The rambling thoughts of a Modern Orthodox Chassid (whatever that means). Contact me at emansouth @

Friday, July 20, 2007

SHHHHH! Please Don't Tell Me!!!!

No. Not that. I couldn't care less about that.

I'm talking about the Tour de France.

This has been a fascinating tour. There are still about 9 riders who can seriously contend for the yellow jersey. Tomorrow is the first time trial and the results promise to finally shake out the field of general contenders. I intend to watch the replay after Shabbos and I don't want anyone telling me about the results before that. (Not that anyone in my shul cares one hoot about the Tour de France or would know anything about it during Shabbos even if they did).

Yesterday's stage was one of the most bizzare I've ever seen. For reasons that I still don't understand, one of the teams decided to put the hammer down on a flat stage. They rode at the head of the pelaton for 90 miles in a crosswind at an average speed of 30 mph. While they managed to split the pelaton in two and ended the chances of one of the top contenders (he got caught by surprise and was unable to catch up to the lead group; he ended up losing over 3 minutes), I don't think that was their goal. In fact, I don't know what their goal was other than to wear themselves out.

Finally, I think that Team Discovery is running a very interesting tactical race. With the exception of one Alpine stage, we've hardly heard from them. They have done almost no hard work. Instead, they've been content to let their two leading riders go with the flow, preserving their energies for the time trials and next week's brutal mountain stages. Discovery also has two accomplished mountain riders to support their two possible general contenders. We will see if this strategy will work.



  • At 11:15 AM, Blogger PsycleSteve said…


    Since I tend to avoid your discussions of "how frum is good frum" which seem to be all the rage (and have been for the last 3500 years - "ein chadash tachat hashemesh") I'll jump in on this one.

    I think Astana putting the hammer down after Moreau was injured was done on purpose since Moreau did the same to Vinokourov when he was injured a few stages back. There was a strong crosswind yesterday and those that didn't make the first split were unable to bridge the gap and lost several minutes. I think Vino hoped to catch more contenders out but it seemed that among the biggies it was only Moreau. Breaks my heart that the only French contender looks out of the running. :-)

    What you wrote about Discovery's tactics is right on. They should have some fresh legs for the time trials and Pyrenees.

    PS For those of you to whom this all sounds like Greek, I feel the same way reading the circular endless arguments in the last few posts on the "ultimate frumkeit".

  • At 11:40 AM, Blogger MoChassid said…

    Discovery, during the Lance years, never cared a hoot about winning stages or leading breakaways. All they cared about was wining the overall race. I think they are following the same formula. For example, Hincapie rode in the wind for 90 miles protecting Leipheimer and the other contender (whose name escapes me). What is interesting is that there are currently two guys within the top seven. Who will end up taking the leadership?

    And, I share your sorrow over the fact that there are no Frenchmen in the hunt.

    I think Astana paid a big price to ditch one contender. You could be right that they thought they'd bump off more.

  • At 12:10 PM, Blogger PsycleSteve said…

    The other guy is Contador - young kid, amazing climber. Don't think he can time trial though. I think the plan is for Leipheimer to have a great time trial and then for Contador to pace him through the Pyrenees, but you never know.

    You're right about Astana. They blew a lot of energy yesterday trying to get their "leader" Vino back into contention, which ultimately failed. They would have been better off just protecting Kloden. But Vino is a wild man and could still suprise.


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