Friday, February 20, 2009

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

Continuing my series of post with my observations from the Tour of California, today we look at Stages 4 & 5. These two stages represent the best, and worst, in watching cycling on TV. We finally get to some real mountains, and we have to sit through a flat, boring stage.

Stage 4
* Holy Cow! It stopped raining!

* What is the stuff lining the sides of the roads that Phil and Paul keep referring to? Snow? Being from Texas, I'm somewhat unfamiliar with it.

* Phil just referred to the Rabobank team as "The Men of Orange". Oooooh, scary. That's a nickname sure to strike fear in the hearts of the other teams.

* Looking at the team kits, I have to say that when I first saw the new Team Highroad colors, I wasn't too impressed with them. But the longer I see them on the road, the more I like them. I think the fake 6-pack abs are a bit over the top, but other than that, there one of the best kits on the tour. Team BMC has to have the most boring kit ever. Black and white, with black and white lettering. They must have spent all of 10 minutes designing those.

* There's just something extremely odd about a bald cyclist. See Levi Leipheimer and Chris Horner as examples. It's very disturbing to look through the vents on their helmets, and see a bald head staring back at you. I could be looking into the future, given my own follicle challenges. But when it happens to me, it will no longer be weird. It'll be hip, and if I say so myself, a tad dashing.

* Floyd Landis gave another interview. Surprisingly, he was downright pleasant. Almost made me feel sorry for him. I don't know if he doped or not. All things being equal, he probably did. But think about this, what if he didn't do it? Given that he spent every cent he had trying to clear his name, and all of the endorsements that he didn't get, how can you begin to measure what he has lost.

* Lance's TT bike has been recovered by police. On a completely unrelated topic, the time trial bike that I had for sale is now off the market. They can't prove anything.

* Major crash today. Apparently, having forgotten how to ride on dry pavement, Floyd Landis, Kim Kirchen, and Oscar Friere got tangled up. Their team directors have all filed official protest, saying that their teams may not be able to continue if these sunny and dry conditions continue.

* Is there anything cooler than dressing up in a cheap, idiotic costume, and running along the side of the road when the cyclist come by. I think not.

* That comedian that Versus has running around, Rasika Mathur, just sucks the lifeforce out of me. Every time she's on the TV, it takes 3 months off my life. She needs to go away, soon.

* Does anyone else find that "Flo" woman from the Progressive Insurance commercial, strangely hot. Me neither, I was just checking.

Stage 5
* Why is it that the cameras, without fail, never seem to miss the riders taking a "nature break" on the side of the road. It's always funny when they suddenly realize what they were broadcasting, and they quickly cut away to another shot.

* With today being a boring flat stage, I think Paul nodded of at one point. Craig Hummer asked him to explain, for the 10th time in 5 stages, what the cyclist in a paceline were doing. Paul's response was "They're just doing a bit of Bid & Bit.....", and just sort of trailed off. He either actually nodded off, or that explanation actually makes sense in Europe. In America, it seems to be utter gibberish.

* Bob Roll gets his head shaved on TV today! Excellent. We can all give The Fat Cyclist credit for this one. If you've been following his coverage of the ToC, and if you haven't, I strongly recommend that you do, you are no doubt aware that Fatty got Bob to agree to get his head shaved if they could raise $5,000.00 in donations to LiveStrong before the end of the Tour. Not only did they get it done before the end of the Tour, they got it done in 24 hours.

* To commemorate Bob shaving his head, Rock Racing has issued their "Bob Roll Rocks" Special Edition team kit. Cost to you, the Gross National Product of an average size Central American country.

* With about 40 miles to go in the stage, Phil just asked "Whats going on in the breakaway?" Given the excitement level of today's stage, "not a d*mn thing" would be the correct answer.

* Zzzzzzzzzz.....


*Zzzzzzzzzzz....Huh? What? Sorry about that, I nodded of there for a few minutes, (really, I did). Well, lets see what I missed. Interesting, with 30 miles to go, a group of 6 is off the front by about 4 minutes. Gee, I wonder if they'll make it?

* Bob Roll seems to be getting better at doing these interviews. He should have shaved his head days ago.

* Mark Cavendish is a sprinting God! In the future, I would recommend that he crosses the finish line before he starts celebrating.

Tomorrow, the Solvang time trail, and the race of truth. Should be fun.

Peace out.....Nearly Famous Fred

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