Saturday, July 15, 2006

And back to our between Beziers Mediterranee and Montelimar. Admittedly, this is our first post about an exciting and scandalous Tour de France. However, we are still here, and we were also there with K & D when the riders departed from and returned to Strasbourg during Stage 1 of the Tour. You'll see, on the left, some actual photo-journalism on Dotde, as we gave full camera capabilities to our editorial assistant Uwe, willing to risk arrest for the most exciting shots of this year's Tour.

So. Let's do make some live-updates while the peleton's letting the break-away break 20 minutes away from the pack.

Discovery's eldest Ekimov just stopped on an overpass and relieved himself on the traffic passing beneath, another notch on the surly scale that I first noticed after he snot-rocketed upon Simeoni after Armstrong's infamous chasedown in the 2004 ride. And while Lance's absence was quite predictable, Ullrich and Basso's missing goes to show that there are those still around of the character that our Patron now laughably spoke of as he said, "To all the cynics, I'm sorry for you. I'm sorry you can't believe in miracles. This is a great sporting event and hard work wins it." Vive le Tour forever." Whether those cynics are the hungry riders themselves will be ruled by committees and courts in the next few months. Our general editorial opinion states there are too many official doping and cycling bodies to rule in a justifiable, agreeable, and resolvable manner. And that it's also pretty beat that Vino can't ride.

Either way, we're being provided with one of the most exciting and unpredictable Tours in the past six years. Phonak's Floyd is hip atop our GC, and you should absolutely listen to Dave Z.'s take on Stage 9. Disco's almost out of contention, and CSC can't quite keep up the blood-oxygen levels they were able to manage in the Giro. Telekom's exceeding expectations without Captain Jan, and with 4 riders high in the GC they might have the best opportunity to confuse those defending yellow with a team attack. Tuesday brings L'Alpe D'Huez, and Wednesday may be the most difficult day in the saddle with two HC climbs. So keep your eye on yellow, and keep on clapping until you see red spots:

Here's to you, Laurent Jalabert

D, Uwe, and myself will be in Paris to celebrate yellow, and hopefully Stu O'Grady can drop back a bit more as this sprinter's, as of now, only 29 minutes in front of La Lantern Rouge.

As for today, Oscar Pereiro, Sylvain Chavanel, Andriy Grivko, Jens Voigt, and Manuel Quinziato are 25 minutes in front, and Phonak's just about to quicken the pace. So enough of this stuff for now, and we'll be sure to sign on in the Alps. Otherwise, we're divided here at HQ on whether or not the break will be swallowed. We're approaching two category 4 climbs. D takes Voigt or Quinziato. I think we'll get a challenge to Phonak, thus sparking the pack.


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