Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Tour de Georgia 2008 Stage 3: The Hardest Part

I'm with JV, this is not what I want to be writing about. There are those crashes where you groan and wince in commiseration with the downed riders. And then there are those that stop you in your tracks and make you hold your breath. We didn't see this one as it happened, but when the camera went to a seriously down Timmy Duggan, this one instantly became the latter. Seeing bikes broken in two, Corey Collier leaning on the bridge, having a hard time shaking it off, and the ominous huddle around Duggan, it was a hard scene to watch.

And then waiting - waiting to hear who it was. I don't know why that matters so much, I guess you just want to know who to be thinking about. Waiting to hear any updates, any tidbit on what the injury is, because it did not look good. Hearing the ambulance, what must the boys be thinking as it goes past. Trying to catch any glimpse of Slipstream-Chipotle riders, how do they look, what are they hearing. It was one of those stages, after that, the break established and just miles to go before you race. So it was probably a combination of that and worrying about Duggan, but I had a feeling of suspended animation until the finishing circuits.

At last, some details from CyclingNews - I wondered if he was convulsing, I was having flashbacks to that horrible downhill skiing accident earlier this year. I hope "keeping him overnight" implies that it's just overnight, and he should be okay, relatively speaking. And nice note about George Hincapie and Levi Leipheimer acting as patrons, how our boys have grown.

CSC made good on their word, helping out on front today to make up for yesterday. First it was just a token guy, but as things got closer, they stepped up. But it was Toyota-United's job most of the day, only to see Ivan Dominguez crumple in the closing circuits. I admit, it was kind of a curious sight, but WCSN spent way too much time showing him back there! Especially when the picture kept breaking up - we get it, he cracked, show us the guys still going!

Some nice fliers on the circuits, but it all came together for a tight sprint. Greg Henderson finally got his win, on a banner day for High Road. The announcers thought he was a Type-1 guy, even going so far as to say he would get flack for falsely celebrating the win. Hey, you don't show us the podiums, but even I knew that looked like the points jersey. I mean, honest mistake in the moment, but when you hear it's Henderson, try to connect the dots. Tyler Farrar came in a very nice third, and took the young rider's jersey, both will be a good boost for the Slipstream-Chipotle camp on such a difficult day.

VeloNews has some wonderful quotes on the High Road lead-out, particularly about George Hincapie - classy start to finish today, no surprise there. Papa Georgio, I love it!

I appreciate the WCSN coverage, really, but I wish they could show us at least one replay of the finish, and stick around for those podiums! And the picture seems to have a knack for breaking up just at the most crucial moments. While I'm at it, the commentating could use some tightening up. They get very ramble-y - I know, it's not a hugely dynamic stage, but that's all the more reason to make the most of things that do happen. I had to laugh early in today's stage, the guy with the radio voice is rambling on about something, and a rider in a fledgling break suddenly drops like a lead balloon, right off the back and way over to the side of the road. Well, Radio Guy, seeming almost mildly annoyed, says something like "oh, I guess he has a mechanical, anyway, as I was saying," like, before I was so rudely interrupted by the actual race! Too funny. I know it's not an easy job, but at least stay with what's happening on the road. On the upside, looks like all three stages so far are available for on-demand viewing, can't complain about that.

More on that banner day for High Road - Kim Kirchen took a soggy thriller at Fleche Wallonne. I just caught a few glimpses of the race, on a blurry feed made only blurrier by the rain, but it seemed pretty exciting to me! Cadel Evans was looking good on the nasty final climb, but then Kirchen surged past him for the win. He was so happy, very sweet to see him after the finish, completely soaked and muddy, endlessly embracing what I assume to be his wife.

Speaking of embracing and banner days, Luke and Noah finally kissed again on ATWT! I know, way random, but seriously, it's about time. (Yes, I'm one of those middle-aged straight women rooting for the young lovebirds, so be it.)

1 comment:

Nikki said...

I just love Papa Georgio! I'm happy he seems to be with a good team with a lot of respect for each other.

Ian blogged on Timmy earlier and it sounds like the swelling is coming down. That crash bites. Saul and Stuey pooped straight in my head watching him laying there. I hate those sites. They should not happen - to anyone.

I can NOT wait for tomorrow's TTT. I hope C and the gang open up a serious case of Argyle Whop-A$$!!!