Tour days are here again…

Of course, le Tour is going on. Everyone on here no doubt knows this, and if you don’t, pull your head out of your ass, and start watching. It’s been, eh, not too bad so far. I’m watching it as I write this now. I was in California last weekend for a wedding, and there is something to be said for waking up around 7, watching the last little bit of the race, and starting the day. West coast knows where it’s at.

Anyway, I’ve got some comments on the Tour. Mostly about yesterday. As folks undoubtedly know, Hincapie got douched by Garmin and his old “friend” Armstrong and Astana. Look, George is a class act. Even today, he’s not talking shit about what happened yesterday. Is he disappointed? Yeah, no doubt. Is he talking about it with those in the media? Nope. Why? He’s all class. He’s had many a disappointment over the years in bicycle racing, and yesterday, would have been a great way for him to take yellow (no doubt for probably just a day, maybe 2), and have the peloton show some love for the man from South Carolina. Did they let it happen? No, no indeed. And really, I can’t see why. As mentioned above, George, class guy. I don’t know too many people in the sport of cycling, and or who follow cycling who don’t like the guy. I’ve met him many different times over the years of riding and racing in the Southeast, and he’s genuinely a decent fellow. His brother is also a decent fellow. And their parents are decent people. Also, there are some people in the peloton (cough-Garmin-cough) who shouldn’t have just made enemies big time with the strongest pro team in the sport right now, that being Columbia. I can see it now. Stapleton will do all he can to fuck up Vaughters’ program and I can say, I’m all for that. Fuck that guy. He sucks.

Moving on to Vaughters, or JV. We get it. You’re supposed to be “the smart guy” in the world of team directors. I like what you’re doing with Garmin, and I like a lot of the riders on the team, but you sir, are a grade one douchebag. Stop being such a dick and acting all superior. The argyle was nice for a little while, time to find something new. Those sideburns, fucking shave that shit. You’re not in college anymore after all, and they make you look like, well, I don’t know what they make you look like, but you look freakin’ ridiculous. I know you don’t like Hincapie because he wouldn’t give your team free clothing back a few years ago, but Jesus H. Christ, get over it. Seriously, stop concentrating on just the team time trial. Sure it’s nice to show yourself out there, and show you can be the best team in a time trial, but that’s only one stage. I’m very impressed with Farrar as well. The kid has got the goods, and needs a little extra something, and he’ll be winning stages shortly. But Vaughters, stop being a dick. Your guys should have been nowhere near the front yesterday. No reason really. The only reason I can think of is to screw Columbia, and in turn, Hincapie.

Then we have Astana. Lance throwing up his hands basically saying we didn’t do anything to take away from George. Bullshit you guys didn’t. You had a bunch of your boys riding tempo on the front when the gap got up to 8 or 9 minutes. AG2R should have been the team doing it, and instead, it was you guys. Amazing really. All of those years Hincapie toiled in the mountains and the flats for Armstrong and Johan, and what does he get in return? Fucking hosed. Nice play boys, nice… I can’t wait until Vino comes back shortly, and gets the 2 of you fired, and you’ll be racing in the US under the Mellow Johnny’s banner.

As you might be able to tell, I think the group should have let Hincapie wear the jersey. They didn’t. They’ll pay for it I believe in the near future. It’s sad really, again, because Hincapie is all class really, and has had some bad luck over the years (broken bikes, ditches, stronger teammates, no sprinting ability, bad tactical know how, and so on). I think yesterday really just made me a bigger Columbia fan. Cavendish is brash, and I like that. He’s kind of a dick as well, which also makes me smile. As someone once said, it ain’t bragging if you can do it. Cavendish makes it look easy taking wins. Now, since he’s making no doubt a ton of money, let me put 2 words out there for you: Dental Hygiene. Use some of that money and get those baked bean teeth fixed up a little bit.

Rant, over…

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About giantcu92

Engineer living in the NOVA, and working for "The Man". Cycling and political junky. All things 2 wheeled are good. 4 wheels? Eh, OK, but 2 wheels better. Washinton, DC, USA

17 thoughts on “Tour days are here again…

  1. I couldn’t believe what I saw yesterday – I think that the American teams and participants did themselves a bad turn by not letting a great guy like George wear yellow.
    I would like to see some people start attacking on this fricken race though, it’s been a big group ride thus far. The escapes have been successful but the GC needs to start testing both Contador and Armstrong, I can’t understand why other teams would be letting these guys rest and get ready for the mountains.

  2. I like George, and I don’t think that anyone will argue that JV (heard some really shit stories) nor Lance (flicked over nearly every ex-teammate) are dicks who only look after themselves.

    Justifying Garmin’s tactics: If Hincapie and Highroad took the jersey they would ride at the front – doing Astana’s work. Now Astana has to work and tire some of their boys – which in theory could help Garmin and the rest of the ‘GC contenders’ isolate/ attack Lance and Bert.

    Good luck to those ‘contenders’ with that.

  3. Tactically, I sort of understand it. But how hard would Columbia ride really to protect a jersey they really don’t have much chance of keeping? Probably not very hard. It just would have been a nice career moment for Hincapie no doubt. George wearing yellow probably would not have changed much in the way of tactics for today, and the mountain stages. And who does Garmin have that is going to win? Wiggins? I’d be very surprised if he doesn’t get dropped soon. Vandevelde? He might be a bigger threat, but, overall, it was just a d-bag move. And now, as mentioned, Garmin and Astana have arguably the strongest team in the world fairly angry at them now, and Columbia might not win the overall, but they can certainly make things hard for everyone else, and fuck up some programs.

  4. Plausables, deniables, questionables & fabrications:

    Garmin rode at the front not for Wiggins (c’mon, he’s toast in the Alpes) but for Farrar – or rather, b/c they believe the hype of Farrar v. Cavendish and selfishly were trying to set up a disruption in the Green J sprint for freekin’ thirteenth place.

    Vaughters, amid his many suspect tweets and statements, included the backpedal gem… I wasn’t in the car… nice one.

    Z-nut’s Tweet – ‘we’re pawns’ – brilliant.

    Highroad – hello, shouldn’t this team have been controlling tempo in the peloton, setting up both George and the 13 sprint?

    Liqi, Saxo, Silence – apparently don’t give a toss about attacking for the GC.

    Astana at the front – riding tempo or driving the train, they’ve established themselves as the alpha dogs so clearly going to the front sends a message, no matter what Lance tweets after the stage. Bullshit on them, and good job for calling it out in this post.

    Astana at the front pt2 – questionable about Lance making the call, as Erronious Phil stated on VS, it could just as likely been JB. Would make sense that they’d think taking the fleece from Columbia would be more difficult than AG2R, making it more about what team held the jersey rather than what rider, even if it was just for a day.

    Garmin v. Columbia – say what you will about Vaughters, but Stapelton is just as much of a dickhead. George has enough class to keep things to ‘no comment’, but the boss throwing mud and stones in the press is merely fueling a media mill hungry for grist. Weak tactic.

    Regulation – that was the most blatantly cockblocking, or the sloppiest amateur sprint leadout of the whole tour. Chalk one up for the officials.

    Boom Boom – sniffle sniffle. Who ever lost their spot on Quickstep to make room for Tomke must be shopping for a new squad today, b/c that was the lamest showing yet. Sorry the stomach hurts Tom, but you shouldn’t have been in the race to begin with.

  5. to defend Garmin more. Martin was the only guy in the break pulling with George. He pulled George away more than DZ and the other guys pulled back. I mean if Martin wasn’t helping George pull they wouldn’t have been in the position to virtually loose the jersey in the final 800m

  6. I was under the impression that the Tour was a race, rather than a popularity contest where the winner of a jersey is chosen based on something as arbitrary as whether or not he’s a nice guy.

    I like George, and I’m sure he really is a good person, but I don’t think that fact, even bundled with his impressive and long career, should preclude any competitor from trying to race him. That said, good on him for being professional and not making his frustrations (if he actually has any) a public spectacle.

  7. Here’s hoping that “severe digestive problems” end up being Boonen’s enduring legacy. There’s another one deserving of a spot in cycling’s Pantheon of dipshits and douchebags.

  8. Thing is, of course it’s a race. The other thing is, there is a lot of respect and other un-written rules going on underneath the race. And the last thing, is that George having the jersey for one day would have done nothing to shake up the race, but might have done a lot of the race itself, publicity wise. It’s not a one day race, obviously, so George holding onto the jersey for a day would have meant a lot, respect wise, not a lot, race wise. He was in a position to take it over, and he got screwed basically. And let’s not fool ourselves, people make deals out on the road all of the time. Hell, we used to do it on a local level. JV is a douche. That’s about the long and short of it.

  9. Astana has 3 guys in top 10, 2 in top 3, within 8 seconds of overall and they should be “nice” and not do something when the break reaches close to 10 minutes? I’m no expert, but I think I would be sending my guys to the front as well. And if I’m not mistaken, Astana did back off the front once the break was back within the 5 to 6 minute range. I’m no big fan of Armstrong by any means, but I can’t see getting pissed at Astana.

    Also, I think George is a great guy and I’ve watched him race since before Motorola. If anything, I would think he’d be pissed at the break for screwing around attacking each other after Ivanov made what turned out to be the winning move. Would they have pulled him back if they had worked together? We’ll never know. Then, what was Columbia doing at the end? Some sort of blocking? Or just contributing to driving the pace to set up their sprinter, only to see him get dq’d?

  10. I am baffled by the viewpoint that Hincapie should have been gifted the Yellow Jersey as some kind of fucking lifetime nice guy achievement award. The simple fact of the matter is that if George truly wanted the jersey, he should have GONE FUCKING FASTER.

    George is a nice guy, but noone on team Garmin owes him a thing. If Stapleton hadn’t made a point of rubbing Garmin’s nose in it every time he beats them, maybe they let it go, but that hasn’t been the case.

    To put it another way, when your big brother whups your ass every time, aren’t you going to make sure your parents find out about the party he threw when they were off at Aunt Mildred’s wedding?

    This is the Tour, this isn’t the Special Olympics, and not everyone gets to wear the yellow jersey. Columbia has never and will never do Garmin any favours. So just because George is an American, Garmin should suddenly help him out?

    COME ON.

  11. …giantcu92…ya know, dude, ya usually make more sense than this…

    …on the now pissant vaughters / stapleton “my teams better” contretemps, stapleton obviously wins by virtue of more wins but he & vaughters deserve each other at this point…it takes two ta tango & my respect for the two of ‘em is disappearing fast…clean programs or not…

    …like everyone else here i’m a definite hincapie fan (like back to his fred mengoni domestic racing days…you n’ me both, lonnie brooks)…but you really think it’s some kinda bullshit lip service that bruyneel, armstrong are paying the situation ???…gimme a break !!!…not only do they have huge massive respect for george but they are way too knowledgeable, experienced & in control of their own situation to need to screw up his opportunity…

    …all the “who’s chasin’, who’s pullin’ back” bullshit being blamed on astana just shows an exceeding lack of tactical understanding by all the finger pointers…it obviously behooves them to set a tempo & control the time gap but the lead diminished, as others have pointed out, when ag2r first pressured the front & that is understandable…

    …then you’ve got garmin who, yes, ok, just may have been playing intentional spoiler but you’ve got columbia themselves trying to get “green” points by upping the pace…i don’t even think cavo should have been relegated ‘cuz the move didn’t seem that blatant or beyond the usual “elbow to elbow” normal close quarters…

    …the day became a huge clusterfuck of actions & emotions & unfortunately a truly deserving guy lost a lifetime opportunity…but to blame astana is simply the “duh” factor speaking, whether it’s you, columbia or george doing the talking…

    …just sayin’…

  12. What was that about Wiggins getting dropped?

    First of all, just because George could never seal the deal at Roubaix or the ENECO Tour doesn’t mean the peleton owes it to him to sit up so he can win something for a change. He’d probably just throw the jersey out the window of the bus anyway.

    Secondly, Stapleton just backed himself right into a corner for shooting his mouth off. The green jersey fight has been the only interesting part of this race. With Cav 18 points in the hole is he really going to re-focus the team on revenge against Garmin? Now he either puts his whole team on the front to chase down every single Garmin move to win nothing or stays focused on the green and looks like a pussy for not chasing everything down. And that’s pretty much what it comes down to. If he had told Cav and the leadout guys to get up front, then sit up and let Thor go, the split in the peleton would have put Nocentini back more than five extra seconds. Instead, he made a very reasonable call that a chance at taking green into Paris was worth more than taking yellow back to the hotel for the night.

  13. Giantcu 92 – Spare us the whine-athon about physical appearances. Don’t you have anything more to say other than he looks like this, and he looks like that, and look at his teeth. Some folks have grown beyond those teenage tendencies. You should post a pic so we can all talk shit about you and your blah blah blah. Stick to posting about something that matters, not teenage looks bashing.

  14. Forget Garmin, forget Astana….George should have put his head down and TT’d to the finish and he’d have his 5 ticks. Or, had he seen it for what it was and forgot about the stage win thing, he would have had the frickin’ brains to go with Ivanov.

    The only blame lies with George himself. Period. Again, his semi-retardation and inability to take anything by the reins (without 800ml of packed cells) once again did him in.

  15. No gifts.

    It’s just that simple. Columbia-HTC cocked it up themselves. They managed to somehow avoid putting Hincapie in yellow and pretty much screwed the pooch on Cavendish taking green, all in one afternoon.

    Amazing.

    And it’s all someone else’s fault.