29 July, 2009

Was Hematide the key to the Tour in 2009

SF Weekly wonders. In Tour de France Brought to You By ... A Palo Alto Biotech Startup? the have AFLD (France Anti-Doping Lab) head Pierre Bondry wondering if this not-yet-available dialysis drug has already jumped into competition.

We're letting you down easy

After three weeks of Tour Fever, going a day without can be hard. That's why we're taking you down easy, posting fresh stories, keeping the Tour buzz going, albeit at a more relaxed pitch.

We like what ESPN Writer Jim Cagle wrote in his Tour de France Redux piece: "Like the NCAA tournament, the Tour de France is a three-week virtually nonstop extravaganza that fans of the sport wish would never end. The cyclists, on the other hand, probably have a somewhat different take after, say, 15 stages, 1,500 miles and seven tubes of chamois cream...

"So there will be no more watching the peloton ride past fields of lavender, or the leaders climbing ridiculous roads through the Alps and Pyrenees, or the aerial views of ancient chateaus that make you reach for the Rick Steves travel guide so you can dream about a vacation to the Tour that you absolutely, without doubt, "I mean it this time" will take next July. Of course, you won't take that trip next year and will wind up watching the Tour on TV again, feeling sad when it ends and reflecting on the highlights. As I do now …"

Paranoia part of Tour Pressure

Cadel Evans thinks something was amiss in that two of his countrymen didn't get to ride the Tour...on other teams. Allan Davis of Quick Step was a replacement for Tom Boonen, who got the nod at the last minute, and Simon Gerrans.

Wine Merchant gives Tour Trip to Employees

Seems nice, but I don't understand how the guy "can't afford to boost salaries, but a Tribeca wine merchant is giving his workers a chance to tackle something bigger than the economy: The Tour de France."

It's going to cost him $75,000. I'm sure that couldn' t go to salaries.

"The workers have trained for weeks on the George Washington Bridge and at Bear Mountain State Park. They've logged 125 miles a week and have lost a collective 300 pounds."

Yes, the GWB is a brutal training ground for cyclists.

Here's the story.

two firsts for Japan

Two Japanese riders finished the Tour. In the past, Japanese riders have started, but none have finished. Somehow, this is supposed to lend support to Tokyo 2016, a bid for the city to host teh 2016 summer Olympic games.

At least, according to Around the Rings, an Olympic-movement-centric site.

want an honest assessment of next year's tour?

Would you ask the Versus announcers? They might be knowledgeable and nice guys and all, but can they give a clear assessement? Would you be surprised that Versus announcers are calling Armstrong a favorite for the 2010 tour already?

The Los Angeles Times appears to be sourcing their quotes from television broadcasts.

"It's already being said, on Versus television by announcers such as Bob Roll and Paul Sherwen, and in the peloton by 2009 Tour de France winner Alberto Contador. A favorite for the 2010 Tour de France title?

"Lance Armstrong."

Yes, he was third in 2009, so not exactly calling a surprise on us, but with all the up-and-comers at this year's Tour, this is their fave'?

Later, they track down Jim Ochowicz, the man who brought hte first american team to the Tour, 7-Eleven, about lance. "'With his broken collarbone this year,' Ochowicz said, 'it was remarkable that he finished on the podium. If he stays healthy and trains all year and has a strong team, yes, he can win.'" Would you believe he's friends with Lance?