Monday, 5 July 2010

Taking a Sick Day

Although I saw the race, and will continue to watch, just don't have the energy to do a blog today. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe you will get a whopper all of sudden. Sorry about that, but I seem to have brought a virus back with me from England which flourishes in France.

3 comments:

Cen said...

dear tom

thanks again for your toughtful insights into this year's race. Always sets me up for much greater enjoyment of what is to come. Hope that you feel better very soon, and that you can enjoy the stages even if you are unable to write about them.

Not sure that I'll be getting up in the middle of the night to watch it live from NZ! Cen

kim said...

Monsieur Tom...certainly sorry to know you're not feeling well, but good that you have a much rest as you need to get well.

Maybe i will attempt some commentary...from my sofa on the other side of the world (like "Cen").

Here in Australia, the race is covered, and covered extensively, by our wonderful 'international' broadcaster, SBS, (which, incidentally, has covered all 61 games - thus far - of the fabulous World Cup).

The coverage begins at 10:30 pm every night, and runs for about 4 or 5 hours.

i record it!

Then awake around 6:30am, get the java going, put the headphones on (Asango still asleep), and tune in. Admittedly, i make use of the FF button here and there.

SBS callers are Paul Sherwin and Phil Ligget, and they are superb!

This morning, i actually listened to some of their pre-start commentary. Interesting bio-piece of Mark Cavendish. He is quite a lad! Very passionate about what he does....but aren't they all!

Then to the race.

It can't get much more 'eventful' than these first 2 stages! Whatever one thinks about crashes on the road, they certainly give us drama!

The most fascinating aspect to Stage 2 was the reaction of the peleton to the crashes and conditions of the racing. I've been sampling some of the 'comments' on the SBS site (excellent!: www.sbs.com.au/tdf), and have added my own in regards to the so-called "protest" that resulted in the whole peleton arriving together with no sprints, about 2 and a half minutes behind Chavenel - who created his own wonderful scenario!

Some hail the 'sportsmanship'; others think they should have raced on, etc etc.

Of course, it was the yellow-jersey wearer, Cancellara, who was at the centre of the whole thing, and it canNOT be ignored that he belongs to the same Team Saxo Bank that has the Schleck brothers, who were both severely affected by one of the serious crashes on the course, and who found themselves serious minutes behind the main field.

Cancellara loves that yellow jersey, and well he should. He wore it for over a week at the beginning of last year's race. And he was certainly thinking about extending that in Stage 2.

Let me posit an ulterior motive to the 'protest':

Cancellara would have given chase to Chavenel, with his yellow jersey in mind. But he was "ordered" by his team manager(s), to wait for the Schlecks! After all, Andy, in particular, is one of the prime favourites to take out the GC in Paris.

He was also instructed (by radio to his headset), to manipulate the whole peleton into doing the 'right thing', instigating a 'slow-down' and non-attack finish, in order to let all the accident-affected riders back into the peleton.

Most of the other GC challengers - other than Andy Schleck - were with Cancellara, i believe. Armstrong, Bradley Wiggins, Contador, etc, so we HAVE to look at who most benefited from the actions of Cancellara. And clearly, it was Andy Schleck and brother Frank.

As i said, a lot of drama; a lot of questions.

Also some fascinating moments - on camera - such as Cancellara, towards the end of the race, hanging onto a red car and having an animated discussion with a guy in the back seat, before pealing off to rejoin the pact.

I had assumed it was his team car, but apparently, it was the car of the main race official. So he may well have been discussing what he wanted to do with them.

And I would say that a possible scenario is as i have related and that he had been told to do this by HIS team managers. Even to the point of presenting it to the race officials as the "fairdinkum" thing to do, in light of the crashes. But of course, he wouldn't have mentioned the Schleck's predicament.

Well, tomorrow could be even MORE eventful, with a total of 8 1/2 kms of "les paves" (cobblestone road surface) to negotiate.

Good fun!

kim said...

Monsieur Tom...certainly sorry to know you're not feeling well, but good that you have a much rest as you need to get well.

Maybe i will attempt some commentary...from my sofa on the other side of the world (like "Cen").

Here in Australia, the race is covered, and covered extensively, by our wonderful 'international' broadcaster, SBS, (which, incidentally, has covered all 61 games - thus far - of the fabulous World Cup).

The coverage begins at 10:30 pm every night, and runs for about 4 or 5 hours.

i record it!

Then awake around 6:30am, get the java going, put the headphones on (Asango still asleep), and tune in. Admittedly, i make use of the FF button here and there.

SBS callers are Paul Sherwin and Phil Ligget, and they are superb!

This morning, i actually listened to some of their pre-start commentary. Interesting bio-piece of Mark Cavendish. He is quite a lad! Very passionate about what he does....but aren't they all!

Then to the race.

It can't get much more 'eventful' than these first 2 stages! Whatever one thinks about crashes on the road, they certainly give us drama!

The most fascinating aspect to Stage 2 was the reaction of the peleton to the crashes and conditions of the racing. I've been sampling some of the 'comments' on the SBS site (excellent!: www.sbs.com.au/tdf), and have added my own in regards to the so-called "protest" that resulted in the whole peleton arriving together with no sprints, about 2 and a half minutes behind Chavenel - who created his own wonderful scenario!

Some hail the 'sportsmanship'; others think they should have raced on, etc etc.

Of course, it was the yellow-jersey wearer, Cancellara, who was at the centre of the whole thing, and it canNOT be ignored that he belongs to the same Team Saxo Bank that has the Schleck brothers, who were both severely affected by one of the serious crashes on the course, and who found themselves serious minutes behind the main field.

Cancellara loves that yellow jersey, and well he should. He wore it for over a week at the beginning of last year's race. And he was certainly thinking about extending that in Stage 2.

Let me posit an ulterior motive to the 'protest':

Cancellara would have given chase to Chavenel, with his yellow jersey in mind. But he was "ordered" by his team manager(s), to wait for the Schlecks! After all, Andy, in particular, is one of the prime favourites to take out the GC in Paris.

He was also instructed (by radio to his headset), to manipulate the whole peleton into doing the 'right thing', instigating a 'slow-down' and non-attack finish, in order to let all the accident-affected riders back into the peleton.

Most of the other GC challengers - other than Andy Schleck - were with Cancellara, i believe. Armstrong, Bradley Wiggins, Contador, etc, so we HAVE to look at who most benefited from the actions of Cancellara. And clearly, it was Andy Schleck and brother Frank.

As i said, a lot of drama; a lot of questions.

Also some fascinating moments - on camera - such as Cancellara, towards the end of the race, hanging onto a red car and having an animated discussion with a guy in the back seat, before pealing off to rejoin the pact.

I had assumed it was his team car, but apparently, it was the car of the main race official. So he may well have been discussing what he wanted to do with them.

And I would say that a possible scenario is as i have related and that he had been told to do this by HIS team managers. Even to the point of presenting it to the race officials as the "fairdinkum" thing to do, in light of the crashes. But of course, he wouldn't have mentioned the Schleck's predicament.

Well, tomorrow could be even MORE eventful, with a total of 8 1/2 kms of "les paves" (cobblestone road surface) to negotiate.

Good fun!