Monday, February 16, 2009

Tour of California 2009 Stage 1: Women and Children First

No, not in the disaster sense, although we had the water for it. With no live video for much of the men's race, we were treated to the women's crit and the adorable kids races at the finish. Good sports all, including the great crowds cheering them on.

I hereby volunteer to be a production assistant on Versus. Phil and Paul know cycling backwards and forwards, but they're in that little booth, and looking at so many different things, sometimes they just need someone outside the bubble to pass them a note. As in, hey, Johan says they took the GC standings on the first time across the line. Instead we get all kinds of unnecessary panic about how much time they're giving back to Mancebo. Maybe they'll have their Twitter on today.

The race decision was something of karmic payback to Levi Leipheimer I guess. After that extremely dodgy decision a couple of years ago that basically gifted him the jersey, this time it went against him. Astana surely would've caught Mancebo if they had all three laps. Thanks in most part to Chris Horner; it was great to see him getting mad props from Levi and Lance after the race. Silence-Lotto was crazy to let him go - he is such a great workhorse with such a great attitude. There's a job to do and he does it, in spades. And I love how he's not letting the Astana machine change him - still went out last night for In-N-Out burgers and fries and a shake. Rock on, Chris!

I never thought I'd follow Johan or Lance's twitters, but I'll give them this, best race information yesterday. Johan for what was happening on the road, and Lance for that tidbit about Horner's dinner last night. Fredcast also giving good road information, it should be noted.

Great to see Dave Zabriskie and Tom Danielson of Garmin-Slipstream made the break yesterday, they both look to be ready and hungry for solid comeback seasons. Sorry to see Christian Vande Velde miss it. I know, the new baby, and it's early in the season, but darling, if you want to be in the conversation, you have to be in the conversation. Maybe there was something specific to yesterday, I'll have to check in with the team website in the morning. Even Basso managed to get in there, even though he's just on a "training ride."

Speaking of Basso, most courageous rider? Ivan "most chicken-s*** non-confession confession" Basso? Curiouser and curiouser, that jersey. Another thing to check this morning, maybe they meant Nibali.

Here's what I love - people chatting on Tour Tracker, for hours on end, complaining about the commentators. Mind you, there was no race video, no GPS tracking, and the text play-by-play was more or less cribbing off cyclingnews - the only thing there was commentary!! Seriously, people, go to the tickers at cyclingnews or VeloNews, leave us in peace. I thought Frankie Andreu and JoE Silva did an admirable job with what they had. They were just as frustrated as we at home, but had to keep the patter going.

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