Just a quick level-set here: I don’t actually plan to liveblog any of the stages of this TdF — the time the stages air conflict smack-dab with my riding time. And as excited as I am about this Tour, it’s more important to me to get a daily ride in.
Further, I’ve got a mental energy problem. Liveblogging requires that I be "on," and right now, my mind is elsewhere. So some stages, I won’t post anything at all.
Finally, you’ll want to be sure to be check in on Monday, because I’ll be announcing a very exciting new contest, as well as a giveaway exclusively for Team Fatty San Jose. I guarantee that the prizes for both of these contests are going to make your jaws drop. And I wouldn’t be surprised if a whole bunch of people suddenly join Team Fatty San Jose so they can get a shot at that prize.
10:44 – Please note that the times I’m posting are the times I watch, not the times the events actually occurred. Because, you see, I feel that the time I watch something is more important than when the event happened. I’m sure you agree.
10:45 - Lance is the first person I see begin his stage. I have to say, this is a pretty exciting moment. Honestly, this is bound to be an incredibly dramatic Tour.
10:47 – In the pre-race show, I could have sworn that Team Fatty member Bob Roll pronounced "Tour de France" correctly. Slip of the tongue, or contractual obligation?
10:48 - By the way, Craig Hummer is anchoring. In the interest of blood pressure optimization, I hereby resolve to not get irritated by every little thing he says.
10:51 – In the interview before the Armstrong rides, it’s interesting to hear him say, "Contador’s the leader for now." Clearly, this matter is not settled.
10:55 – I watch these guys and the position they hold during these TTs, and I wonder how it’s possible to ride so flat for so long. I bet the fact that they don’t have their knees pushing into their stomachs helps.
10:57 – Armstrong through the first time check, currently in first.
10:58 – You know what’s fun? Listening to Phil and Paul gush over Armstrong again. Hearing these two go on about him is like coming home after a long trip.
10:59 – "There are no words to describe this magnificent athlete." Except of course the million or so words they’ll dedicate to him over the course of the next few weeks.
11:00 – Since I didn’t mention that I’d be delayed-blogging this, I’m pretty sure nobody is reading this as I write it. That is perfectly fine. I’m using this blog to write the things I’d say out loud if there were anyone in the room watching this with me. Except I won’t ask you to go get me another Diet Coke.
11:03 – Another thing I hadn’t thought of in years: Lance’s most identifiable feature during a TT is his hump. That hump is remarkable.
11:05 – Lance has the current best time: 20:12. With so many people still to begin, though, that time is just an enormous target. No way will it stand.
11:07 – The camera followed Armstrong for the entire TT. I wonder how many other cyclists will get the same kind of attention (hint: either one or none).
11:08 – Wow, Leipheimer’s socks seem especially tall. practically come up to his knees.
11:10 – Tony Martin’s time check is faster than Armstrong by 12 seconds. Phil and Paul commence Lance Armstrong apologetics.
11:12 – Not to be rude or anything, but Tony Martin just handled a downhill hairpin really badly. As in, I could do better. But on the other hand, I’ve never ridden a TT bike.
11:14 – Just zoomed past several commercials. Every commercial break has a Cadillac ad. Each of which features a sultry woman and does not even remotely pretend to mention that they also sponsor a cycling team (which is not at the Tour).
11:17 – David Millar’s on his way. Good for him.
11:18 – Hey, it looks like Versus is partnering with Bicycling Magazine for the TdF.
11:20 – And Leipheimer, who got around four seconds worth of video coverage during his ride, moves into top position. Tony Martin evidently overcame his prissy hairpin execution and was faster than Armstrong too. I must have missed that when I was talking about Cadillac. Priorities, you know.
11:22 – I really enjoy fast forwarding past commercials as I watch this. I think that even if I do have a stage I could watch live I’ll wait for forty minutes, just to give myself the pleasure of skipping the endless Cadillac and ED ads.
11:27 – Leipheimer’s being interviewed. Right after Leipheimer said he had a not-great ride, the interviewer asked how he felt about his ride. Nice work, Frankie. Sterling interviewing. Pfff.
11:29 – Wow, Millar locked his bike up in that hairpin, barely missing the barrier in a hairpin. I should probably revise my assertion that I could handle those hairpins better than these guys. Cameras often make slopes look a lot flatter than they are.
11:31 – Millar’s across, doesn’t beat Leipheimer, but is good enough for fifth (for now). I think I’ll fast-forward a bit.
11:34 – Just hopped forward 45 minutes or so, and feel pretty pleased with myself for having done so, because the top 5 has not changed. I believe I’ll zip forward another fifteen minutes.
11:36 – OK, now I’m on Dave Zabriskie. But not literally. Do you suppose he applies DZNuts even for a short ride like this? Because he should. He should make a point of wearing it ALL THE TIME, NO MATTER WHAT. Including when he’s not riding.
11:38 – And there’s Kloden. Evidently I magically fast forwarded right to the correct spot to start watching again. I am so pleased with myself. In fact, I feel downright smug.
11:47 – Susan’s awake now, so I’m putting both this Liveblog and the watching of this stage on hold for a bit.
4:51 – OK, I am back. Aren’t you relieved?
4:52 – I’ve been watching some of this while I made guacamole for the impending family barbecue. During which Kloden moved into first place. I posit, indeed, that Kloden moved into first because I was making guacamole while I watched him race. Even though he had actually raced approximately five hours before I made the guacamole. Such is the power of the avacado.
4:56 – Everyone’s on the road.
4:57 – You know, Contador doesn’t have a lot of excess fat. He also doesn’t have a lot of non-excess fat.
4:58 – It occurs to me that doing these non-live blogs is a bad idea. I don’t read your comments as I write, because they have spoilers. And you can’t follow along the race as I write, so my comments are kind of non-contextual.
5:00 – Contador has the fastest time at the time check.
5:01 – I will never ever ever get used to the crowds getting so close to the cyclists. Cadel Evans hasd a couple of yahoos standing and yelling right where the best line looked to be. I propose that as bikes get lighter and lighter, cyclists should be allowed to mount small cannons on their handlebars, the weight of which would be included in the UCI bike weight.
5:03 – Bradley Wiggins moved in to first place.
5:04 – You know I didn’t really have any expectations for this stage, but from the look of the road, this is really a tricky and interesting course.
5:06 – Cancellara moves into the lead Or rather, he roughly shoulders everyone aside moving into the lead. Twenty seconds, this late in the stage. Wow. Phil and Paul go crazy.
5:08 – Contador takes what would have been first place if it hadn’t been for Cancellara’s incredible performance. Now it’s good for second.
5:09 – Consider how many Astana guys are in the top 10. Is it conceivable that Astana could sweep the Paris podium? That would be incredible.
5:10 – Cadel Evans takes 5th. A solid effort, upon which he could have improved by going faster.
5:11 – Here comes Carlos Sastre. This guy’s one of my favorite perennial TdF contenders, but he seems to be getting a little b5:it of the Rodney Dangerfield treatment. 21st over the line.
5:13 – Naturally, Phil and Paul are obsessing over the "Who leads Astana?" question. They’re treating Contador’s impressive performance as the answer. I assert that’s a little bit simplistic.
5:20 - Cancellara’s come up and got his big collection of leaders’ jerseys, and now I find, to my surprise, that I am hanging around to watch the post-race analysis. Here’s the thing: I really love hearing Phil, Paul, and Bob chat.
5:23 – I’m not the only one who finds the Garmin-Slipstream skinsuits disconcerting, right? The long sleeves are close enough to fleshtone that it looks like the skinsuits are sleeveless.
5:26 – Contador gets the climber’s jersey. Why do I find that funny? I can’t help but imagine Contador feels such a jersey might be beneath him.
5:27 – A shot of Phil and Paul, who evidently have no air conditioning in their booth. They are sweating heavily.
5:28 – Another Cadillac ad. Do you suppose they don’t know that Rock Racing isn’t in the Tour? I mean, it’s not a big stretch to imagine Michael Ball implying to the GM brass that they were, without technically lying. "It’s the biggest race in the world. Of course we’ll be there." (Not to race, but we’ve got awesome roadside observation points staked out.)
5:31 – And there’s Roll and Hummer. Bob looks sad. Except whenever Hummer says something stupid, at which time Bob has a very particular smile. Hummer’s clearly learned to recognize that smile, and when he sees Bob use it, he quickly rephrases or starts over.
5:33 – Bob asserts that Astana was dominant today. Good thing we have post-race commentary analysis to help us catch the details that we would otherwise miss.
5:35 – Frankie asks Cancellara what it was like to put on the yellow jersey. Cancellara affirms that he liked it. Seriously, Frankie, you need a new guy to feed you questions.
5:37 – Hummer wraps up, and you know what? He did a good summary. I am hopeful.
Okay, that’s it. I will not be liveblogging stage 2 or 3, though I may possibly liveblog other people’s liveblogs. Just to be ultra-meta.
And now, I’m off to get to work on the burgers and set things on fire. Happy Independence Day, U.S.A.!