Sunday, July 11, 2004

Stage Eight - Day Nine

I've been putting this off all day. I like Thor, I really do, I just didn't want him to win today. I wanted Baden to win, but, more than that, I really wanted the break to work and for Ronny to win. It's about time Gerolsteiner got some good news, then FDJ. So, the capture of the break put me in this grumpy mood.


And Al. Oh, Al. I swore to myself I wouldn't complain about OLN's coverage again. But I lied. I'm sorry, but after the race ended and Paul and Phil went to talk to Bob and Al, the lack of respect for the majority of the cyclists displayed by Al really irritated me. I couldn't believe that he just wanted to talk about Lance and company -- even when people were talking about other things. And how he brought up all that shit about how this first week was really boring. I know I wasn't the only one offended because both Paul and Phil were talking over each other telling him it was exciting. So, this is my open letter to Al.


Dear Al,

I know you'll never read this, but I need to tell you something. There are a lot of us out there who are watching the tour OLN. Some of us have favorite cyclists. And, even though I know you find this hard to believe, our favorite riders aren't always major contenders. In fact there are some people in the states who aren't even cheering for Lance.

Now, I want Lance to win, but I just think you should know that those of us whose favorite riders aren't Lance or [insert other 'contenders' here] have (in spite of all the Lance-centric coverage) enjoyed this first week of the tour. I, for one, while dismayed at the lack of coverage of one of my favorites (Sylvain Chavanel) was happy to be able to see my favorite rider (Matthew Wilson) racing.

Next time, just remember that not every one wants to know where Lance is every second of every day. There are other riders. And it's those cyclists I'd like to know about. I know there are a lot. But really, you have three weeks of cycling. I'm sure you could fit those stories in.

Please don't stop covering cycling, OLN.

Thank you,


I feel much better now. Moving along. Thor. He won, he was wearing a yellow bracelet. The end. Okay, not really.


I was cheering Kim on, even though Fassa has a lot of wins already. But, I have to tell you, it was kind of fun to watch Thor just fly (kind of like Tom, really) past Kim. And when we got to see the aerial view? There was no way (and Thor actually said) that anyone was going to catch him. When I was actually watching the final sprint (if you could call it that), I was sure Thor had thrown his hands up way too early. The angle (watching as if they're riding toward me) made it look like Kim was a lot closer than he really was.

I am glad he hung on for second though. And I'm also glad that there weren't too many crashes. Although, poor Samuel Dumoulin (AG2r). It was like watching Sven all over again.


IT was this crash at the back (not the one with Cofidis, I don't think. It might have been, but I think that was the second. Though the Cofidis riders always seem to be involved.) and all we really saw was Samuel sitting in the middle of the road and a Liberty Seguros rider off to the side. The Serguros rider got back onto his bike, but Samuel took a really long time, and we followed him as he tried to get going again. It took him an additional 10 minutes, but he finally made it. According to cyclingnews, he has a "serious contusion on left elbow" and "will undergo further examination." I hope he gets better tomorrow.

Not all of the stage was bad, although for a bit it looked like Jakob Piil was gunning for the yellow. But BLB put in a huge effort and kept the chase up. I hope they can make it through the mountains, because Sylvain (who, as I've already established, is a favorite of mine) is reportedly still having problems -- possibly with his back. It makes me sad. I suppose that's also why this stage put me in a bad mood (and the lack of Matt). Sometimes I'm just really picky. I've been good up until today, never really getting bummed when my boys didn't win. But, man. Maybe it's good that tomorrow is the rest day.

It's one day Thomas won't have to fight for his jersey. I hope he keeps it until the mountains. At least it's good to see that he enjoys it.



Anonymous said...

Stage 8 was the first shown live on Australian tv, and it's made me go back to the computer, where I follow the direct on four sites!! Less frustrating!! For me, the only achievement of stage 8 was that riders completed the course. I have a strong suspicion that the sprinters were involved in a crash, but naturally that's when we had the ad break!! Best wishes from Pam.

sarah said...

I totally get that. I actually spent the first hour of our coverage online, then realized I wasn't paying attention and stopped fiddling and watched.

There were two crashes, both of them at the back of the peloton. I don't know why Baden was so far back, unless he was caught, but I don't think so.