11 July, 2009

2006 Tour Champ Pulls out, Inspires Silence

Oscar Pereiro, the 2006 Tour de France champion, pulled out of the Tour today, 100km into the eighth stage. Almost nobody noticed. Here's the Reuters story to give you a feel:

"ST GIRONS, France (Reuters) - Spaniard Oscar Pereiro, the 2006 champion, pulled out of the Tour de France during the eighth stage on Saturday, organizers said.

Pereiro got off his bike after some 100 kilometers in the 176.5-km stage from Andorra to St Girons.

"Oscar Pereiro, the 2006 champion, has pulled out," organizers said on their website (www.letour.fr)

Pereiro's Caisse d'Epargne team were not immediately available for comment."

The guy has had a hard year. At the 2008 tour, he had a dramatic crash where he flipped over a guard rail and fell some 30 feet onto the road below, breaking an arm in the process.

Want to Bet on the KoM Jersey? Here's a Guide

Betfair wants fair wagering. So they offer up a guide to who's who in the polka-dot jersey competition. Here's the big takeaway: "This market is probably best grappled with in-play, when the instructions and motivations of the various contenders become clearer."

There are moments I hate Phil and Paul

I'll see if I can find the final 5k video and commentary from Anglo commentators Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen. When today's stage winner Luis Leon Sanchez won, they called him a deserving winner. It's as if they forgot four of the final five kilometers. When Vladimir Efimkin attacked, Sanchez sat at the back and refused to chase with Mikail Astarloza and Sandy Casar. He spent four K shaking his head as the other two took hard pulls and looked back at him for help. Then, with less than 1K to go, he went to the front. Savvy racing, but he cheezed off his fellow chasers when it counted. To me, Astarloza and Casar were more deserving; they never skipped a pull. Casar got dropped on the last mountain and chased back and Astarloza put in some good attacks.

Oh the Tour, it's related to this story, sort of

"Area riders spending summer pedaling the world on one, two, and three wheels"

It's in the first three sentences, then "While the international cycling superstars climb the gut-busting peaks of Europe, some bold local cyclists are tackling challenging bike tours of their own, on trips across the United States and in Africa and Croatia."

While I understand a rationale behind designating May as Bike Month in the US, it seems that when you look at the media, Bike Month is July. As with the story above, it's because of the Tour.

I've been arguing for years that the bike community should piggyback on the Tour and make July bike month. So far, they're not listening, which is a pity. Most of hte media seem to be scraping for whatever they can to make a Tour story somehow with their content.