Just when you think you’ve seen it all… Fast-forward to 1:50 in for Cavendish’s finish-live celebration. –Mike–
… but nobody else is making the news lately. Last night, Andy Schleck and his team mate Stuard O’Grady were kicked out of the Vuelta (Tour of Spain, one of the three big stage races, the others being the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia)… by their team manager. It turns out that there’s a strict non-alcoholic drink rule for the Saxo Bank team, and the two of them had admitted that they’d had a drink (or two or three or… it varies according to the account).
One wonders if Andy Schleck is really motivated to do much with Saxo Bank right now, knowing that he moves on next year, and just isn’t taking things very seriously. And at the same time, one wonders if Bjorne Riis, Saxo Bank’s team manager, might be just a bit more tightly wound than normal, knowing that many of his brightest stars are leaving his flock next year for the new Luxembourg super-team.
The Schleck flag flying high atop the Port de Bales. Their fan base was certainly the most-visible at the Tour de France this year, with those flags present all over the course. I’m thinking Trek made an excellent decision sponsoring their team, as it should help make their bikes even-more popular in Europe.
Yes it’s true; for 2011 Andy and Frank Schleck’s new Luxemburg cycling team will be riding Trek bicycles to victory in the Tour de France. Assuming of course that Andy learns how to time trial! The 2010 Tour de France was a lot closer than most people thought it would be, and with Trek’s help (and they’re going to be offering a lot of help), we’re expecting to see Andy on the top step of the podium.
Of course, we were on this one early, snatching a bottle from Andy Schleck as he went over the summit of the Port de Bales at the Tour de France. Kevin knew it wasn’t going to be Saxo Bank next year!profile
07/15/10- LIVE FROM THE TOUR DE FRANCE-I SUSPECT MOST PEOPLE TRAVEL BETTER THAN I DO. There’s something about those 40+ hour travel days that get to me, especially when they’re “enhanced” by not getting much sleep the night before because you’re concerned you forgot something (which I didn’t, not as near as I can tell, but my son did somehow manage to forget his briefs). That 11 hour flight on a plane, even in a nice seat (and it was a nice seat this time) still leaves me feeling sticky all over within 5 hours or so into the flight, and that air that’s so dry your thoat starts getting sore, and the restlessness from not moving around much… maybe if I had my own private Airbus 380, you know, that double-deckered thing that would let me have a shower, a lot of space to move around (maybe even enough to ride a bike?), and a flight schedule that panders to when I want to fly.
But we did get here, in Toulouse, France, after a second flight from Frankfort. I’d wondered about Frankfort airport, a place my kids said is the worst they’ve ever been to… what could make an airport so bad? Um… where do I start? It’s huge and random and hot and stinky and the Lufthansa equivalent of United’s Red Carpet Club was packed with no seats available and cramped feeling even if it wasn’t full of people thinking they could get away from the rest of the airport for a few minutes. It really makes you appreciate how good we have it out here.
OK, but we’re here to ride, not complain about getting here, and tomorrow (Saturday) we’ll be riding from Toulouse out to a little spot on the map named “Coins” and then perhaps south a bit to “Caraman” where we’ll get to see the interim stage sprint, if the timing works out right. And then Sunday we’re off to Lourdes, spending 5 days in the center of the Pyrenees! That’s what we’re really looking forward to.
In the meantime, we’ve found a good Kabob place right around the corner (perhaps the best inexpensive food you can buy, pretty much without fail?), and there’s a Paul (killer deli/bakery chain) at the train station across the street. So we’re set, and by this time tomorrow we’ll hopefully have some cool pictures to show!