What's Cool In Road Cycling

TDF03: Down To The Wire

So what have we learned so far? (Other than that I am a jackass for canning my trip this year thinking it wouldn’t heat up till 04′)

1. Petacchi Can Sprint:
While too old to be the next or new “King”, he’s certainly the fastest man this year. He made everyone look slow all season, and until he got sick, was stuffing it so far up everyone’s back side at the Tour that the others looked like club cyclists.

2. Robbie Mc is a good bet at winning Green(s):
As the fastest man (left) in the tour and with monster grit, he’s a stud. Although he couldn’t avoid his standard finger pointing / crybaby crap early on, he’s the easy favorite. He started with complaints about Telekom not working, and blamed Rene “Ping Pong” Haselbacher for a mix up and, despite the film clearly showing him well on his way to shouldering Baden Cooke into the barriers long before Haselbacher shoed up (then showed ass) he blamed Pong for the scrum (but was right in saying Haselbacher is lost in a sprint). What Mc Ewen should have complained about was his indecisive Director not going for the green after watching Petacchi pimp slap everyone on the first couple stages (Robbie would have been in green the whole way). Bottom line is Mad Mac has been pretty alone at the front, but that is Lotto’s style. They have been doing a good job of getting him in a position to beat the crap out of the guy who has the wheel he wants. Hate the crybaby, Love the Beast. Mad Mc wins it…

3. It’s not only about the bike ( unless you’re David Millar):
On the Tech side, the new Carbon Cannondale sticks out. Unfortunately we got a good long slow look at it as Mr. “I will attack in the Mountains” Simoni got crapped out the back in the early mountains (Yes he came back in style to win a stage, but he hasn’t looked the part during the entire tour). But the bike is sweet looking, Light, and you can bet is well made. Also well made will be Giro’s new Lid (how much less can you make a helmet out of and still call it protection?). And Time’s Bikes are sweet looking, although you have to wonder how the teams on them feel about basically strapping bar extensions on their road bikes for all the TT action. I also get a stiffy looking at the Look KG 486 used by a select few. Lastly on the Tech side is David Millar, Two words big guy, “Front Mech” (Chain fell off running single chain ring, costing him three days in Yellow).

4. Cool Fool?
On the Style side, we get to see riders unsnap their helmets. The only thing more stupid than un strapping your helmet was Jacky Durand weaving side to side earlier this year at the front of a race because he was mad that people were not following the helmet protest (He crashed badly, wound up in the hospital and that’s why there’s no DuDu at the tour, Brilliant!). Do the riders find it more comfortable to have the straps hit em in the neck as they swing to and fro than to just leave them snapped? Does it make the Helmet lighter? Do the straps swinging creat a weight transfer effect helping riders gain a .00000000000000000002 watt advantage on a climb? Or is it just the riders way of saying “look at me I am a rebel”? (Some body in the Peloton write me and explain so I can leave it alone).

5. Ripping off the Fans:
Cipo has more wins than the entire rosters of a couple teams that got chosen over him. So lets see where a couple of these clubs (BLB and Jean DT) are making way.

**GC (best placed)
BLB-18TH
JDT- 28TH

**Points
BLB and JDT mathematically eliminated

**KOM Competition
BLB- slightly off the pace at 224 points back despite Chavanel’s brilliant ride
JDT- slightly more off the pace at 305 points back (top man has a massive 19 points to date)

**Young Rider
BLB- 1:07 back (that’s an Hour and seven) But Chavanel is a stud.
JDT- 2:16 back. So much for new talent?

**Team Competition
BLB is respectable in 7th, but out of the picture
JDT 16th, maybe they went too hard in the TTT (Placing 20th…)

In all fairness (to Phil’s comment about justifying JDT’s choice), Nazon did get a day in yellow, failing to get a stage, but grabbing a couple of intermediate time bonuses (after a great Prologue). Bullspit! If this were a prison movie, They would be the guys in Halter Tops calling everyone else “Hunny”. The choice was crap. And ASO ripped off the viewers.

6. Payback for us Fans??
Tyler, Jan, Lance, VINO, Tyler (yeah I said it twice, wanna hear it again? Tyler…, Don’t like it? Tyler, Tyler, Tyler). Good thing they are out of the Mountains, as the chances of E.T.A. tossing Hamilton off the side of a mountain would have been pretty good, had they realized that he will probably leapfrog both of the (absolutely wonderful) Euskadi boys in the final TT!

Same two, but not boring!:

Lance hasn’t lost a final TT, and that might hold this year. If it doesn’t, The final sprint in Paris could go 5 wide, with Jan next to Lance, Baden Cooke, Mad Mc and Eric Zabel tearing down the stretch. (Might be fun to see Pavel Padrnos do a flying tackle on Mc, Zabel and Cooke, as Big George leads out Lance and Jan…)

This is the first Tour worth watching in the last 3 years!

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