Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Goodbyes, See-yas, and Cav-whos?

We have a lot to get to today, so let's just dive right in.

Two-time TdF winner Laurent Fignon recently passed away. Fignon won the 1983 and 1984 editions of the TdF and lost the 1989 edition to Greg Lemond by 8 seconds. One of the best cycling quotes of all time came from Fignon when he was recognized on the street. The gentleman said, "Ah, I remember you: you're the guy who lost the Tour by eight seconds." to which Fignon replied, "No monsieur, I'm the guy who won it twice." I never saw him race, but the combination of his wild hair and wire-rimmed glasses most likely made for an incredible viewing experience.

In news of the current grand tour (if the TdF is THE grand tour, then the Giro is its evil little brother and the Vuelta is the kid who used to be the Tour's stepson), Belgian sensation Phillippe Gilbert (pronounced Fill-eep Jill-bare) won the race's third stage to claim the camiseta roja:

Very reminiscent of a classic.During his post win interview, Gilbert was asked how the race went, to which he answered, "It was hot, but at the end I just picked the pace up and everyone else just fell off. Pretty standard really."

Cancellara isn't the only one whose part machine.Like just about every other stage, a break formed during stage four. It contained four riders, including Team Milram's Dominik Roels. At just over six feet tall and 165 pounds, Roels is one of the 'heftier' members of the pro peloton. While he may be fun at Oktoberfest and probably always gets tabbed to play Santa at team Christmas parties, his extra weight was not to his advantage when the road titled upwards:

Guys, wait up!Those professional cyclists, always leaving the fat kids behind. Speaking of being left behind, the end of the stage presented the riders with gradients as steep as 27%:

Yeah, it only says 23, but even that is still damn steep.In the end, Igor Antón from Euskaltel-Euskadi took the stage win, but in bigger news that seemed to be overlooked by all the major news media was the mechanical Andy Schleck had that allowed Antón victory:

Come on guys, wait up!Clearly AS is struggling to get his bike repaired so that he can chase back and limit his losses. Where has all the sportsmanship that used to prevail in the peloton gone?

Today's stage was long, hot, and perfect for a sprint finish. With Bernhard Eisel out for HTC-Columbia, Cavendish was without his lead-out man and punched it about 100 meters too far away and was passed by America. And by America I mean Garmin-Transitions rider Tyler Farrar:

All you shavers lick my goatee.Asked afterwards if defeating Cavendish (who by the way has now suffered two defeats at the hands of other sprinters in this year's Vuelta) will provide motivation, Farrar responded that winning is all the motivation he needs. That and the fact that next year he'll have former Tour and Vuelta points competition winner Thor Hushovd on his team. I'm sure as a sprinter, getting word that your boss just hired another prominent and proven sprinter, you'd do what you could to prove your worth as well.

Stevil over at AHTBM posted today that the AHTBM kits are shipped off. Since I read that I have been camped out on the front porch awaiting the delivery man.

Enjoy the week's midsection.

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