Slouching toward Paris

Steelman Eurocross

The other day I rode my old Steelman Eurocross for the first time in a long while. It was a nice change from watching other folks ride.

Well, the Tour is sort of ambling toward the barn, and I guess I’ve officially lost interest.

Zoom-Zoom has more than five minutes on everyone now, and boy, wouldn’t this be an interesting race if he were not in it, with second through fifth separated by 47 seconds?

Not even a double helping of L’Alpe d’Huez and a bit of the bonk, exacerbated by a smallish fine and even smaller time penalty, could rattle Zoom-Zoom and his merry men.

Nor could today’s tough-on-paper stage, made tougher by a heavy rain that may have dampened the blue touchpaper back in the GC group as Rui Costa timed his attack perfectly and won his second stage. Saxo-Tinkoff is said to be focused on team GC now, since Super Spaniard apparently left his cape and tights in his other phone booth. This is right up there with kissing one’s sister.

Tomorrow brings a 125km hump from Annecy to Semnoz, the final summit finish of this Tour, and Sunday serves up the traditional Who Gives a Shit? parade stage, a festival of jackoffery that this time around will conclude in the evening, a brainstorm cursed roundly by the photographers who must shoot the race in the Parisian twilight and then try to file, eat, drink and sleep in a timely fashion.

Ah, well. Come Monday we will have our own bikes and (God willing) the time and legs to ride them. My ass is taking on the shape of this office chair, and it is an unfortunate combination, as neither has ever been a thing of beauty.

Charles Pelkey and I will be calling the final weekend of the 100th Tour over at Live Update Guy. Pop round and get your minimum daily requirement of snark while it’s hot.

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15 Responses to “Slouching toward Paris”

  1. Patrick O'Brien Says:

    No mas, no mas! Watched stage 18 with friends and even the Alpe has lost its luster for me.

  2. Larry T. Says:

    I’m glad I skipped watching Le Beeg Shew in favor of riding my own bike here in Iowa before it gets too damn hot each day. Back in Italy it was the reverse with LeTour coming on in the afternoons so I wasn’t missing anything. As too often is the case, the sport’s biggest showcase (kind of like the NFL’s Superbowl) is rarely much of a game. With rare exception SKY and Froome pretty much sucked the life out of this edition, much like they did last year with Wiggo. Now we’ll wait for the real story on how this guy beat the chrono men at their own game and the climbers at theirs…funny how in the past when that happened the guys who did that turned out to be doped…I don’t have a lot of optimism that this time will be different, but I hope it doesn’t take years to be revealed.

  3. bromasi Says:

    well it looks like the sky team will lock up the next five tours, just like someone I want mention.

  4. khal spencer Says:

    A little bit of Joan Didion on tap, eh, Patrick?

  5. John Says:

    “Saxo-Tinkoff is said to be focused on team GC now”

    Quick, name last year’s team GC winner? The year before? I didn’t think so. Me neither. In a tour full of yawns and “who gives a fuck”, who really gives a fuck about the team GC?

    Reading the comments over at cyclingnews.com suggests that a healthy chunk of the crowd over there in the UK are buying Zoom-Zoom’s act. A whole new crop of chamois sniffers has been born.

    • Larry T. Says:

      No doubt. Blighty is under the same spell with SKY as the ‘Muricans (as well as plenty of others) were with BigTex…even some of Tex’ biggest critics seem to have fallen for the “marginal gains” claptrap. Jingoism is alive and well. “Focused on team GC” is the same kind of phrase as “he resigned to spend more time with his family” I think Tex’ last tilt at Le Beeg Shew ended with his team focusing on team GC? The fat lady has sung here folks.

  6. Patrick O'Brien Says:

    Is your camera on the blink or is that Steelman wearing eccentric chain rings?

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I think it’s something of an optical illusion. The bike had a slight lean away from me, into the chainlink fence, and I was down low shooting upward. The bike sports 46/36 chainrings, though they may have ovalized a tad under the irresistible force of the immovable objects that are my mighty quads. Har de har har.

      • Patrick O'Brien Says:

        The eyes are the first to go, heh? I studied it for a few minutes before I asked.

        Ovalized rings from extreme power generation? Are you a Columbian Irishman?

  7. John Says:

    I am an alumnus of Bethlehem Central High School in upstate New York.

    As a youth, I spent far too many mornings slouching toward Bethlehem to be bored.

    But in spite of myself, I’ve enjoyed the TdF. I don’t dare if they’re all drug cheats; I don’t care if someone is running away with it by 20 minutes; I don’t care if Phil misidentifies one rider in two and gets all excited about an attack if a rider stands up to stretch, and I’m still not tired of Paul filling time with such terse phrases as “the front end of the main field” or “the sport of professional bicycle racing”. I just enjoy it. OK?

    • John Says:

      Just so you know, the above was by a different “John”, one other than the one who often goes by that unique identifier on here.

      Yours truely does not reside in upstate New York, I hunker down in western “ignorant and proud of it” Colorado. I do not describe myself as an alumnus of any high school, instead I am an alumni of Mesa State College, which just so happens to have had the teaching standards of a high school. At best.

      I pretty much quit enjoying this tour when Zoomie Froomie toodled his way off the front on Ventoux, and expected all of us to believe that he just has better training methods (does everyone else eat Pringles for breakfast or what?). I do care if they’re drug cheats, mostly because any truly great athlete who isn’t doping may be one of those guys back there riding and suffering without any of the rewards (cheats may have to someday give up the trophy but they usually keep the cash I noticed). And I am very glad that I won’t have to hear Paul Sherwin describe anything as “just a fraction” for another eleven months and one week, maybe longer.

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