Wednesday, July 09, 2003  

I won't be blogging too much in the near future--I'm beta testing some software I can't really talk about just yet.

Yay! It's fun so far; I've already found something that isn't working quite right. First day, too!

I like to think I can break things with the best of them.

For those of you who were wondering, Rat Calle had emergency surgery to remove a really gross abcess, from an area I won't specify, but if it had been me and I had an abcess there, I wouldn't be anywhere near as active as he is. Poor little guy. Here's a picture of him as a baby:


Here he is, in a picture that I use for wallpaper:


In the meantime, Frank J., the Funniest Guy In The Blogosphere, is having a Blogiversary Party! Head on over to IMAO , tell him I sent ya, and try to fix him up with Susie.

posted by Victor | 9:29 AM

Tuesday, July 08, 2003  

Not too much blogging today--Rat Calle is at the vet, and I'm worried sick.

posted by Victor | 10:22 AM

Monday, July 07, 2003  

It was just reported on the official TDF site that Jimmy Casper (France, fdjeux.com), who seemed to be among the most seriously injured in yesterday's crash, has not abandoned the race. He is riding--in a neck brace. Such is the appeal and prestige of the Tour de France.

posted by Victor | 8:47 AM

Today's stage is 181 km, from La Ferte-Sous-Jouarre to Sedan. There are two rated climbs, both Cat 4, and three intermediate sprints. This stage, again, favors the sprinters, and you should expect to see Zabel, McEwen, Petacchi, Freirre, and Vansteins battling it out for the final sprint.

Tyler Hamilton (USA, CSC) did make the start today despite the hairline fracture of his collarbone, while Levi Leipheimer (USA, Rabobank) did not. He broke his hip in yesterday's fall.

posted by Victor | 8:23 AM

Sunday, July 06, 2003  

Another Tyler Hamilton update: Team Manager Bjarne Riis is quoted at the Team CSC website as saying There is a very slim chance that he will be able to start tomorrow but we will under no circumstances let Tyler complete the Tour with the pain that he is currently experiencing.

Cliche it sounds, but we'll find out tomorrow.

posted by Victor | 7:25 PM

Tyler Hamilton (USA, CSC) has withdrawn from the race because of injuries suffered (broken collarbone) in the crash. Levi Leipheimer (USA, Rabobank) was also taken to the hospital, but as of yet there is no report of what, if any, injury he has suffered.

Jimmy Casper (France, fdjeux.com) seems to have suffered the most serious injury, as he landed on his head. He was wearing a helmet, which certainly saved his life.

Jose Gutierrez (Spain, Kelme-Costa Blanca) was the first rider to go down. Video replay seemed to show his right foot pulling out of the pedal (in a sprint, one pulls up on the pedal as hard as one pushes down on it), though Paul Sherwin, commenting on OLN, suggested he may have taken the turn too fast, and Gutierrez may have pulled his foot out to keep from falling.

posted by Victor | 1:26 PM

Today's stage is 168 km, from Montgeron to Meaux. There are three rated climbs (all Cat 4, the easiest rated climb), so there'll be a King of the Mountains at the end of the day. There are also three intermediate sprints, so the Green Jersey competition will start heating up. There was only one sprint yesterday, so, Bradley McGee is both the Yellow Jersey and the Green Jersey. Since he can't wear both, David Millar is wearing the Green Jersey. It's traditional in the TDF for the second-place rider in a given competition to wear the Leader's Jersey for that competition, when the first-place rider for that same competition is also the first-place for a more prestigious Jersey.

Yesterday, I talked about natural disasters. David Millar, 600 meters from the finish of the prologue, was on pace to take about ten seconds from McGee's time, when his chain came off. He was using only one chainring, with no front derailleur (which can help keep a chain in place), when the cobbles at that point bounced his chain off the ring. I watched as he reached down and, risking the loss of a fingertip, pulled his chain back on the ring. He accelerated like a scared cat, and was beaten by McGee by only fractions of a second. Times are recorded in the book in whole seconds, so officially it looks like a tie. . .but Millar was, again, the victim of Very Bad Luck.

A year or two ago, he took a corner too fast on the Prologue, and his bike slid out from beneath him.

Lance Armstrong was seventh, about seven seconds down from McGee. A local radio station made it sound as if the Tour was over for him. Obviously, it's not. He's got 21 stages to go, and seven seconds. . .do you know how much ground Armstrong can cover in seven seconds when he's got a full head of steam?

At 25 km/hr, he'll cover just under 7 meters in one second (6.9444... to be exact), so McGee has only a 48.61 meter lead on Armstrong. He can make that up easy.

The Washington POST has a straight-forward article on Lance placing 7th in yesterday's prologue.

I've got the Tour on right now, and another of those damn disasters have struck Erik Zabel of Telekom, one of the favorites for teh green jersey. At about 12 km, he had to change bikes (it's usually faster than fixing any problem other than a flat). In that time, the peloton gained a significant amount of time, but Team Telekom is now in team time trial mode to bring Zabel up to the front. They can do it, but they risk burning out the sprint lead-out men, especially Daniele Nardello, Italian National Champion of 2001 and lead-out man supreme.

In between moving to the TV and looking up stats, Telekom has brought Zabel up to the front, in about five kilometers.

More disasters: A massive crash in the final kilometer. A Kelme rider pulled his foot out of his pedal as he went around a bend, and went down. He brought down two riders immediately, then was run over by at least two bikes as he rolled. The majority of the peloton, at least 150 riders including the entire Postal team as far as I could tell, was behind the Kelme rider who fell.

The peloton was moving at over 60 km/hour, and at that speed, you don't have a lot of time to stop. Then there's also the fact that most of the pelotonrounded the bend to see a crash in front of them. . .horrific is the only word I can find to describe it.

Alessandro Petacchi (Italy, Fassa Bartolo) beat out both Robbie McEwen and Zabel for the sprint and stage win.

At this time, Jimmy Casper (France, fdjeux.com) seems to be the most seriously injured. There has not been any report of injured Postal riders, but there has not been an official injury report.

By the rules of the TDF, all riders who were caught behind the crash who were also in the final kilometer, will be given the same time as the winner, provided they make it across the line. Several riders shouldered their bike and walked across the line.

posted by Victor | 10:27 AM
tour de france links
rat people bloggers
ratless heathens