15 July 2007


Tomorrow is a rest day. I'll use it to complain about Versus and to cross my fingers for George and Levi.

I'll also be hopping on a plane to Paris so the next posts you read will probably go up online at 8 or 9PM Paris time.

Enjoy Stage 9 without my yammering. I will comment on the results of that stage but probably won't do play by play.

Here are the top 45 as promised. *The last place rider is at 01:17:14. David Zabriskie is second to last at 01:14:40 back. Yikes.

1 058 RASMUSSEN, Michael DEN RAB 39:37:42.000 00:00:00.000
2 025 GERDEMANN, Linus GER TMO 39:38:25.000 00:00:43.000
3 207 MAYO, Iban ESP SDV 39:40:21.000 00:02:39.000
4 018 VALVERDE, Alejandro ESP GCE 39:40:33.000 00:02:51.000
5 195 KASHECHKIN, Andrey KAZ AST 39:40:34.000 00:02:52.000
6 041 EVANS, Cadel AUS PRL 39:40:35.000 00:02:53.000
7 061 MOREAU, Christophe FRA A2R 39:40:48.000 00:03:06.000
8 112 CONTADOR, Alberto ESP DSC 39:40:52.000 00:03:10.000
9 036 SCHLECK, Frank LUX CSC 39:40:56.000 00:03:14.000
10 051 MENCHOV, Denis RUS RAB 39:41:01.000 00:03:19.000
11 031 SASTRE, Carlos ESP CSC 39:41:17.000 00:03:35.000
12 196 KLÖDEN, Andréas GER AST 39:41:28.000 00:03:46.000
13 111 LEIPHEIMER, Levi USA DSC 39:41:35.000 00:03:53.000
14 011 PEREIRO SIO, Oscar ESP GCE 39:41:36.000 00:03:54.000
15 071 ZUBELDIA, Haimar ESP EUS 39:41:42.000 00:04:00.000
16 153 BELTRAN, Manuel ESP LIQ 39:42:01.000 00:04:19.000
17 174 GARATE, Juan Manuel ESP QSI 39:42:04.000 00:04:22.000
18 012 ARROYO, David ESP GCE 39:42:33.000 00:04:51.000
19 027 KIRCHEN, Kim LUX TMO 39:42:44.000 00:05:02.000
20 088 VALJAVEC, Tadej SLO LAM 39:42:45.000 00:05:03.000
21 073 ASTARLOZA, Mikel ESP EUS 39:42:56.000 00:05:14.000
22 191 VINOKOUROV, Alexandre KAZ AST 39:43:05.000 00:05:23.000
23 015 KARPETS, Vladimir RUS GCE 39:43:51.000 00:06:09.000
24 218 SIUTSOU, Kanstantsin BLR BAR 39:44:00.000 00:06:18.000
25 044 HORNER, Christopher USA PRL 39:44:11.000 00:06:29.000
26 052 BOOGERD, Michael NED RAB 39:44:20.000 00:06:38.000
27 219 SOLER HERNANDEZ, Juan Mauricio COL BAR 39:45:13.000 00:07:31.000
28 118 POPOVYCH, Yaroslav UKR DSC 39:45:14.000 00:07:32.000
29 103 BOTCHAROV, Alexandre RUS C.A 39:46:15.000 00:08:33.000
30 204 COBO ACEBO, Juan Jose ESP SDV 39:46:33.000 00:08:51.000
31 113 GUSEV, Vladimir RUS DSC 39:47:05.000 00:09:23.000
32 093 FOTHEN, Markus GER GST 39:47:34.000 00:09:52.000
33 141 CHAVANEL, Sylvain FRA COF 39:48:32.000 00:10:50.000
34 014 GUTIERREZ, José Ivan ESP GCE 39:50:25.000 00:12:43.000
35 177 TANKINK, Bram NED QSI 39:50:48.000 00:13:06.000
36 078 TXURRUKA, Amets ESP EUS 39:51:03.000 00:13:21.000
37 038 VOIGT, Jens GER CSC 39:52:50.000 00:15:08.000
38 098 WEGMANN, Fabian GER GST 39:53:06.000 00:15:24.000
39 109 LE MEVEL, Christophe FRA C.A 39:53:53.000 00:16:11.000
40 076 LANDALUZE, Inigo ESP EUS 39:54:01.000 00:16:19.000
41 185 KNEES, Christian GER MRM 39:55:24.000 00:17:42.000
42 054 DEKKER, Thomas NED RAB 39:56:34.000 00:18:52.000
43 172 BARREDO, Carlos ESP QSI 39:56:46.000 00:19:04.000
44 089 VILA ERRANDONEA, Patxi ESP LAM 39:57:39.000 00:19:57.000
45 114 HINCAPIE, George USA DSC 39:58:01.000 00:20:19.000

SPOILER - TOP 10 in Stage 8

The top 10 in stage eight are:
1. Michael Rasmussen (DEN) RAB - 165km in 4h49'40" (34.177km/h)
2. Iban Mayo (ESP) SDV - at 2'47"
3. Alejandro Valverde (ESP) GCE - at 3'12"
4. Christophe Moreau (DEN) RAB - at 3'12"
5. Frank Schleck (LUX) CSC - at 3'12"
6. Cadel Evans (AUS) PRL - at 3'12"
7. Andrey Kashechkin (KAZ) AST - at 3'12"
8. Alberto Contador (ESP) DSC - at 3'31"
9. Denis Menchov (RUS) RAB - at 3'35"
10. Carlos Sastre (ESP) CSC - at3'35"

Like I said, Versus blew it

Their morning broadcast of Stage 8 went off the air with 5.1KM to go.


Versus VERSUS Eurosport

If it kills me, I'm gonna scrap Versus television and set myself up with Eurosport. I cannot explain the full level of my frustration with Versus programming plan. I'm currently Tivo-ing through the morning broadcast and it looks again - FOR THE FOURTH TIME - that the broadcast is going to end without showing viewers the end of the stage.

Who's the idiot who purchased air time for the Tour? With 12.4KM to go, there are only 18 minutes left in the program. Why couldn't they be smart and do what the major networks do for NFL Football and other sports...add a half hour at the end so you NEVER miss the finish in the live broadcast.

IDIOTS. Now I'm gonna have to read the newsflashes and other news sites to see how Stage 8 ends.

I'll be back shortly with more about this stage.


**Phil Ligget just mentioned that he'd "love to show you pictures of Rasmussen" but he can't because Versus hasn't sent enough staff to the Tour de France.

OK. This is a full-on rant. The thing that really burns me is that I spoke with Versus in December and January about heading over to France and helping them out with staffing and whatever they needed. BAH!


In a stage like this, you're going to see a lot of sprinters and other non-climbers drop off the back and sometimes even drop out of the race.

In no other sport do you have teams that lose players and are unable to add them back. If you lose a soccer player to injury, you can add one in his stead. If you have to pull out a fielder in baseball, you can substitute another player.

But in cycling, the teams are whittled down from a start count of nine riders. It's pretty severe.

By the way, at today's start of Stage 8, no team had lost more than one rider. When we see the figures later tonight and tomorrow morning, this WILL NOT be the case. Team CSC has had some bad luck as have a few other teams.

I would guess that many teams are down to 7 riders after all the dust settles.


After his crash and subsequent injuries, Michael Rogers has had to abandon with only about 29KM to go.


SPOILER - Rogers, Rasmussen and Hincapie

Rasmussen is up the road at 00:04:30 with only one rider with him. The second group is about a minute and a half back.

Michael Rogers was leading the Tour on the road and then slammed into a road barrier and injured his wrist (this is what I have assumed from the video at this point - it could be something totally different when we get the final news tonight).

Hincapie is in the chasing group and looks really good.

33.9KM to go.

An amazing stage

I'm still watching the broadcast of Stage 8 and they've got about 37KM to go and it's a ride that's being controlled by Rasmussen. One large climb left - Montee d'Haughterville - and Rasmussen is 00:04:16 ahead.

Sorry for today's delay in posting - got caught up in packing and finishing work for Grampys while watching the greatest show on two wheels.

Rest day tomorrow. Hooray - we can recap on all our info and see what the next 10 days will bring before we get toward the final few stages of the Tour de France.

Other resources

As I've mentioned since last Friday (no, not the 13th, Friday the 6th - the night before the prologue of the Tour), there are many places to get information about the Tour de France.

I've mentioned Steephill and Versus, but here's a site I just found because of a google report. The site offers easy-to-digest bits of cycling news...and it's not all focused on the Tour, so you can read it to find out what bike stuff is happening all over the place.

Enjoy. The name of the site is Cyclelicio.us - pretty cool URL.