Friday, April 25, 2008

Tour de Georgia 2008 Stage 5: My Kingdom for a Moto

More good news on Timmy Duggan, they were able to do surgery today on the collarbone. Ian MacGregor has been great about posting updates, those two are a great story of friendship. It was great to see pictures today of the "Just Go Harder" seatposts on the Slipstream bikes, and hear Tom Danielson talk about how they motivated the team during the TTT.

As for today's stage, it was a tough one, wish we'd seen more of it! The break certainly got its money's worth, with only one working moto, they got all the air time! Couldn't they stick the other camera guy in a car with a sunroof or something? Just to get some pictures from the peloton? It made for very strange viewing. We got the word from CyclingNews that all four in the break were certified Nice Guys, and they provided some animated moments. But seeing the main pack gives a better sense of the course, where it breaks people up, and how guys are going. The lack of audio for a long time was generally recognized as a bonus by the viewing public, but I do like to hear the race sounds.

Thank goodness for CyclingNews. Their live race reports are the best around, always with great details, background, context and humor. So I used them to provide the commentary to the silent images, and learned all sorts of fun things, like how the Health Net car crashed and they duct-taped the deployed air bags to the steering wheel so they could keep driving. And how the peloton was bathed in manure fumes due to an errant truck. Oh, what these boys have to endure.

Wild little finish, I almost can't blame the remaining moto for having a hard time keeping track of it. It was so funny to see the catch, not having seen the pack for the entire day - there you are, I thought you were still in this race! Great day for the domestic squads, making up the break and taking the win with Bissell's Richard England. I did feel bad for George Hincapie, though, he was going for the win but misjudged it.

Great to see Slipstream-Chipotle's Trent Lowe in yellow, I hope they keep the argyle rockin' right up Brasstown Bald. Levi "Man on Fire" Leipheimer was a lot of fun in the Tour of California, but I find myself not so much rooting for him here. His comments yesterday were kind of pissy and didn't have that team spirit so evident with guys on, say, Slipstream and High Road. I always try to cut guys slack for post-race comments, they're spent and in the moment and stuff just tumbles out of their mouth. I'm just saying it doesn't inspire much cheerleading.

As sketchy as the video of the actual race has been, the stuff at VeloNews TV has been outstanding as always. England's lengthy comments about today's win, Christian Vande Velde's breezy chat at the start, Danielson's straight-from-the-heart talk about the crash, Slipstream chiropractor Kevin Reichlin's engaging conversation about Timmy, Bobby Julich's voice of experience. Each great nuggets on their own, and together, a veritable treasure chest for the rabid fan to eat up daily. Oh, whatever will I do next week. I'll have to talk about things like Ivan Basso signing with Liquigas, joy.

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