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July 17, 2005

Stage 15 final climb: Up the Pla d'Adet

Three break survivors have 7:13 on Armstrong and Basso.

Ullrich is falling off the back. If he's going to catch Armstrong and Basso, he's got to do something special -- he's probably 20 seconds back of them now.

They're picking up the back markers from the earlier 13-man breakaway, Armstrong and Basso now riding with Bertolini. He won't ride with them for long.

Looks like the break may survive: Caucchioli has rejoined Hincapie, Boogerd, and Pereiro. They've got about 6:40 in hand with about 6 kilometers to ride. He sits in for a couple of kilometers, and Caucchioli is gone, off the front. Pereiro rides across, and Hincapie goes accross. Caucchioli is dropped. Now it's Hincapie and Pereiro alone. Hincapie is marking Pereiro. If they don't work together, some of the others may come back, but they're both thinking about how to deny the other the stage win.

Ullrich is riding his own pace now. He had been in site of the follow car behind Armstrong and Basso, but now it's on up the road. He's putting time into Rasmussen, but I hate to think the big German is riding for 3rd. Ullrich's gap is 22 seconds to Armstrong. Oscar Sevilla has gotten back to Ullrich now and is helping set the pace.

The lead motorcycle, with Hincapie and Pereiro, just went into a spectator. Guess that guy will leave a little room next time.

The crowd is dense and very orange as Hincapie and Pereiro get within 2 kilometers at the top. Thousands of Basque fans. They're to the barricades with 1 kilometer to go. Hincapie is sitting on Pereiro's wheel.

500 meters to go. Hincapie is still sitting on. 300 meters, Pereiro goes, Hincapie fires, and he just drops him. There goes George! George Hincapie takes the stage win! Pereiro will settle for 2nd on the day.

Caucchioli 3rd, Boogerd 4th, Brochard 5th. There won't be any time bonuses up for grabs when Armstrong and Basso finish.

Rasmussen almost caught Ullrich in the final stretch.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 17, 2005 | Permalink


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These spectators are awful eejits.

Go Georgie-boy!

Posted by: noelle at Jul 17, 2005 11:14:36 AM

I'm glad that fool got ran over. I wish the motocycle would have weighed more so it would've broke a leg or at least an arm. I hate when those jerks stand in the road, wave flags or throw ballons in the riders faces and, even worse, when they actually put their hands on the riders. Too bad they don't get an electric shock. Yesterday, the referee in the red car had a stick to poke people, but I didn't see it today.

Wooo, that rant felt good.

Posted by: Devans at Jul 17, 2005 11:38:25 AM

Ugh! I missed the telecast in favor of taking a bike ride myself before the heat index tops 100*F, and now I regret it! Not only will I be forced to listen to Al Trautwig and Kristin Gum (gag), now I learn that I missed the best highlight of the Tour: an idiot spectator being taken out! I hope to get it in super slo-mo tonight. :-)

Posted by: Nancy Toby at Jul 17, 2005 1:26:33 PM

Here on the West Coast the OLN live stage feed usually wraps around 8:30a.m., with an immediate rebroadcast from 9-11, another in the early afternoon, and then of course the evening primetime commercial-and-filler-o-rama featuring Al Trautwig, professional idiot blowhard. I like the 9-11 a.m. one being there, because it allows me to get up around 7:30 (5:30 is just too early, ugh) and catch the last hour of the live feed, and then see any key earlier action in the 9-11 recast, which still has a "live feel" to it. But ... why don't they have that immediate recast on Sundays? Do they at least have the afternoon recast? Having slept in until the ungodly-late hour of 8:30 today (and thus having missed the end of the livecast) I really can't stand the thought of having to watch the godawful primetime "for dummies" version tonight to catch the action.

I don't completely trust the air times listed at olntv.com, because I seem to remember there being an afternoon recast (at least on the Left Coast) last sunday, even though the website doesn't list such.

Posted by: EWM at Jul 17, 2005 1:46:52 PM

My hopes are that next year Lance agrees to become a sportscaster for OLN on the condition that Al Trautwig not be allowed on the set. There are so many knowledgeable cycling folks available to put up there on that set why do they continue with a man stuck on a perpetual learning curve? Its such a distraction. If I could get a different English speaking TV feed I would watch it.

Posted by: Dennis Abbott at Jul 17, 2005 3:08:00 PM

Why does OLN deprive us poor suckers who only get to watch at night (thru the week) of Phil and Paul? Do they think the only people who really care are the ones watching live, and the rest of us need to hear American accents in order to pay attention? Not to mention all those distracting little sidebars with Kirstin Gum, Paul Hoffman and Sam Posey.

Hmph. I would much prefer pure, unadulterated Paul and Phil!

Posted by: noelle at Jul 17, 2005 5:53:20 PM

Ah, I just realized why OLN's Sunday coverage is different that Mon-Sat: I see that ABC is doing their usual once-a-week TdF wrapup, apparently they have some deal with OLN so the latter only shows the early-a.m. livecast and evening show on sundays. Here's the scary part: ABC's Sunday show is so over-the-top hype-filled it makes the Trautwig-led OLN evening show look like a masterpiece of spare, bare-bones understatement. I kid you not, it's that bad - an incessant bombardment of stirring martial music and breathless flights of oratorical poetic fancy. For f***'s sake, ABC, it's a frickin' bicycle race, not the D-Day in-frickin-vasion.

The horror, the horror...

Frightening to remember (these are long-buried, painful recollections, mind you) that pre-Lance this was pretty much the *only* coverage of the Tour on U.S. television. I don't recall exactly when ESPN started doing their evening 30-minute wrapup shows (hosted by old standbys Liggett and Sherwen, their U.S.-accented 3rd wheel in those days was Adrian Karsten), but do recall it being a huge welcome break from the once-a-week content-devoid desert that was ABC Sports' version.

Posted by: EWM at Jul 17, 2005 6:13:06 PM

Anyone know where I can get video of that motorcycle taking down the droon-fans online? I couldn't see it very well thru the dread/laughing.


Posted by: Jarrett at Jul 18, 2005 12:38:16 AM

I am 57 years old and never seen a live bike race and this years broadcast on OLN is my third Tour de France. I am obviously not an Tour officianado, but as a life time golfer I must say I was drawn away from the British Open to watch the Tour de France. I am gaining a tremendous appreciation for the obviously finest atheletes in the world.
I must say I have never been an Al Troutwig fan or Sam Posey for that matter, surely OLN could do better than these two. No doubt novice fans like me could learn so much more with professional cyclists as commentators. All in all I do appreciate the work of most of the OLN broadcasters and would only hope that OLN would realize that many of their viewers are NOT "cyclists" and they should do a better job of providing a base education of the cycling sport. I must say it is surely a GREAT sport!

Posted by: Buddy D. Baker at Jul 18, 2005 1:14:45 AM

With heartfelt pleasure, I'll share the links of the fool getting ran over by the motorcycle camera. From this angle, you can see he went into the fetal position. Unfortunately that means the vital organs were protected.

From the Cycling News site:
BEFORE: http://www.cyclingnews.com/photos/2005/tour05/?id=tour0515/cycling-tdf2005-accident-54


Posted by: Devans at Jul 18, 2005 3:19:47 PM