Ivan Basso’s performance on this year’s Giro d’Italia leave no doubt in my mind who the real inheritor of Lance Armstrong’s mantle is. It looks like he’s going to try for the impossible – back to back wins in the Giro and le Tour, and if anybody can do it, he can. In a way it amazes me that a team from Denmark of all places can be so dominant in the mountains, but Basso had much better support in the mountains in the Giro than Armstrong had in last year’s Tour. Last year it seemed that whenever there was a mountain stage after a flat one, Discovery would get caught flat footed when the peleton broke up, leaving Armstrong alone without support. But Basso always seemed to have another rider or two until the crux of the stage.

It’s not as good as watching it on TV, but I’ve been following the race thanks to, and when away from the computer, using their WAP equivalent on my Treo. I think next year I’m going to spring for the money and get OLN’s webcast version. I didn’t do it last year because it was just the bare tv feed with no commentary, and because it required a Windows computer. This year they seem to have added commentary, and it works on Macintosh computers, but I didn’t go for it because I wasn’t sure if it was worth the money. But I’ve spent more for less, so next year I think I’m going to try it.


Paris-Roubaix. The Hell Of The North. One of the most classic of the one day Spring Classics. Long stretches of “pave” (cobblestones) that test man and machine. You expect crashes and you expect upsets. And this one didn’t disappoint.

First you had race favourite and defending champion Tom Boonen isolated in a 15 man break-away with no team-mates, but all his big rivals there, including George Hincape who had two team-mates with him to help. Things were looking good for George Hincape, until suddenly you saw him sitting up with his hands not on the handlebars. Of course he crashed – you can’t ride no-hands on pave. Then they showed the replay and it was obvious that the reason he didn’t have his hands on the handlebars is that they’d broken off!

Then that leading group broke into chunks, and Boonen wasn’t in the lead group of one, or in the chasing group of 3 (which included Hincape’s two Discovery team-mates). But then another disaster for Discovery – a train crossing barrier dropped in between the single leader and the group of three. But they obviously had their eyes on the leader rather than the rulebook, because they went through the barrier. The race mashalls stopped the next group with Boonen, which is just as well because the second they stopped the train went through.

Boonen was fuming about the stop, but it was probably the best thing that happened to him in the race, because after the finish they disqualified the three who went through the barrier, and so Boonen ended up second.

Well, that’s bike racing.

Note to self

I am driving a car, I am not competing in the Tour de France. When travelling with other cars at the same speed, it is not necessary to peel off and go back to the back of the line occassionally for a rest. It’s not necessary to signal to the other cars that it’s their turn up front. When coming up to pass another car, it’s not necessary to pause behind him to catch my breath so that when I pass him I can blow past him so quickly that he’s not tempted to follow on my wheel. And I definitely should not be tossing my water bottle out the window at the feet of pedestrians. Oh, and those pedestrians aren’t holding that water bottle out for you, they’re just standing at the cross walk with a drink in their hand.

That is all.

Weekend Update

Once again the organizers of the Tour managed to put the most exciting stages on the weekend. And once again Team Discovery, the supposed best team in the tour, managed to get caught flat footed on the first climbing day after a couple of flat days, just like last Friday. And once again, Lance Armstrong proved himself capable of answering any attacks from the other Big Men of the tour, and dishing it back.
Continue reading “Weekend Update”

Wow! Wow! Wow!

That was the most amazing stage of the Tour de France I’ve seen in years. The peloton falling to peices, all the Big Men being shelled off the back, and Lance pulls up to Popovych and tells him to launch him, and Popovych destroys the three T-Mobile pretenders to the throne, and launches Lance. Five guys left at the front, and Lance sets the pace for a while, and goes to the back of the five to take a quick look, goes back to the front, raises the pace again and slowly kills Basso. Rassmussen, Valverde, Macebo? Who picked them to be up there with Armstrong?

Can Lance keep this up? Can any human challenge him?