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anyone else here pay attention?

It's that time of the year again, I'm spending 3-4 hours a day watching the VERSUS network (formerly OLN). Nine days in and I'm already exhausted, but keep getting up to watch more...

I'm an addict to letour.com and I hardly can get any work done early. Boonan, McEwan, Rasmussen, Gerdemann, etc...they are all absolutely amazing. It is like doing an iron man every day for 28 days. I think it is actually even more fun to watch without Lance Armstrong there. The jockeying and socialization among the peloton and breakaways are much more intriguiging now that it is anybody's tour. Say, did I miss the A&F Fantasy Cycling Draft?

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I've been watching the past few days, the racing in the Alps has been quite interesting. A lot of drama and strategy. Having done a fair bit of riding myself, waching the guys climb those 12-km climbs and knowing the suffering they are going through is captivating. Not the mention watching these crazy fans crowd the road while the riders are trying to climb.

The rest of the tour will be interesting to watch. There is no clear favorite. Rasmussen is in yellow, but can he hold off the pure climbers and time trial specialists behind him?

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Rasmussen is in yellow, but can he hold off the pure climbers and time trial specialists behind him?

firstly, I agree with Thoreau that it's a more interesting race w/o Armstrong.

And after watching the overall contenders do little more than nervously mark each other for the last three days, I find my self wanting Rasmussen to sprout wings, put 7 or 8 minutes over the bunch of them in the Pyrenees. Then lose 6 or 7 minutes in the time trials, and wear the yellow home.

I'm a little distressed over Vinokourov, he seems to be in agony, no doubt he is. Sentimentally, I wanted him to win as a reward for all the wrenches he's thrown into the race the last five years. He was the only thing the made the last few Armstrong-won races exciting.

the best thing about all of this, is so much can happen in the next 10 days. A catatastrophe one day can be overcome a few days later. And, hopefully, without "assistance"!

The Grand Tours are amazing sports events.

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What. a. mess.


I've been hovering between a mild depression over the situation, and choosing to be somewhat philosophical about it.

One the one hand, the outcome of this year's event isn't going to mean too much. A shame, too, because many innocent people have turned themselves inside-out the last three weeks on those roads

On the other, for the first time since doping became systematic in the sport - most people point to the mid-90's - the team management and riders themselves have joined the authorities in being outspoken about the problem. Up until now, the riders would only say "I don't do it," but were careful not to say anything about anyone else; further serving the code of silence under which the cheating thrived.

Now, finally, the teams are policing themselves, whereas they have historically been either complicit, or at least sympathetic. And most importantly, the riders are speaking up, and popular riders who are too high profile to be intimidated by their peers. See statements by Tom Boonen, whose popularity as a cyclist in Belgium is at Shaq-like levels:


So, I hate to see it happening. But I'm glad to see it happening. It's remarkable that it always seems to happen during the le Tour. I guess that is only natural, as it is the main event of the cycling season and is itself almost like a condensed season.

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Well, it is a nice ending to an otherwise disastrous July. The time trials were outstanding. Levi made a race of it and Contador hung on for the win. All that is left is the victory laps down the Champs-Elysees.

Now, if we can just get MLB and Bonds & company to get as serious about doping.

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