Thursday, February 22, 2007

Tour of California - Stage 3

Note to Lance: don't try to be humble, dear. It's not you, and you just end up putting your foot in your mouth. Bobke asked him about the great crowds in California this year, and Lance says something like, "yeah, it's great, you know, people thought that when…an American stopped winning the Tour de France, people would stop being interested in cycling." Uh, Lance, as of this moment, that first part hasn't happened yet. It's okay, you can say "when I stopped competing."
Speaking of Americans still winning the Tour, how happy did Floyd Landis look in his little chat, getting to talk strictly racing for a minute? Makes me smile, but also breaks my heart. Even more so today, with Dugard's comments ringing in my ears. I knew there were politics going on throughout this case, but if it's gone to the level he suggests, that just turns my stomach. A man is dead, a career in ruins, and for what? So they can play their little power games? Disgusting. (I know, that first part is more complicated than that, I've been suicidal myself, but still - a man is dead.) No one deserves to be that kind of pawn, but especially guys like Floyd - he just wants to ride his bike, do his job. He didn't work his butt off for 15 years to get some flowers or be on Letterman, or to be a Big Man in front of a microphone. He did it so he could challenge himself to the toughest race and conquer it, ride at the top of a sport he loves. Looks like some others have long forgotten their love of cycling, if they ever had it in the first place. What a miserable life they must lead.

Enough misery - speaking of guys who just love to ride - how outstanding was that stage today? I finished a workout right before the show started, but I think I burned more calories watching the race than I did the previous hour! All class on the final stretch, Jens, Levi, and Chris all taking their pulls, gutsy professionals all. Great to see Jens pull out the win, does anyone have a more infectious grin? And Levi, man, he continues to impress. Discovery signing Basso had to be a huge blow, but if this is what it inspires Levi to show, maybe it's not so bad after all! It was disconcerting to see him alone until he bridged up to Jason McCartney, but I guess the boys did a heck of a job getting him to that point. And bless McCartney, going cross-eyed to hang in there at the end of the climb and then help them fly on the descent. Those little captions Versus added this evening cracked me up. Hey, whatever helps bring the folks in. The more the merrier, just as long as you're in it for the love, people.

P.S. The photos for the name-the-legs contest at The Paceline are just plain freakadelic!

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