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By JoeP
From Littleton, CO
Jul 7, 2011
Stages 8 and 9 should be very exciting. Got to think Contador will try to attack on Super-Besse and then try something again on stage 9. If he can gain some time back he'll go into the rest day with some psychological benefit. Stage 9 should also be a good day for a Carlos Sastre type rider who can go on a long solo ride.

All in all, this has been the best first week of the Tour in years!

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By Erik W
From Bay Area, CA
Jul 8, 2011
North face of Ama Dablam - taken on approach to Kongma La.
SPOILER ALERT -

For those that already watched, you know that Horner ate it big. What wasn't evident during the main coverage is how bad his head injury was. Didn't know where he was, what happened, and while getting put in the ambulance after finishing he didn't remember that he finished the stage. Totally irresponsible of JB to let him get back on the bike after the crash. Check out this vid, watch til the end.... disturbing how out of it he still is after riding all the way to the finish.

video.bicycling.com/video/Chri...

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By JoeP
From Littleton, CO
Jul 8, 2011
Erik W wrote:
Totally irresponsible of JB to let him get back on the bike after the crash.


That implies that JB would actually have to care about the health/safety of his riders in the first place. JB's only concern is that a rider of his team is wearing the maillot jaune on the Champs.

It is interesting that RS is without a real GT contender on its team(Levi is not/never was a contender for the podium). You would think that with JB's teams' Tour record and formula, GT riders that wanted the best chance of winning the Tour would be lining up to join RS - but that has not been the case.

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By berl
From Oregon
Jul 8, 2011
that video is disturbing without even knowing the guy- it must be hell to watch for his friends and family. I really hope things turn out OK.


I agree that it's completely irresponsible. Bruyneel knew Horner was "shaken up" (as defined by not knowing what was going on or where he was) and let him keep going. And was there no one else out on the road to check in with him? Radios? scary.

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By Jake D.
From Northeast
Jul 9, 2011
JoeP wrote:
That implies that JB would actually have to care about the health/safety of his riders in the first place. JB's only concern is that a rider of his team is wearing the maillot jaune on the Champs. It is interesting that RS is without a real GT contender on its team(Levi is not/never was a contender for the podium). You would think that with JB's teams' Tour record and formula, GT riders that wanted the best chance of winning the Tour would be lining up to join RS - but that has not been the case.


was JB even in the car that stopped at the crash?

i blame the Doctor for letting him keep riding.. he's the one who is responsible for pulling guys who should not go on.

You know that Kloden was 2nd twice and was 6th in '09 when he was working for Lance and Contador. and he's sitting 10 seconds down and hasn't hit the pavement yet.. which every other contender can't say.

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By ErikaNW
Jul 9, 2011
Rapping off the Matron October, 2010
Boonen started the stage Friday even though he was vomiting from his concussion - and riders from other teams were telling the QuickStep DS that he wasn't safe in the field. Sounds like the medical car followed Horner in, so they must have known that he was pretty bad off. Nobody wants to quit the Tour.

Good article about concussion in bike racing:

cyclingnews.com/news/pro-cycli...

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By Jake D.
From Northeast
Jul 9, 2011
Yea, as an athletic trainer myself none of those 3 would have been allowed even back on the bike after their crashes. only reason Jani didn't was because his collarbone was broken. My athletes are not allowed to have any physical activity until they are symptom free then still have to pass a cognitive test until they can slowly start working up to full activity.

Professional policies seem to be good once they actually shut the guy down but getting to that point is a lot harder than the HS and college settings I work in. Long term health of the athletes doesn't seem to be a priority and that is sad.

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By Mike Anderson
From Dayton, OH
Jul 9, 2011
So I suppose you've never climbed on a sore finger, or achey knee? Usually its the athlete that wants to keep going, and if they want to hide an injury, its pretty easy to do.

Anyway, I'm starting to think Contador doesn't have the form. Granted, the final climb today wasnt super long, and he was dueling with Schleck, but it was steep and it sure looked like Gilbert andEvans passed him with ease at the end. Thor is still the man, and way to go Te Jay.

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By Jake D.
From Northeast
Jul 9, 2011
Mike Anderson wrote:
So I suppose you've never climbed on a sore finger, or achey knee? Usually its the athlete that wants to keep going, and if they want to hide an injury, its pretty easy to do. Anyway, I'm starting to think Contador doesn't have the form. Granted, the final climb today wasnt super long, and he was dueling with Schleck, but it was steep and it sure looked like Gilbert andEvans passed him with ease at the end. Thor is still the man, and way to go Te Jay.



Mike, I evaluate athletes on the field for a living. Sure they try to hide stuff but Concussions are pretty difficult to hide when they are to the extent of what those guys had. When a guy has no clue where he is and cannot remember what happened before the crash then he would have been really obvious. Boonen acknowledged that he had concussion symptoms and STILL rode! Anyone with any sense to ask him how he was would have easily figured it out.

I've done plenty of things hurt. But a concussion is not a sore finger. It is a major injury to your brain that should be dealt with the same seriousness as a broken bone or whatever.

The attitude that concussions are not serious is a major issue in sports that medical professionals are trying to change.

I've listened to 3 separate professional football and soccer players that have had to retire at a very early age due to multiple concussions that were not treated appropriately and trust me you do not want to live in their shoes. Memory issues, migranes that last for weeks.. good times.

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By Jake D.
From Northeast
Jul 9, 2011
I think Andy has a much better shot in the mountains this year. I don't think Contador feels as bad as he looks right now but i would guess he is still feeling the Giro. I don't think he's showing all his cards until the bigger mountains. those little jumps today were not full gas

Thor was definitely impressive to stay in the jersey today.. and props to DaCosta for being out in front all day and hanging on.

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By John McNamee
Administrator
From Littleton, CO
Jul 9, 2011
Artist Tears P3
I was surprised the Contador didn't try to attack today more than he did. And when he did attack he kept looking back over his shoulder which isn't typical of him. Evans looked a lot stronger.

Great race... watching it live in France is definitely on my bucket list.

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By Jake D.
From Northeast
Jul 9, 2011
If Thor could follow the group on that hill then there was no way Contador was going to be able to shake anyone today. he needs Cat 1 and HC climbs that go for miles to put time on people. He seemed to just be feeling Andy and Cadel out to see how they would react.. really early yet.

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By Erik W
From Bay Area, CA
Jul 9, 2011
North face of Ama Dablam - taken on approach to Kongma La.
John McNamee wrote:
...when [AC] did attack he kept looking back over his shoulder which isn't typical of him.


I was wondering about that as well, and agree it's atypical of his attacks. I'm guessing he just wanted to see what a little acceleration was doing to those guys, and whether it would be worth it for him to turn on the afterburners.

While Cadel has definitely done a great job thus far, remember those are his kind of hills... Fleche Wallone style, punchy. He has a looong history of having at least one bad day in the mountains per Tour. Physically, the guy can kill it, but I think his psychologically conditioning isn't up to par with his wattage. Just my take based on his tendency to crack.

As for Thor, that guy is honoring the yellow jersey and the rainbow jersey like a true champ. Impressive indeed to watch him climb with the goats.

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By Chris Plesko
From Westminster, CO
Jul 9, 2011
OMG, I winz!!!
I didn't even watch but AC has got to have limited matches coming off the Giro and also a gang of fitness. I think he's going to pick his days carefully this year. I wouldn't put it past him to do some LA style bluffing too. Greats learn from the past...

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By Erik W
From Bay Area, CA
Jul 10, 2011
North face of Ama Dablam - taken on approach to Kongma La.
For those that saw Hoogerland's wreck today, check the image they didn't show on TV. That's white visible in the big gash at his knee. I'd say that's a race-ender. Even if he didn't knick the tendon/bone, stitches at that flex point won't hold up to a 90 cadence for 5hrs straight. Poor kid. Chapeau for being tough as nails to claim his well deserved KOM jersey.

nieuwsblad.be/article/photobox...

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By John McNamee
Administrator
From Littleton, CO
Jul 10, 2011
Artist Tears P3
What carnage today ... I hope things settle down soon and we can see some good racing.Today is probably good for armchair spectaculars but thisisn't bike racing. It's more like fight of the Gladiators...

The only thing I can think of right now is that the the Schleck brothers, Contador, Evans and the other GC contenders are waiting for the big mountain stages, but the minutes are really starting to stack up and someone soon is going to have to go for it. I'm hoping Evans, but I still think Contador is the person to beat.

And what about the driver of the French TV car. He probably needs to be surrounded by security for the next few days!

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By Jake D.
From Northeast
Jul 10, 2011
French car was tossed. he'll be taking the fastest train out of there. Personally they should kick the whole station off to serve as an example. If they are going to be dangerous then they should not be allowed to have coverage.

messy messy messy day.

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By John McNamee
Administrator
From Littleton, CO
Jul 10, 2011
Artist Tears P3
Close up pic of Hoogerland's injuries ...

nieuwsblad.be/article/photobox...

OMG...

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By Jake D.
From Northeast
Jul 13, 2011
washingtonpost.com/blogs/early...

Cars hitting bikes is always funny.. classy mr smith.. classy.. douchebag

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By JoeP
From Littleton, CO
Jul 13, 2011
Catching up on my recorded stages and watched Stage 9 the other day where LL Sanchez took the stage. Anyone else get tired of the Spanish tactic of sitting on wheels in breaks and then right at the end coming around the guy who did all the work to keep the break away?

Sanchez did it to Voeckler, and I can't even count how many times I have seen it done by other Spanish riders. I can live with the tactic of not taking each and every turn to try and save something for an attack/sprint, and understand the fact that Voeckler had something to gain so make him work for it, but just blatantly not taking pulls and then coming around the guy that did all the work is just lacking in style...I just view it as sort of negative racing.

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By Jake D.
From Northeast
Jul 13, 2011
It is not just a Spanish thing... it is racing. If Voekler cared about the stage win more they had plenty of time to play track games but he wanted yellow and that was it.

I saw a guy a few years ago attack a guy in the break while he was zipping up his jersey.. you have to look for an advantage somehow.

Generally if the break is going to succeed they need to work together for almost the whole way.. if not then there is usually plenty of time to be strategic and can drop off and make the slacker work more.

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By John McNamee
Administrator
From Littleton, CO
Jul 13, 2011
Artist Tears P3
Cav finally got to wear the Green Jersey today ... but tomorrow the real race starts.

I'm sure Contador will show his skill and strength and attack.

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By JoeP
From Littleton, CO
Jul 13, 2011
yeah, yeah, yeah...wheelsucking is part of racing. As I said, it's just weak racing, and the spaniards seem to do it the most. Sanchez sat on for 30km+, evidently the stage wasn't that important to him, because if it wasn't for Voeckler wanting yellow they would have been caught. Voeckler wanted the stage as well as yellow, but after all that work, didn't have it in the end. Sure, taking advantage of others weaknesses or misfortunes is part of racing, but there is something to be said for racing with panache.

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By Monomaniac
Administrator
From Morrison, CO
Jul 14, 2011
Insurrection, 5.14c.  Photo Adam Sanders.
Wow, what a stage! Very impressive to see Cadel match all those accelerations, but it may be all for nought as I can't see him beating the Schlecks. In any case I'd guess that's your podium.

Interesting to see Contador get dropped by the likes of Cunego. Its almost as if he was only so good in the past because he was using PEDs, and now he isn't. Fortunately the Spanish Cycling Federation has assured us all that isn't the case.

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By CJC
Jul 15, 2011
John McNamee wrote:
Close up pic of Hoogerland's injuries ... nieuwsblad.be/article/photobox... OMG...

bad ass

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