Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Climbing Mountains in the Tour de France

After 15 stages and 64 hours of riding, the Tour de France resumes today in the Alps. Six riders are within 49 seconds of each other with two stages left in the Alps, including tomorrow's stage on the slopes of the fabled Alp d'Huez.
Frank Schleck is followed by Bernard Kohl, Cadel Evans, Denis Menchov, Christian Vande Velde and Carlos Sastre. Any of these six could end up in yellow on Sunday.
Versus is starting its coverage at 6:30 in the morning here on the east coast, repeated in the afternoon, the evening and again at night. The
New York Times has a convenient interactive map that summarizes each stage. The Google Earth Blog shows off the work of some geeks who have mapped out the race in three dimensions, including street views.
The next two stages display the Tour at its most fundamental: Who among the six riders can outlast the others in the Alps. The object is to put the other riders into difficulty in the delicate parlance of the commentators.
Photo: Jasper Juinen/Getty Images


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that after an American has lead or won the TdF for how many years, that now that anti-doping is really on the minds, no american rider is anywhere to be found.

9:37 AM, July 22, 2008  
Blogger Tom Noyes said...

Not so: Christian Vande Velde, who is American and rides for an American team (Garmin-Chipotle), can be found right up among the leaders, having started the day 39 seconds back.

9:45 AM, July 22, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

True, but there used to be American Teams working to push one rider forward

1:22 PM, July 22, 2008  
Blogger Tom Noyes said...

There are two U.S. teams: Garmin-Chipotle and Columbia.

Garmin-Chipotle is clearly riding in support of Christian Vande Velde.

Columbia had Kim Kirchen in yellow in the first week, and put Mark Cavendish in position to win four stages. However, Columbia has no podium contender.

The Tour is tougher to follow this year with so many riders still in contention in the third week.

2:03 PM, July 22, 2008  

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