 5 or 10. On his best, he's unbeatable- hence his World Champion jerseys in the discipline.
My friend Donna posed the question about the Team Time Trial being missing this year and what my theories are about that. Well, everybody knows I have lots of theories... so here goes...
I think that the Tour organizers removed the TTT because too many other teams complained about losing too much time to Lance. Yeah, I know that they changed the rules so that the time lost was very minimal (what's the dang point then?), but they still complained. Yeah, I also know that the UCI added the TTT as a Pro Tour event, but the turnout and enthusiasm for the event has been tepid at best. I think the event will eventually fade away again, which really stinks because the TTT is a great event and showcases the power of team work. Unfortunately, it also exposes weaknesses in teams that can't ride one or who just happen to have a really bad day. With Lance retired and not coming back, maybe the event will return in 2007... but don't hold your breath waiting for it to happen.
Anyway, I think that tomorrow will be the first glimpse we'll get of who the real contenders are going to be. There will likely be a few surprises. maybe Iban Mayo will show up for real this time? Maybe Sylvain Chavanel will finally live up to the hope that he can be the great French hope... (not likely, but hey, gotta throw him a bone)? Ultimately, I think the guy who goes the fastest for 52km will be the one who wins- but I could be wrong.
Yes, it is time for another installment from the Cub Reporter, the Bitch Kittie- Jessi Pacetti;
"No man remains quite what he was when he recognizes himself."
I once saw this movie called Kingpin. I seriously love all the stupidly hilarious movies, so this one, along with Fletch, Old School, The Big Lebowski,(ask me about the drinking game with this one) and Tommy Boy to name a few, is considered a classic at my house. The one thing I remember most about this movie is not the comb overs, but how after Roy Munson screwed up SO big time, the new phrase when you f*&%ed something up beyond belief was " Dude, you TOTALLY munsoned that spare". I think after today's stage, we should create a new counterpart to that phrase. Say you completely clobber the field in a crit or you land a hottie. Your friends should say "You totally mcewened that climb/babe!" I realize that it may take a little bit to catch on, just think of it as Pee Wee's Word of the Day, or better yet, BK's Word of the Day. I just may come up with a few more, but let's all put this one to work and see how it goes.
Super big thanks to everyone wishing Mr. Roll a good birthday. When I talked to him he was having a great day. He was WAY stoked about how he totally got one up on the Brits and mcewened today's stage with his pick. (See – it isn't that hard, people) Some splendid sites mentioned the glorious day, such as my best friend's site, and one of my new industry buds, Alyson, wrote it up on her site. She even used a lot of words I don't know. Please visit these sites because I said please and asked nicely.
Another cycling darling, Sascha, was super perplexed about how the tapings occurred during the course of the day and how Bob and Al can be so cool without giving away the end. I got to the bottom of this today just for you Sascha. Now that's love, sister. Bob and Al are in one booth calling the race live and SIMULTANEOUSLY Phil and Paul are in another booth also calling the race live. Another question was why does Phil's call always get broadcast even when Bob and Al are calling the race? Bob said I would have to channel the OLN gods about that one. Honestly, folks. I don't care that much. I got some people I could ask but I don't really care. I think we all know how much I love hearing Phil close to a coronary and this way I get to hear it at least four times a day.
Ok my little pets. Seven days until my departure. Righteous Rod – we gotta buy train tickets for after the TT back to Paris and pack a pair of good jeans and a nice shirt. I love you all. . . .
Tomorrow is a big day race fans... woo hoo! Here's to fast times, no crashes and a smiling winner.
(I swear, I'm going to try and post earlier from now on... no promises though...)