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 7 Update -- From July 8

The scene: Yesterday's stage 7 time trial.

Director: Scriiiiipt! Where's my freaking script? And where in God's name is everyone?
Assistant: Haven't seen any scripts for awhile, sir. Any by "everyone," you mean...
Director: I mean everyone who's everyone! Zabriskie, for instance!
Assistant: Um...he finished around 13th.
Director: What? Well how about Hincapie?
Assistant: 24th, sir.
Director: Julich?
Assistant: On his way to the hospital. Crashed.
Director: Well, surely Levi's around. Where's Leipheimer?
Assistant: Um...not really sure, sir.
Director: Excuse me?
Assistant: Just haven't seen him. I think he's back around 96th place.
Director: Is nothing going according to the script? What about Landis? Where's Landis?
Floyd Landis: Right here, dude. It's all good. I'm just having a little handlebar problem.
Director: Well get your handlebars and the rest of your bike and your Mennonite butt across the finish line ASAP!....So who do we have?
Assistant: Well, I can get you Sebastian Lang. He's in thir--
Director: Sebastian Lang? Who in the name of all that is holy is Sebastian Lang?
Assistant: And Sergui Gontchar looks to be our winner!
Director: Sergui Gontchar? SERGUI GONTCHAR? Oh, how I miss Lance...

And so it went yesterday -- not at all according to the script. And the effect has started to play out in our game, as Tom Lariviere, the only player with Gontchar on his team, has vaulted 11 places and now sits in the 7th spot. The Landis-holding throng moved up en masse, owing to the 6 points he earned them. As for those of us holding the other prominent GC contenders -- Evans, Hincapie, Leipheimer -- our chances just diminished slightly, substantially and altogether, respectively.

Many questions, fortunately, remain to be answered, and we'll get peeks at those answers on Tuesday, after tomorrow's rest day. Chief among them: can Gontchar climb? And can Floyd climb like he needs to? Will the real Leipheimer show up? Can a pure climber turn this non-climber's Tour into a climber's Tour? When, on the morning of the rest day, Mike awakens and bounds downstairs and turns on the TV, already set to OLN, only to find a rebroadcast of the "Shooting USA" episode with guest star Dan Pastorini, will he burst into tears, go back to bed, or just mope around all day?

We shall see...

P.S. BIG riding day for me today: a good four hours in the saddle, including two 45-minute crits. And then I remembered that the guys in the Tour ride 3-4 hours on their rest days. Guess I can count myself out of that pro contract...


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