Saturday, July 05, 2008

Tdf Stage 1

Well Valverde won the first stage of the Tour which is a strong statement about his overall chances. He's definitely one of the favorites, and the acceleration he was able to put in right at the end was one of those great moments that makes me love cycling. I considered picking him as my "horse" but I feel like he's too fragile. Of the three tours he's started he's only finished one. I think obviously the more tours you're in the more experienced you get and the better you are at avoiding the kind of things that are going to take you out of the tour. I guess we'll see what happens.

Another interesting note about this tour is that while there are only 4 Americans riding (Hincapie, Vandevelde, Frishkorn, Pate those all sound like very American names ;) ) for the first time ever there are two American Teams (Columbia and Garmin-Chipolte). So you've got more American teams than ever before but fewer actual Americans in the race since probably before the 7-11 team started racing. Of the two teams I like Garmin-Chipolte better though the really don't have anyone who has a real chance at the overall, with the possible exception of David Millar who in days past was sometimes talked about as a possible successor to Lance Armstrong, but his climbing has never developed, but he is a great time-trialer and we'll have to see how he looks on Tuesday in the first time trial.

In addition to getting rid of the prologue, they got rid of time bonuses at the finish and at the intermediate sprints. What do they have against the sprinters? This effectively means that there's no way to be in yellow as a sprinter unless you win the very first stage, which today was conveniently at the top of a hill... I don't like it, it makes it less exciting. With no time bonuses you'll never have a moment like the 2003 tour when Ullrich was so close to Armstrong that he tried to pull some of the time back by contesting an intermediate sprint. Let's hope that this is a temporary change.

It could be I don't like the changes because I'm a curmudgeon...

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

CSC is headquartered in Virginia. Why aren't they an American team?

6:21 PM  
Blogger Ross said...

Because CSC is just the title sponsor (and this is their last year) the underlying team (Riis Cycling A/S) is Danish.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Team_CSC

6:43 PM  

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