Chad Perrin: SOB

7 July 2009

Tour de Holy What?

Filed under: Tour de Lance — apotheon @ 02:40

I’m watching the Tour de France again. It’s a particularly interesting year because Lance Armstrong just unretired to rejoin the Tour. I’m not watching it live, though — I’m recording everything with the DVR so I can watch it at my leisure. This is particularly important, considering that I can run it in the background while I’m working during the week, but on weekends I’m often not really in a position to watch the thing because I’m doing things that require leaving home a lot of the time. Today, I just finished getting caught up with yesterday’s third stage, having watched the first and second stages from the preceding weekend.

Holy @#%*!

Imagine my surprise when I rewound a little bit to catch something interesting that one of the announcers said, and saw the words “Holy @#%*!” where it should have said “Tour de France”.

By the way, the entire Team Astana — the team of which Armstrong is a member this year — was in a breakaway from the peloton yesterday, and finished 39 seconds ahead of the peloton. That moved Lance Armstrong from 10th place, secured during the time trial on Saturday, up to 3rd place overall. I don’t know if Armstrong is going to win, because of course that will depend quite a lot on whether he effectively becomes the Astana team “leader” and gets the full support of the team. If someone else is their “leader” through to the end of the Tour, I expect Armstrong to put all his effort into helping that guy win instead. All told, I fully expect Astana to own the top spot at the end of the 2009 Tour, and maybe more than one podium position at the end.

Anyone else rejoining the Tour after four years of retirement would probably be in about 50th place right now, at best. Armstrong is proving, once again, that he’s definitely one of the most impressive professional cyclists of all time.

Addendum:

Apparently, Holy @#%*! is the name of a television show that was supposed to come on after the Tour stage aired, but since the live broadcast of the Tour ran long it overran the beginning of the Holy @#%*! show. Comcast just didn’t modify the notification of the show’s name on the recording when Holy @#%*! was preĆ«mpted.

I thought of the idea that it might be the name of another show, but then figured that was unlikely, since I’m pretty sure the FCC would object to the obvious pronunciation of that (which would probably be “Holy shit!”). It turns out I shouldn’t have discarded that notion so quickly. Now, I’m curious how they pronounce it in promotional spots.

24 July 2006

The Tour is Over

Filed under: Geek,Tour de Lance — apotheon @ 01:43

The Tour de France finished yesterday. Thor Hushovd, the big Norwegian, won the final stage in a surprise win over Bobby McEwen. Floyd Landis won the Tour overall.

In the sixteenth stage, Floyd Landis “bonked”, as the jargon goes: he had a carb crash, where there just weren’t enough sugars in his blood to keep at it. He struggled over the finish line for the stage well behind the other contenders for the Tour. He was eight minutes and change behind Oscar Pereiro, the new (again) wearer of the yellow jersey (indicating being in the lead in the general competition). Everybody figured Landis was out of the Tour’s running this year, that he’d fallen so far back he wouldn’t even be close to a podium finish.

Wow, were they wrong. In stage seventeen, he ran a 165km breakaway effort that ended with him riding all alone out in front of everyone, and nobody could catch him. People were dropping out of the effort to catch him left and right, and no progress was being made. It put him within thirty seconds of the yellow jersey. Being an excellent time-trialist, this boded well for him in the stage for the day after next.

Stage eighteen was a relatively flat one. The major contenders didn’t really change their standing at all. Floyd was still the obvious favorite to win after the time trial, and Pereiro was still wearing the yellow jersey.

In stage nineteen, he came in with the second best time for the final individual time trial of this year’s Tour. He was far enough ahead of Pereiro, Kloden, and Sastre that he had the Tour locked in at that point. All that was left was the almost-ceremonial final stage into Paris, which yesterday ended with Thor Hushovd’s stage win and Landis making the American Tour de France champion dynasty last another year. Americans have won eight years running, now, with Lance Armstrong having his record-setting seven Tours in a row and Landis perpetuating the trend for one more year.

Now, Landis is going on to get his hip replacement surgery this year (he has osteonecrosis of his hip, for those who aren’t aware). If he comes through this surgery able to ride at Tour de France competitive levels again, he’s sure to dominate the field a bit more once the pain of his osteonecrosis is gone.

I have that amazing, mind-boggling comeback ride from this year’s stage seventeen saved on VHS. I’m keeping it. Holy cow.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled geekery. By the way, I’ve rejoined the ruby-talk mailing list: I’ll unsubscribe from some of the Perl lists if I find I’m getting too much email again.

21 July 2006

Holy bicycling superhero, Batman!

Filed under: Tour de Lance — apotheon @ 01:15

Floyd Landis is in-friggin’-credible. Because of still getting caught up on previous recorded Tour stages earlier today, and being busy this evening (and by “today” I mean Thursday, of course), I only just now got done watching the recording of today’s Tour stage.

Holy mother of God, that was a heckuva stage.

Floyd Landis, after carb-crashing hard yesterday and losing the yellow jersey to the tune of eight minutes lag time, surged back into relevance for the general competition with a breakaway effort that started very early in the stage. He left the peloton behind and steadily gained distance on it for the next 165 kilometers! That is just mind-boggling. Bob Roll (one of the announcers) couldn’t help repeating, over and over again, that this was the single best one-stage effort in the history of the Tour. Even after watching it happen, it’s difficult to believe what actually happened. Top-flight riders were running out of steam and dropping back in a steady stream from all the group efforts to catch Landis, or at least to keep him from just running away from them like they were standing still.

The second-place rider in today’s stage was nearly six minutes back.

In two days, there’s a time trial. If you’ve been paying attention to professional cycling much, you’ll know Landis is an excellent time-trialist. The time trials and the mountain stages have been the stages that mostly decide the Tour for as long as I’ve been paying attention, and today was the last mountain stage of this year’s Tour. The immediate future looks incredibly bright for Floyd Landis.

He broke his hip in a bicycle crash about three years ago, as I recall. It has been degenerating since then, and it looks like he’ll be getting hip replacement surgery later this year. This may well be his last Tour ever, and while he’s riding he must be in excruciating pain. That doesn’t stop him from just dominating a stage today like I’ve never seen anyone dominate a mountain stage — not even Lance Armstrong. Landis just smoothly pedaled away from everyone, almost like it was nothing, and when he got off his bicycle at the end of the stage he looked like he had another fifty or sixty kilometers of hard riding in him if he needed it.

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