Tour of California Liveblog: Stage 1, Davis – Santa Rosa

02.15.2009 | 12:18 pm

I personally can’t think of a better way for you to spend a Sunday afternoon than by reading and commenting along as I watch TV and type anything that pops into my head. So thanks for joining me.

Scot Nicol, AKA Chuck Ibis, AKA the founder of Ibis, is doing behind-the-scenes work for Bob Roll and others during the Tour of California, and he’s said he’ll take a look at questions and comments you post and do what he can to get your thoughts in front of Bobke. Maybe your question will get answered on the air, maybe in this blog, and maybe not at all.

I’ll be updating this post every couple of minutes, so if you’re following along in real time, you’re going to need to refresh your browser every once in a while.

Please leave your thoughts and questions; I’ll do what I can to incorporate them into the liveblog as we go.

Liveblogging: it’s not just a gimmick. It’s an adventure.

4:00 Tony Danza just told me to buy some tickets to a boxing event. Which prompts the question: Tony Danza is alive?!

4:01 I’m going to go out on a limb for a moment and say that I am in reality very excited about this tour. That said, I still intend to make fun of it.

4:02 Wow, Craig Hummer has a lot of mousse in his hair! And no idea whatsoever what he’s talking about!

4:05: Here are the questions I would like attentive readers to consider as we watch this stage together:

  1. Who will win the stage?
  2. If the entire peloton were to have a round-robin leg-wrestling tournament, who would be the likely winner?
  3. Why do they have Hummer MC-ing this event and have Bobke doing little interviews? I want to hear Bobke narrate.

4:07 Well, Cancellara has cancel-lara’d out of the event.

4:08 Evidently, the weather in California sux. They should come out to Utah. Sunny and nice today.

4:09 Armstrong has crashed on the course. My guess is he was attacked by an angry musette.

4:10 Oh boy! The first set of ads! It’s a "Breakaway from Cancer" ad, which, I must say as a husband of a wife currently involved in one helluva battle with cancer, is a really crappy ad. My kids saw this woman say "Hearing ‘you have cancer’ is like hearing ‘you’re going to die’ and freaked out." Thanks, guys, for smacking us in the face.

I have not yet seen any racers. Do we have independent confirmation that a race is actually happening?

4:13 Susan observes: "Hincapie looks like he has an enormous head." Physically, not ego-wise. Can anyone give us a confirmation or denial on Hincapie’s noggin size?

4:16 Lotsa tapdancing from the announcers, and not a bit of it about today’s race. Evidently, the camera’s aren’t working.

4:20 Hummer just called Leipheimer "the sentimental favorite," as if he were some old timer we all love to reminisce about, as opposed to the reigning champion of the race.

4:21 Lizzylou asks "What happened to the “Wanna buy a time trail bike?” I liked that picture!" I took that out during the Liveblog to reduce reload time. I’ll put it back once this entry’s no longer live.

4:22 Oh good. More ads. This is going to be the best liveblog ever.

4:25 Brian asks: "Our power just went out! What’s happening on tv?" The answer, Brian, is nothing at all.

4:26 Bobke just interviewed Arnold. Arnold mentioned also coming "from the athletic background," as if weightlifting and cycling were near cousins, and not the most exactly opposite things in the world.

4:29: So, I’m looking at the VeloNews liveblog, and Mancebo is currently off the front, with a 10 minute gap. It’s pouring rain. This is an awesome day to run ads about what a wonderful place California is to come vacation at.

4:30 Versus is burning through all of its canned segments today. I’m afraid that in future days, they’re going to have to show the race. Darnit.

4:38 Anyone want to place bets on how long until Hummer has a nervous breakdown?

4:38 Byrdbth says "So I am getting more info from Johan on twitter then the broadcast…." What’s the twitter address for Johan, Byrdbth?

4:39 Di asks why the smilies aren’t showing up as smilies. That’s because I turned smilies off a couple days ago, when I had an 8 and a paren by each other (super 8), and it showed up as a weird smiley.

4:41: Hey, Orbitz has a hovercraft!

4:43: Byrdbth gives us the URL for Johan’s Twitter account: Thanks Byrdbth!

4:44 Johan tells us that Mancebo is still on his own out front, with a 7 minute gap on the chase group, including Levi, Lance, Chechu and Chris.

Yay for Johan! Yay for Twitter!

4:48 Kali Durga wants to know why Cancellara’s out. It’s cuz he’s got the flu.

Which brings up an interesting observation I think I’ll talk about it, in the absence of anything else happening right now.

Has anyone else noticed that when they have a cold or a flu, that if they get on the bike and ride, that at least when they’re riding they don’t feel sick anymore? Maybe not as strong, but a lot of the symptoms go away.

I ask this because right now I have a miserable cold, and my 90 minutes on the rollers is actually the best I feel all day.

4:51 Ad for Watchmen film right now. I loved this graphic novel, and am very excited for this film. Any other cyclists out there who are also huge nerds?

4:53 Bob interviewing Floyd. Floyd liked the crowd, but wanted them to cheer more quietly and respectfully. Crowd, please cheer sotto voce for Floyd from this point forward. Also, Floyd mentions that he would have preferred to not have done terribly yesterday.

4:55 Johan is not at all happy with race radio. Says it’s "completely messed up," and "gives us all kinds of different information."

OK, I am now officially in love with Johan Bruyneel.

4:56 An ad talking about beautiful Santa Rosa. Snorts and piffles ensue.

4:58 Man, I wish Scot / Chuck would check in with some wacky comedy and whatnot right now.

Phil remarks, as a car drives by, "I nearly commentated on that sprint finish!"

4:59 We have picture! Mancebo on his solo breakaway, around 5 minutes ahead.

Question: on a rainy cold windy day and you’re leading the field by 5 minutes, do you feel the weather more or less than the rest of the field? I’d think that the exhiliration of being out front might counterract the misery of riding alone, wet, and unprotected.

5:01 Oh good, after 2 minutes of video, we’re back to the most awful cancer ad ever made. Everytime they have this woman belting out "when you hear you have cancer, YOU’RE GOING TO DIE" Susan tears up and the kids panic. Hey Breakaway from Cancer Guys, have you considered what your ad sounds like to someone who has cancer?

5:05 When someone like Mancebo does essentially a solo breakaway in rotten weather like this, to me it seems like he ought to get the stage, just out of respect. Anyway, I am officially rooting for Mancebo today.

5:06 Nothing quite as spooky as a twisty downhill in the rain on pavement with standing water. Hydroplane possibility + oil on asphalt + downhill = super scary.

5:09 Could some California locals weigh in with whether this kind of weather is typical for this time of year?

5:10 That Columbia commercial with the offroad unicyclist never gets old. Give that guy his due; he’s doing wild stuff there.

5:12 Mancebo’s lead is now down to about 3 minutes. So, I’m going to not go out on a limb at all and say that he’s going to get absorbed into the peloton. The day will go to the sprinters.

And with the straightaway an oily, wet mess, the sprint could get ugly.

5:17 Huh, no sprinters in the chase group. So I was wrong about the day going to the sprinters. However, the day will still come down to a sprint. Just not with sprinters. Which means the oily wet mess will be contended by non-specialists.

This will be fun to watch.

5:20 You know, if there’s going to be a wet pileup style sprint, Tyler Hamilton really ought to be there. A protour crash without Tyler just doesn’t feel right.

5:21 The chase group is mostly Astana. Are they trying to get Leipheimer a big lead? Could it be possible that they’re going to try to have him wear the yellow jersey the whole tour?

That would be awesome.

I love audacious, non-strategically-smart shows of strength. They’re not wise, maybe, but they make great drama.

5:24 Phil and Paul laugh out loud at how little Hummer knows about racing. I squeal with joy.

5:25 Paul notes what Johan twittered a while back: race radio is waaaay off. The gap is only a minute. That ain’t going to last.

Sorry, Mancebo.

5:27 Oh good, ads!

5:31 Hummer: "Floyd is in the third chase group, singularly." Brilliant.

5:32 The main peloton is 4+ minutes behind the chase group. Hummer would like us to know that Mancebo is "still very much in control" of this stage. Except, of course, he isn’t. He’s losing time and will be absorbed into and dropped by the chase group shortly.

5:34 Liquigas. Please, Paul, say it again. Over and over.

5:35 He said it again! Is it really pronounced "lee-kwee-gas?"

5:35 Phil and Paul admit they have no idea what’s going on. Which makes me feel much better about myself.

5:37 Mancebo’s gap is holding at a minute. Could it be that they’re going to give it to him? I am sending powerful mind rays that will make it be so.

5:38 Camera on the road is so mud-splattered you can’t tell a thing. Cycling race as painted by Matisse.

5:39 It would be strategically smart for Astana to let have Mancebo have the win by a few seconds. They don’t have to hold the yellow jersey today to have it in a week.

5:40 My powerful mind rays don’t seem to be sufficient.

5:42 Armstrong pulling Leipheimer. Good to see.

5:43 Will Nibali catch Mancebo? Yes, yes he will.

5:45 Phil: "It’s been a terrific day for bike racing!" In what sense, Phil?

5:47 Nibali, Mancebo, and Vandewarladfaksldfasdfklll are dawdling and watching each other. Nibali will win.

5:48 NO WAY.

Mancebo gets the win! Is there anyone who isn’t happy about that?

5:49 Seriously, to ride solo all day in the rain and cold and then to beat a couple of fresher guys in the sprint? I LOVE that.

5:50 Hey, in light of Mancebo’s incredible win here, I think it’s awesome that Phil and Paul laud Armstrong’s performance today.

5:52 I believe that Mancebo owes me a thank-you note, seeing as how he won because of my powerful mind rays.

5:55 So I wonder what the general standings are now? Mancebo in 1st, Nibali in 2nd, and Van de Walle in 3rd? I’m too lazy to see what their standings were at the end of the last stage.

Anyone good at math out there?

6:01 Soooo…I guess we won’t be seeing stats or standings on Versus. We need to get to the bullriding!

6:03: OK, so let’s do this again tomorrow. 12:30pm ET, 9:30am PT, and 10:30am here in the mountains.


  1. Comment by Tim | 02.15.2009 | 1:17 pm

    I’m sure your liveblog will be more accurate than cyclingnews, if yesterday was any indication. I can guarantee that it will be funnier and more enjoyable.

  2. Comment by Jenni | 02.15.2009 | 1:24 pm

    How about when will the Ibis Silk be coming out with a 51 frame again?

  3. Comment by bikemike | 02.15.2009 | 1:25 pm

    hey Scot (aka Chuck), have Bobke ask the Jelly Belly guys what is the worst tasting jelly bean ?

  4. Comment by Sramtaro | 02.15.2009 | 1:34 pm

    Have Bobke say, “And for the twins, Rabobank Rabobank Rabobank.”

  5. Comment by Sandbagger | 02.15.2009 | 1:48 pm

    The Jelly Belly Lexus is pretty interesting, but which domestic team was rocking the Suzuki team car?

  6. Comment by Susie | 02.15.2009 | 2:01 pm

    Waiting on the corner of Russell and Pedrick Rd, weather is fairly awful. They’ve got a ride ahead of them for sure! Lots of climbs, and rainy/windy. They’ll all sleep well tonight!

  7. Comment by Susie | 02.15.2009 | 2:24 pm

    Very cool watching them ride by. And to think I knew nothing about cycling til I started reading this blog a year ago. I feel like I just witnessed a bit of history…Hey, now I”M live blogging…thank you husband’s iphone! Okay, be back next year, same time, same corner in Davis…

  8. Comment by Sandy | 02.15.2009 | 2:42 pm

    With all that expensive equipment in those trailers, how come they don’t have security 24hrs?

  9. Comment by Susan (another one) | 02.15.2009 | 2:45 pm

    What would that be in Central time?

  10. Comment by Lizzylou | 02.15.2009 | 3:25 pm

    I love that Lance posted a picture of his missing TT bike on Twitter. Really, it’s going to be difficult to identify that bike. Perhaps the thief will try to disguise it by changing the ‘Livestrong’ into ‘Divestrong.’ It’s very easy to camouflage an L as a D… perhaps he’s an avid diver?

  11. Comment by Di | 02.15.2009 | 3:57 pm

    Divestrong? LMAO! Perhaps Michael Phelps is looking for a new sport? ;-)

    Hey, I really like Lance’s jacket in that picture!

  12. Comment by Peter | 02.15.2009 | 4:28 pm

    I think this year Phil’s comment about the elastic being about to snap will have to do with Team Fatty’s jerseys barely being able to contain our guts. You can almost hear the zipper teeth screaming to hold together.

  13. Comment by Dudley | 02.15.2009 | 4:41 pm

    Is Lance going to come through and repeat at Leadville? He hasn’t put a photo of his postcard on twitter yet. But he does have an Iphone and several blackberries to choose from.

  14. Comment by Lizzylou | 02.15.2009 | 5:00 pm

    What happened to the “Wanna buy a time trail bike?” I liked that picture!

  15. Comment by Nick | 02.15.2009 | 5:03 pm

    I’d like to see Bob ask Dave Zabriskie just what chamois cream he’s wearing. . . It’d be a lot funnier than that so called comedian they had on yesterday.

  16. Comment by Byrdbth | 02.15.2009 | 5:06 pm

    Fabian Canceled on TOC!

  17. Comment by bikerchick | 02.15.2009 | 5:09 pm

    Lance crashed? That’s all the reason I need to turn this madness off for the afternoon.

  18. Comment by Tim | 02.15.2009 | 5:11 pm

    1) Tim Johnson.

    2) Tom Boonen. But only because Andre Greipel is at home with a bum shoulder

    3) because Versus is run by a large number of idiots who do not appreciate true comedic potential when they see it. Having Lobotomy Bob running the show would make things a lot more enjoyable.

  19. Comment by Byrdbth | 02.15.2009 | 5:14 pm

    So are they just narrating since they can’t get pictures?

  20. Comment by bikemike | 02.15.2009 | 5:16 pm

    there’s a nascar race on fox if you want to fill in

  21. Comment by Byrdbth | 02.15.2009 | 5:17 pm

    Track meet on espn..

  22. Comment by Anonymous | 02.15.2009 | 5:18 pm

    Phil’s comment, “for those of you who don’t know Armstrong’s history…he’s won the tdf seven times.” I can’t believe he said that!

  23. Comment by Brian | 02.15.2009 | 5:22 pm

    Our power just went out! What’s happening on tv?

  24. Comment by bikemike | 02.15.2009 | 5:23 pm

    look, mr. freeze is on

  25. Comment by Dagwood | 02.15.2009 | 5:27 pm

    The Robobank….umm Rabobank ad has a distinctly low budget feel….maybe that’s conservative.

  26. Comment by G | 02.15.2009 | 5:27 pm

    You dont have to accept you are going bald….the advert said….you going to try out Bosley then ???

  27. Comment by bikemike | 02.15.2009 | 5:28 pm

    and this is why cycling is HUGE in the usa

  28. Comment by Anonymous | 02.15.2009 | 5:28 pm

    so no road coverage. lets stare at the people waiting in the rain at the finish line for the next two hours.

  29. Comment by Byrdbth | 02.15.2009 | 5:29 pm

    So I am getting more info from Johan on twitter then the broadcast….

  30. Comment by NoryB | 02.15.2009 | 5:30 pm

    Is it bad that I’m spending more time watching NASCAR than the ToC while flipping back and forth? At least when it rains there you can still watch the cars go in circles. Oh well, when in the midwest…

  31. Comment by Anonymous | 02.15.2009 | 5:30 pm

    lancity, lancity, lance, lance, lance

  32. Comment by Farthing | 02.15.2009 | 5:33 pm

    Hey I know Lance made his official return at the Tour Down Under, but has anyone heard if he’s racing here in California? I thought it would’ve been mentioned by now.

  33. Comment by bikemike | 02.15.2009 | 5:34 pm

    boy, i’ll bet they buy a backup camera for next year…ooo, enzyte commercial

  34. Comment by Di | 02.15.2009 | 5:38 pm

    Something tells me that I’m not missing anything by not having TV, and that all the action is here. To think, I was almost jealous of you guys. ;-)

    So, how is Lance doing? Was the crash bad?

    BTW, the smilies aren’t showing up as smilies, i.e. ;-) <– not a little yellow dude. Do we know why?

  35. Comment by Anonymous | 02.15.2009 | 5:39 pm

    this is pretty close to being as bad as watching the rain delay of a baseball game.

  36. Comment by Asshat | 02.15.2009 | 5:39 pm

    Pretty soon they’re just going to start describing all the umbrellas.

  37. Comment by bikemike | 02.15.2009 | 5:40 pm

    hummer’s already given me a nervous breakdown, fingernails on a chalkboard.

  38. Comment by rich | 02.15.2009 | 5:40 pm

    ok, so 40 minutes in to the coverage and still nothing about today’s race….

  39. Comment by LindaLoo | 02.15.2009 | 5:40 pm

    Thank Goodness we have you to entertain us today! This is horrible.I give Mr. Hummer 36 min. till he explodes.

  40. Comment by Byrdbth | 02.15.2009 | 5:42 pm

  41. Comment by Dudley | 02.15.2009 | 5:42 pm

  42. Comment by Rick | 02.15.2009 | 5:43 pm

    Bob Roll reminds me of Chris Farley’s character on SNL when Chris interviews the actors and says, “You remember that part of the movie… that was Awesome!” What a goof.

  43. Comment by Kali Durga | 02.15.2009 | 5:43 pm

    “4:07 Well, Cancellara has cancel-lara’d out of the event.”

    I just tuned in and… huh, what?! Does anyone know why?

  44. Comment by bikerchick | 02.15.2009 | 5:44 pm

    Dear Versus: You suck. Dear Elden: You rock. Dear Everyone Else: Best near-live news on ToC found at

  45. Comment by MJ | 02.15.2009 | 5:44 pm

    Did Craig just dis the women’s race and teams by saying the people were REALLY waiting for the men’s stage 1? I’m betting any of the women riders could take Hummer, on OR off the bike! :) thanks for the extra-snark coverage, fatty!

  46. Comment by Tim | 02.15.2009 | 5:44 pm

    Cyclingnews and Velonews are reporting very different gaps for Mancebo to the Peleton. I wonder which one is correct.

  47. Comment by Boz | 02.15.2009 | 5:46 pm

    Quick, somebody run behind the booth naked. Oh, the horror!!!!

  48. Comment by Tim | 02.15.2009 | 5:46 pm

    Kali Durga, cyclingnews said that he had a fever, and that’s why he pulled off.

    Apparently, more cowbell was not the proper prescription.

  49. Comment by bikemike | 02.15.2009 | 5:51 pm

    the nascar race just got called because of rain…weenies

  50. Comment by Katee | 02.15.2009 | 5:51 pm

    I never thought I’d say this, but thank goodness for Twitter!

  51. Comment by Tim | 02.15.2009 | 5:51 pm

    I’ve felt like that plenty of times, fatty. When I get real stopped up, if I can raise my heart rate, I seem to get some of the congestion out.

    Then my heart rate goes back to normal, and I feel like crap again.

  52. Comment by mary | 02.15.2009 | 5:54 pm

    bobke’s interview of floyd is a little lame…

  53. Comment by Farthing | 02.15.2009 | 5:55 pm

    Huge nerd checking in. Also very, very excited for Watchmen.

  54. Comment by Di | 02.15.2009 | 5:56 pm

    I always get decongested from working out, but I do notice, when I am ill, that I feel a lot better with exercise. Coughing usually subsides until I am still, again. Weakness has become more of an illness issue in the last couple of years. That doesn’t go away with exercise. :-(

  55. Comment by bikemike | 02.15.2009 | 6:04 pm

    always a big marvel comics fan as a kid but i’m sure interested in the watchmen…would love to check out the graphic novel.

  56. Comment by Don | 02.15.2009 | 6:04 pm

    I don’t know if anyone else caught it, or if it is even accurate, but can it possibly be true that Mancebo was over 4 minutes down after the Prologue? Holy Cow! No wonder he’s out front, you can’t hear the laughter from there…

  57. Comment by Jeff | 02.15.2009 | 6:05 pm

    Hey Fatty-

    Long time reader, first time commenter. Love the show!

    I seem to have a pretty big adrenaline surge when the weather is crap. Usually gets me through but my rides do not compare to the distances these guys put in. I have to wonder if it would wear off after a while and turn into misery.

  58. Comment by Asshat | 02.15.2009 | 6:07 pm

    Yeah, go Mancebo. He’s the only rider I’ve actually seen riding, so far.

  59. Comment by racer34 | 02.15.2009 | 6:08 pm

    The pictures are just now coming in…..I would assume that the clouds are too low for the helicopters to fly high enough. The choppers are uplinks for the motorcycle cameras. They bounce the signal from the motorcycle cameras to the main TV compound. So now that they are close to Santa Rosa, the bounce will work……yes I am a tech geek.

  60. Comment by Pholby | 02.15.2009 | 6:11 pm

    Can someone explain this GC business to a newbie? I’m seeing it over at velonews and can’t quite figure out what it’s getting at.

    (Sure would be nice if the VS crew would explain such things, but they don’t seem too interested in the actual race.)

  61. Comment by Larry | 02.15.2009 | 6:12 pm

    Why would you cut to a commercial just after getting race video when you haven’t been able to show the pictures all broadcast? Then they show how happy Bob is with Enzyte and how everyone admires Bob!

  62. Comment by Di | 02.15.2009 | 6:12 pm

    Per VeloNews: Mancebo has about 24 miles (38.5km) to go.

    I did 24 miles on Wednesday when we had a huge snow melt. Twenty four was enough for a full ride. I haven’t ridden since mid-December, though. I’m ready for regular spring riding.

  63. Comment by Tim | 02.15.2009 | 6:12 pm

    How can we make the race less confusing and easier to follow? Oh, I know, put in an arbitrary decision on when to take GC times, then reverse that decision with 8 miles until that would have been in effect. Genius!

  64. Comment by Chad | 02.15.2009 | 6:12 pm

    yeah, the unicycling is badass.

  65. Comment by Pholby | 02.15.2009 | 6:14 pm

    This type of weather is exactly what you’d expect this time of year in CA. Northern CA in the winter just means cold & rain.

  66. Comment by Rachel | 02.15.2009 | 6:15 pm

    I know why you feel better on a bike when you have a cold!! I asked my allergist about this a few months ago, “Why do my allergies go away on my bike and get worse in the car? Am I really that psychosomatic?” The answer is, adrenaline!

    Adrenaline triggers fight-or-flight responses, and shuts down anything not directly related to escaping from a tiger or bringing down a wooly mammoth. Including immune responses. That is the basis of Sudafed. (Pseudephedrine acts like epinephrine, aka adrenaline. Pseudo-epinephrine.)

    Allergies and cold symptoms are immune responses and definitely not helping us get away from the tiger. They get shut down. Exercise stimulates a little adrenaline. Not as much as when a car just fractionally missed taking out you & your bike. But enough to suppress the congestion and achiness. For a little while.

  67. Comment by bikemike | 02.15.2009 | 6:17 pm

    i’ll bet michael ball only charges his riders about $295.00(us) for their bike kits.

  68. Comment by CAmike | 02.15.2009 | 6:18 pm

    We always get a couple weeks of rain sometimes between January and March, the last couple of years it’s happened during the ToC

  69. Comment by Accident Prone | 02.15.2009 | 6:20 pm

    A SoCal girl agrees, typical stuff early in the year. Although lately January has been fabulous followed by a crappy February.

  70. Comment by Farthing | 02.15.2009 | 6:21 pm

    According to VeloNews, the peloton is only about a minute behind the chase group. It could very well be a sprint contested by sprint-specialists after all. I hope so, anyway.

  71. Comment by Marty | 02.15.2009 | 6:22 pm

    Fatty, Thankyou! It’s 9:20am on a Monday morning where I am. This is soooo much better than actually working! Oh, and if my baoos is reading this – it is a different Marty, not the one who works for you.

  72. Comment by Don | 02.15.2009 | 6:22 pm

    RE: 4:41… HAHAHAHA!! I almost blogged about the Orbitz Hover Craft!
    I hate the RR Cadillac’s.

  73. Comment by G | 02.15.2009 | 6:22 pm

    Can you imagine how bad it would be if Versus let Hummer commentate like this at the Tour…..Why is he speaking at all…

  74. Comment by Marty | 02.15.2009 | 6:23 pm

    baoss??? Sorry, I meant boss. How did that happen?

  75. Comment by Kevin | 02.15.2009 | 6:23 pm

    michael ball was tying on the numbers to his team bikes himself this morning, I was fairly surprised

  76. Comment by Byrdbth | 02.15.2009 | 6:23 pm

    I met Tyler Hamilton once..I had some whitty line about riding with a broken arm, but I was too tongue tied to say anything.

  77. Comment by Katee | 02.15.2009 | 6:24 pm

    That’s interesting, Rachel, and it makes a lot of sense.

  78. Comment by Asshat | 02.15.2009 | 6:26 pm

    I guess they’re letting Levi ride.

  79. Comment by bikerchick | 02.15.2009 | 6:28 pm

    Evidence of s Lance crash?

  80. Comment by Tim | 02.15.2009 | 6:30 pm

    Pholby –

    GC stands for General Classification. It is the time that is used to calculate who gets the yellow jersey. They add up all the time you’ve spent racing, and subtract any bonus times you have gotten. There are bonus seconds offered at intermediate sprints and at the stage finishes. For the intermediate sprints, the winner of the sprint gets 3 seconds, second place gets 2, third place gets 1. I’m not sure what the stage finish bonuses are, but the winner probably gets 10 seconds.

    The green jersey is based on points taken at intermediate sprints and stage finishes.

    The climber jersey is based on points taken at KOM (King of the Mountain) spots on the road. The harder the climb, the more points on offer.

    The most aggressive rider award, or in this races case, the “Most coureagous rider”, is a subjective award voted on by the media, and is generally awarded to the rider who animates the race the most. If Mancebo doesn’t get it today, he got f’ing robbed.

    Hope that helps.

  81. Comment by KanyonKris | 02.15.2009 | 6:31 pm

    Bikes can’t hydroplane, the late great Sheldon Brown says so and has the math to prove it:

    But rain bringing up oil from the asphalt is a real danger.

    I’m digging your live blogging.

  82. Comment by Accident Prone | 02.15.2009 | 6:32 pm

    Do you think Phil is enjoying correcting Craig??

  83. Comment by Jeff | 02.15.2009 | 6:32 pm

    Anybody else gonna get that under water shaver thingy?

  84. Comment by Byrdbth | 02.15.2009 | 6:37 pm

    Why can’t they see Nibali and Voight?

  85. Comment by Pholby | 02.15.2009 | 6:40 pm

    Tim, very helpful, thank you, but what does applying GC time to the peloton entail? Velonews: “The peloton will be awarded GC time based on the first trip through the finishing circuit today.” Then: “Well, they did the math
    and now the officials have reconsidered their take on the “Levi Rule” and will now apply GC times at the end and not when they cross through the finish area for the first time through.”

    A bit over my head, I’m afraid.

  86. Comment by Great Flatlands Rider | 02.15.2009 | 6:41 pm

    I pronounce it “leaky-gas.” Because I like the way it sounds, and that is how it was pronounced at the TdF when I first became aware of them.

  87. Comment by Byrdbth | 02.15.2009 | 6:41 pm

    KNEE-BAl-Leee, I think that is not the right way to say that..

  88. Comment by Tim | 02.15.2009 | 6:47 pm

    Pholby – While I haven’t seen a map, today finishes with 2+ laps of a 5k circuit. With the rain and the painted lines on the road, it will probably be snot slick. (tip for newbies, the painted lines on the road will always be the slickest part of a road)

    The rule that they were considering, and decided against was this…

    The first time everyone rolls through the finish line, the clock for the GC will stop. THey would then let the peleton race the last lap. Whoever crosses the finish line first on the last lap would be the stage winner for the day.

    Finishing circuits can lead to other interesting situations, too. But, I’ll get into that later if you’re still curious.

  89. Comment by G | 02.15.2009 | 6:48 pm

    Whoo hoo – Good for you Paco !

  90. Comment by Tim | 02.15.2009 | 6:51 pm

    From cyclingnews: “16:45 PST
    No word on what’s going on up front with Mancebo and Nibali because the cameras are focused on one Lance Armstrong. If we had any money, we’d put it on Nibali who has spent far more time than Mancebo fighting the wind. Look for this strong young Italian to be in yellow tonight!”

    Umm, wrong. Nibali should have taken the stage because he spent less time fighting the wind. Cyclingnews sent the retard crew to cover this race, methinks.

  91. Comment by TimMom | 02.15.2009 | 6:51 pm

    Warmest, dryest race I’ve ever “watched” and with a bunch of cyclists, no less!

  92. Comment by Asshat | 02.15.2009 | 6:55 pm

    Great ride, Mancebo. Now let’s laud Lance for 10 minutes.

  93. Comment by Nick | 02.15.2009 | 6:58 pm

    It’s nice to see I’m not the only one who feels conflicted in both liking Lance, for the most part, and being sick of the incessant fawning over him.

  94. Comment by Barbara | 02.15.2009 | 7:00 pm

    OK, our man Craig Hummer just said “there is no doubt that Astana brought the most DEPTHFUL team here to the Tour of California.” This has nothing to do with knowing anything about cycling. He’s a professional broadcaster, is it too much to ask that he be able to speak English?

    Great ride, Mancebo!

    It would have been cruel to catch him on the last circuit, which is why Lance held back. ;-)

  95. Comment by Tim | 02.15.2009 | 7:00 pm

    Cyclingnews is reporting that Mancebo is first, Nibali second, and Van Der Walle third on GC. Of course, Cyclingnews couldn’t hit water throwing a rock from a boat this weekend, so that could be entirely wrong.

    Also, pholby, they say that the bonus seconds at the finish are 10/6/4 for 1/2/3

  96. Comment by JT | 02.15.2009 | 7:02 pm


    Am I the only one who noticed that late in the race, Mancebo’s (HUGE race by that guy) support car managed to pull up next to him in perfect timing to completely TSUNAMI him as they went through a puddle? Nice work, RockRacing. Apparently, not that used to actually supporting a racer.

    Again, HUGE effort by Mancebo. And, after dragging himself and the rest of the racers over 100 miles, he jumps the sprint at the end to win the stage. Awesome.


  97. Comment by Farthing | 02.15.2009 | 7:03 pm

    I am very impressed by Craig’s depthful knowledge of cycling.

  98. Comment by Asshat | 02.15.2009 | 7:13 pm

    I learned: 1. Tony Danza is still alive; 2. Orbitz has a hovercraft; 3. Bull riding eclipses cycling; 4. A spaniard won the 2d state of Lance’s big comeback race.

  99. Comment by Kathleen | 02.15.2009 | 8:04 pm

    Best source of news – not having the live feed was so annoying. We’re gonna watch Stage 2 in person tomorrow!

  100. Comment by Andrea | 02.15.2009 | 8:15 pm

    Fatty, you will surely be offered a commentator spot at a major network any day now. Awesome live blogging.

  101. Comment by Adam Bridge | 02.15.2009 | 8:27 pm

    Gee, we’re rather sorry that rain got in the way of your live blogging. You may not have noticed that California is in the midst of a three-year drought. We’re rather behind in rain. The rain is inconvenient for bike racing but rather good for the economic well-being of the state. Versus was pretty good about talking about the problems. And . . . there were a lot of course folks who stood in the strong wind and the rain to help the race happen.

    So, yeah, it’s raining. Cowboy up and live with it.

  102. Comment by donbiker | 02.15.2009 | 8:36 pm

    White lines don’t have to be slick. There is material that can be put in the paint to increase the friction. I always assume the lines are slick until I have seen them and felt them under my wheels. Judging from watching the racers navigate downtown Santa Rosa, Those white lines have been frictionized. (Everyone else is inventing words. Why not?)

  103. Comment by Tim | 02.15.2009 | 8:38 pm

    donbiker – I know they don’t HAVE to be, but in my experience, consistent with your assumption, they usually are. If I’m cornering in the wet, I will stay off of the lines, just in case.

  104. Comment by itsWITZ | 02.15.2009 | 8:52 pm

    Unca’ Scott,

    I’m digging SOOO deep looking for results, news, video, … ANYthing…that I found your blog (from UtaH???). It’s good, at least for a major stage race where I have consult yutube for daily vidoe!?!!

    And the crappy rain day …. the Sleeping Lady called on her friend mr. Rain, for not being included in this years race route !!!

    uh, … keep it sideways,


  105. Comment by Al Maviva | 02.15.2009 | 9:46 pm

    >>>Any other cyclists out there who are also huge nerds?

    That’s like the Pope heading out onto the Balcony for Easter mass, and hollering out to the crowd, Ted Nugent-style, “Hey Rome! We’re gonna celebrate today. We got any Catholics here?”

  106. Comment by Hat | 02.15.2009 | 10:27 pm

    I would like Scott/Chuck to ask Bob Roll whether Bob expects to be represented graphically as a bobblehead on Versus again this year.

  107. Comment by | 02.15.2009 | 11:01 pm

    Just to be clear, Santa Rosa is the home of CHARLES Schultz, the beloved creator of Peanuts and snoopy…not GEORGE Schultz as the versus commentators so brilliantly pointed out during the podium awards. Truly a Charlie Brown moment, way to go guys.

  108. Comment by Zoio | 02.15.2009 | 11:12 pm

    About Liquigas, here in brazil we use to pronounce “Leekeegas”, but it complain with our grammar and accent.
    The italian cycling commentators always say “Leekweegas”
    (the “A” in the latin languages is pronounced as the A in “A boy” and “A bike”)
    Don’t know if someone will undertand-me


  109. Comment by Hat | 02.15.2009 | 11:12 pm

    I also would like Scott/Chuck to ask Craig Hummer if he also would like to be a bobblehead and, if so, will he be depicted in his speedo?

    Does Hummer think George Shultz or Charles Schulz would make a good cage fighter if either were living? Which would make a better bull rider?

  110. Comment by Jenni Laurita | 02.15.2009 | 11:50 pm

    Not Matisse, Jackson Pollock.

  111. Comment by fatty | 02.15.2009 | 11:58 pm

    jenni laurita – how’d i say “matisse?” i meant monet. liveblogging doesn’t give you much time to think about what you’re writing. lotsa typos and bad word choices. regardless, i think you’re probably closer to right with jackson pollock.

  112. Comment by ricky | 02.16.2009 | 12:31 am

    Last TDF Hummer shot to the top of my least favorite sports MCs list. He’s in good, I mean bad company with Tim McCarver (baseball) and Dan Deardorf (football). He was so bad I actually thought about selling my H2. Hey Scot, please ask Versus to give Hummer an all-expense paid trip to anywhere in July.

  113. Comment by Jenn | 02.16.2009 | 1:01 am

    I just wanted to point out the very cool Svein Tuft whom I just cottoned on to recently. You may already know it, Fatty, but if not….he has a very interesting personal story getting to this level.

  114. Comment by Tim | 02.16.2009 | 6:09 am

    As I suspected, cyclingnews commentators missed the GC calcs, by a lot. They now have the top 3 being

    1) Mancebo (Spa, Rock Racing) 11:07
    2) Leipheimer (USA, Astana) @1:02
    3) Zabriskie (USA, Garmin) @1:03
    4) Rogers (Aus, Columbia)
    5) Armstrong (USA, Astana) @1:05

    In case anyone hasn’t looked at cyclingnews. Also, it appears that they used the Levi rule, and the last laps of the circuit were neutral for GC.

  115. Comment by Hat | 02.16.2009 | 6:58 am

    Finally, I’d like to hear Bob Roll ask Craig Hummer if he ever ate jo-jos or stood on the devil strip. And I’d like Bob to publicly suggest that Michael Ball knock a couple hundred dollars of the price of a pair of his pants to celebrate Mancebo’s stage win.

  116. Comment by Justin | 02.16.2009 | 7:43 am

    Levi sucks. He has done nothing but suck wheels his entire career. No attacks, no style, just a drafting grinder who has no business being a team leader. He is a domestique, pure and simple. It makes me sick to see anyone pulling for him. You could pull him all the way to the line and he still can’t accelerate past you. He is a joke. It’s like watching paint dry, without the excitement. Plus he thinks he’s the man, and has given Basso and Lance lukewarm receptions upon joining the teams. Get over yourself Levi. You are awful. Please comment during today’s broadcast. Try to defend him without playing the USA card.

  117. Comment by Tim | 02.16.2009 | 8:24 am

    Justin – He’s admitted to that, sort of. When he was with, I think, Rabobank (Rabobank Rabobank Rabobank), he said that he didn’t need much help in the mountains, just follow the postal train, and if you can stay on it until Chechu pulls off, you’ll be top 5 or top 10 in the tour. He sucked wheels to the podium in the Vuelta this year, although, he was supposed to suck wheels since he was working for Contador.

    That said, I still think he’s a decent rider for one week stage races. He can follow wheels. Which I will readily admit is boring to watch, but will get you up the road with the select climbers. He rides the TT very well, which will gain lots of time on the climbers (which is how he almost beat Contador). He won California last year on the strength of one attack in the mountains (when he towed Robert Gesink to the line) and the ITT in Solvang.

    I don’t disagree with you altogether, but I can defend him a bit without the nationalism.

  118. Comment by Tim D | 02.16.2009 | 9:31 am

    THis tour is ruining my daily routine. I can’t read FC or Cycling News or Eurosport web sites til I’ve watched the previous days racing, which is going out live on Eurosport at 11PM. Although, todays coverage starts at 5:30PM, which is 9:30AM in California. Not sure they will have even started then.

    Not seen anyone in FC gear yet, although yesterday’s stage wasn’t really the weather for it.



  119. Comment by Sylvie | 02.16.2009 | 10:37 am

    Huge nerd over here as well. Very excited about Watchman. Sadly, I’m more likely to see that then I am to watch this race, because watching cycling when it’s -25 C and snowing will just make me sad and angry that I’m injured and can’t go biking.

    However, this post made me happy. It’s pretty much made my Monday, just so you know. Also, what time zone is Utah in?

  120. Comment by Tim | 02.16.2009 | 11:24 am

    For the couple people I’ve seen ask…

    Utah is in Mountain Time.
    California is in Pacific Time.

    If it is 12:00 Fatty time
    It is 11:00 Pacific Time.
    It is 1:00 in Central Time.
    It is 2:00 in Eastern time.

  121. Comment by Miles Archer | 02.16.2009 | 2:42 pm

    Hey Eldon, it rains (sometimes) here in N. California. It’s February.

  122. Pingback by The Tour of Cali has snared me | Scrambled Channel | 02.16.2009 | 2:56 pm

    [...] visit California! We had to make do with David Harmin talking about his mountain biking career and Fattie’s live TOC blog [...]

  123. Comment by itsWITZ | 02.17.2009 | 12:03 am

    Unca’ Scott,

    So, … I finally found the great video feed; on the Amgen website, no less. I admit, it was great to see little Sausa (lito), but Damn … HOW could they overlook mt. Tamalpais ?!?! Just to mention all the beautiful roads of Marin County???

    What a great race today … even THO’ I couldn’t find your blog-o-the-day! Great race, Levi (a good ol’ utah name). But, I’m picking Lance for the podium!

    And since <<>> people came to my website right from this blog !>!>!>! I should probably mention that my beautiful home on 14 acres in moab – with a rare artesian spring – is … for sale and … thank you very much.

    its WITZ, Moab

    ps hey, Comment by Justin | 02.16.2009 | 7:43 am … what happened today ?!?

  124. Comment by Zack | 02.18.2009 | 7:24 pm

    >5:09 Could some California locals weigh in with whether this kind of weather is typical for this time of year?

    This is actually Dec. or Jan. weather. It can happen in Feb., but it’s the exception rather the rule. Should have known something was up as Jan. was dry and warm in the mid to upper 60’s for weeks on end.

  125. Comment by Penina | 02.19.2009 | 2:24 pm

    Right from Johan B’s twitter…
    johanbruyneel I shaved Bob Roll’s head this morning. He’s a man of his word.


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