shaken & stirred

welcome to my martini glass


little tour links

WOW, exciting team time trial today. Sad about Zabriskie's last-minute fall, but it's hard to begrudge the boys of Disco (formerly the Posties, which did roll off the tongue more nicely) a win, since they're so damn good at the TTT. They ride like a single machine. Honestly. And I hate the new uniforms. In general: too much brighty blue and white in the kits this year.

Laurie Muchnick does us all proud with a column any cycling fan would love, looking at Bob Roll's book and Armstrong's War. And she plugs a Guardian journalist I've not much read. Will remedy. I like Samuel Abt, but not the NYT pieces, the longer versions in the International Herald Tribune. An excerpt:

But Roll isn't only a clown, and his book is actually packed with useful information for the millions of people who will be watching the Tour unfold over the next three weeks, as Armstrong rides his last race and tries to increase his record from six to seven straight wins. It can be boring to watch a bike race on television if you don't know what's going on - though no more boring than watching golf, a sport that has its own dedicated channel - but once you learn a few of the basics, you'll realize that a bike race, especially one of the big three (the Tour, the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta a Espana), is a masterpiece of strategy and that there's a lot more going on at any moment than you might be able to tell from watching a bunch of guys fly by on bikes.

Yes, this is still the books section - you haven't wandered onto the sports pages by accident - but following the Tour is an annual pleasure for me, so I grabbed the opportunity to read a few books on the subject. I've never done more than skim through Armstrong's own books; the first one was called "It's Not About the Bike," which is fine if you're looking for a memoir of surviving cancer, but not if you're interested in learning more about bike racing. His mother, Linda Armstrong Kelly, recently came out with her own book, "No Mountain High Enough," but if you ask me, that may have been when the whole Lance juggernaut jumped the shark.

(Via TEV, who has his own set of wheels.)

Eurosport delves into the history of sullied maillot jaunes (to paraphrase Phil's declaration when CSC's Zabriskie got back on the bike after his crash today).

For Zabriskie, it's a cruel twist of fate after coming back from a crash that nearly cost him his career. He still wears screws in his knee after being knocked over in 2003 by a standard utility vehicle while training near his home in Salt Lake City.

He joins the ranks of the mighty who've fallen while wearing yellow, the most tragic being Luis Ocaña whose 1971 spill in the Pyrenees nearly cost him his life. The next day, his great rival Eddy Merckx paid tribute by refusing to don the yellow jersey.

More recently, fans recall Denmark's Rolf Sörensen who lost his yellow jersey in 1989 when knocked over by the foot of the side railing in a sprint or Chris Boardman who fell in Stage 2 of the 1998 Tour.

How can you not love a sport with stories like this? And they're a dime a dozen.

(Also, they don't even know what SUV really stands for. Those Europeans. Envy.)


  • At 1:27 AM , Blogger marrije said...

    Gwenda, I'm sorry to have to tell you that the dreaded SUVs are multiplying like rabbits over here. Soon even journalists will know what they are.

  • At 2:46 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I was watching the TTT with a friend the other night and we simultaneously opined that the Disco blue shoes don't work - they look like freakin' booties!

    My heart broke for Z. as he limped across the finish.

    - TEV


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