16 July, 2009

Making News out of nothing: The Daily News and Lance's Flat Tire

folks, it wasn't a big deal. Tires occasionally get cut and lose air. And when you're a leader or even co-leader of a team, at least one teammate is guaranteed to wait for you to help you back. That's what happened to Lance today. It happened with 37 miles remaining in the stage and teammates waited. Somehow, for the New York Daily News, he "avoided disaster."

I guess he did. And I avoided disaster by not getting hit by a car. A little ignorance makes for great copy.

Keeping with their sensationalism, they have a photo essay called Gore de France. I wouldn't write that these are the "tour's most gruesome crashes," save one, but these are the ones they must have had easy access to.

Evans Must have earned Hinault's respect today

While Stage 12 looked like a simple affair, the journos largely overlooked Cadel Evans insurrection. The Pre-race favorite lit up the race with an escape that contained a few other fellow left-behind stars. He started drilling it and after 70km, his little split had 15 seconds. Not much, but it showed that Astana had some work to do. Evans isn't going to roll over just yet.


Will there be a Red Kite Prayer tomorrow?

The Red Kite aka Flamme Rouge aka one kilometer to go banner has been known to tease those at the head of the race. The Red Kite Prayer is what you've got when you're in the mix and aren't sure which way the race is going to play.

We're not the praying type, but we find ourselves tense when we see a race get down to the final kilometer. That goes for whether we're in the middle of the action or if we're watching a race. So close to the finish and yet so much can happen. Anyone solo at the sharp end of the race is both elated and worried at the flamme rouge. Breaks can get caught, sprinters can

If you want another take on cycling, and like an indy vibe, check out the site of the same name. I'll probably be there some myself

Flat Stages Are Not Easy

It's hard to read or listen to people discuss flat stages being easy. Here's one guy's take on yesterday's stage 11, "Another flat stage, another easy ride with a bunch sprint at the end."

These aren't easy. It's more than just a four-plus hour spin. The roads are narrow, the turns tight, the wind shifts, there are countless hills even on what seems like a flat day, and just one mistake by one rider can have the effect of blowing the race apart at any moment.

The finish, despite what many think, isn't all that certain. Look at today's stage 12. The field held the gap to the break at three minutes much of the day and then when Columbia realized they were going to have to do all the work to see the breakaway brought back, they threw in the towel and the breakaway's gap quickly shot up to six minutes, where it stayed.

Columbia was playing "chicken" with the field. Only the field had little interest in seeing another Cavendish stage win. Just as the field should have little interest in Astana winning the Tour. When you're the best sprinter with the strongest leadout, don't expect the field to help. Likewise, Astana shouldn't expect any help starting tomorrow.

Want to sound like a choad, I mean tifosi?

Yes, folks, it's that easy. Just like Walter Kirn fakin' it at Princeton, you can learn how to fake it with people like me* by using a few key phrases from the Examiner.

A warning, don't ever use "velodrome track." And get the distinct feeling Kirn's faking us out now.

*not really.

Vlogger Lance Armstrong gets praise

Some just love Lance. Others love the color he brings. This person loves that he brought in Robin Williams. Much more interesting than any cyclist, and yet, Williams is a cyclist.

Official XBox TdF Game Available Now

Why watch the race when you can race the actual racers yourself?

"Players will be able to take control of individual racers during the time trial stages and think of various strategies during the other legs. All of the riding goes towards trying to get a team member the yellow jersey, of course.

Up to two players can play on the same system, or four players can compete over Xbox Live. The
game will set you back 800 Microsoft Points to get."

Versus TdF coverage up 83%

And even 18% above when Lance last won the tour.

Reuters covered the story. Apparently, Versus wants to grow their network. "The strong numbers for the Comcast Corp-owned network's early Tour coverage are a sign of the sports broadcaster's momentum as it looks to add content, broaden its reach and boost advertising revenue, network president Jamie Davis said."

Confusingly, the 2008 Tour apparently had record viewership. "Versus has aired the Tour in the United States for nine years and is in the first year of a five-year extension that runs through 2013. Davis is positive Tour viewership on the network will eclipse last year's record of nearly 33 million."

will HTC give us a special TdF Phone

That's what the mobile phone world is asking. Or at least a guy on Mobile Phone News.