Go Dad Go!

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

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Tour Stages 1 & 2

[This time of year I run a Tour de France fantasy game -- the ultimate in dorkiness, I know -- so blog entries during July will mostly be the updates I post to those who play.]

Bonjour Amis,

It’s all going according to plan. Cancellara wins the opening time trial through the picturesque and serpentine streets of Monaco: check. Contador continues his run of improbable results, finishing second to the Swiss uber-time trialist and beating such specialists as Wiggins, Evans and Millar: check. Armstrong raises hopes with an early best-time, disappoints his legions of fans as nine rivals dash delusions of a spectacular return to the Tour, and then leaves all with the sense that he may well yet be dangerous: check. And Columbia-HTC launches Cavendish to a win the first sprint of this year’s Tour: check.

A few small surprises, near-catastrophes, and items of note: Tony Martin, not previously a household name (even in the Fee household) posted the first Armstrong-beating time in the opening time trial, and Columbia-HTC thus asserted itself as the rival to Astana as the team of this year’s Tour. Tom Boonen, reportedly struggling with a stomach virus, made an ignominious return to the ranks with a 114th-place finish in the TT – and then missed the last right-hander and thus the final sprint in today’s stage. And speaking of ignominy, Frank Schleck has officially found himself relegated to Second Schleck on his team, having to chase back solo after crashing, receiving no support as Saxo Bank rode in defense of Cancellara’s Yellow Jersey, and evidently in ignorance of the brother who was the family’s first next great Tour hope.

In our game, betting big so far is the winning strategy, as top “investors” Tom and Thornton have earned the first two days’ winnings: Tom with a total of 3.5% of our pot ($222.50!) for a TT win and two days in the Maillot Jaune; Thornton gets 1% for Cavendish’s (first) win (so far) today. Considering that there are flat-ish stages to come, and that Cancellara’s team could withstand an Astana/Garmin/Columbia onslaught in the Team Time Trial Tuesday (Yea! The Team Time Trial’s back!), these guys may keep earning money for awhile.

More to come! I hope you’re enjoying this Tour de France – and your summer.




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