Go Dad Go!

A self-important blog about riding bikes, raising kids and the all-too-rare nexus of these two pursuits.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Stage 16 - from July 19



Thoughts and a few words from this morning:

6:20: Excellent: no sign of Declan yet. A little alone-with-the-Tour time for the Feester. Oh -- looks like Rasmussen's finally staking his claim. Contenders together -- everyone's there.

6:30: Would have loved to see the Galibier. Wonder what "Croix de la Fer" means? "So hot it feels like you're carrying a furry cross?" Shh-- no! Nonononono Declan, not yet, a little time, OK? Take the pacifier, back to sleep, yes, there you go, tiptoe out...Hmm -- new commercials, it seems. Jeez -- Flomax. Is that what I have to look forward to?...Great to see Levi going on the attack, and I think they'll let him go. C'mon, Levi! The podium's still possible!

6:32: Noooooo Declan, c'mon little guy, back to sleep please -- ugh. Standing in the crib. No going back down now. Hi, buddy! Let's go watch the Tour real quietly now, OK?...

6:40: No, Phil, Floyd's fine. Not everyone can ride like Lance, at the front and surrounded by seventeen teammates until the final four kilometers. He's just hanging back a bit, catching a little breather...Man, that Rasmussen's skinny! 5'9" and 135 L-Bs -- that' s less than 2 pounds per inch. I really need to drop some weight.

6:50: Sure he's alone -- no more Phonak guys after Merckx couldn't hang. No problem -- what's that really going to do for him anyway? It's not like riding behind anyone up an 8% grade does anything. In a stage like this one, it's the rider not the team....Jeez Declan -- hands off the remote! I think I'll watch the Tour instead of reruns of "Momma's Family," OK?

7:06: Good morning, Karen. No, nothing really happening yet, though I have to say Landis doesn't look great....No, I'm sure he'll hang in there. He doesn't have to win the stage, just come out of it not too far behind, before the time trial on Saturday....Umm, can you take Declan? He's been up for awhile and it would be great to watch for a bit. Thanks.

7:14: Crap. He really doesn't look good. No problem - he's bluffing. Taking a page out of the Armstrong playbook, that's what he's doing. Yep -- there he goes, back up with Menchov. Steady...no extra energy...no problem. All back together.

7:22: He's lagging. He's really lagging. Where are his teammates? Doesn't he have anyone who can hang? T-Mobile has four guys in there and he's alone! No, not Moreau -- why do they show that guy so much? Must be some sort of access fee for the French. Jeez a team is so important in these mountain stages.

7: 27: Oh crap. Crapcrapcrapcrap. Crapcrapcrapcrap!....Sorry Sweetie. Floyd's falling back. Probably not a big deal -- they're not too far from the finish, and he won't lose that much time.

7:35: Five minutes, Paul? You think he'll lose five minutes? Never. He's just not explosive; he's going to ride stead-- Yeesh -- he does look bad...He's barely turning over the pedals.

7:42: C'mon Floyd! C'mon c'mon c'mon -- make like your parents are chasing you with large Pennsylvanian farm implements! Make like there are ZZ Top tickets waiting for you at the summit! C'MON FLOYD!...Oh, sorry, sorry; isn't it time for Catie to wake up anyway? OK, but Floyd's imploding....I mean he's imploding! He's imploding, exploding, detonating and collapsing.. It's like Scanners and Alien at the same time. Check it out! I think I could keep up with him there!

7:51: Damage control, Floyd, damage control. No, don't show the Chicken; he's got it sewn up....Oh, Levi -- more disappointment. Cut back to Landis! I wonder if it's a hip thing?...No, there he is, and it's just a he's-popped thing. He is utterly fried. Oh, I can't watch....Mack, can you get out of the way of the TV, please? Please?



8:02: He's going to lose like 8 minutes, maybe more....I know, it is sad...Who knows, maybe he'll be back next year after the hip operation....No, he's done this year. If he can salvage the podium it would be a miracle.

8:09: Ohmigosh, what does this do to the game? Check the spreadsheet...oh crap -- I think I have a conference call in like 5 minutes. Email Anne...no one has Sastre! No one! Maybe Evans can do something, and then McEwen will fold, and Hushovd will take green, and Team Fee will be back in business!...Talk about grasping at straws; Floyd, didn't you read the script?

8:16: So it's Sastre, huh? Seems like a good guy; I always liked him after he pulled the pacifier out of his pocket in his '03 stage win -- but that ain't coming back from cancer, or even growing up Mennonite....Phew -- no conference call....Can't even imagine who to root for now...


And so it went this morning. Around the time that I was apologizing for waking Catie I also awoke from a seven-year reverie, realizing that Tour leaders are fallible, and that waking up the day after riding masterfully over three massive climbs and doing it again, just as masterfully, is far rarer than I'd come to believe.

The impact on our standings is predictably resounding, with a number of players surging and showing the potential to surge some more. Our sentimental favorites, the Dan & Kelly/collarbone-broken father & daughter team, rode their Pereiro pick into the lead, but hold just one jersey -- and I've learned not to get too comfortable with sentimental favorites. Wes, just two points behind, holds two jerseys -- not to mention Menchov, who's surely still keen to score some points -- and Rachel & Robin have donned three jerseys, and even have a backup for the Maillot Blanc in Cunego.

I'm just hoping Zabriskie and Hincapie do well in the time trial and dislodge Jordan and Don from the cellar, so Karen and I can keep our money!

Here's to Floyd!
Mike

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