Just occurs to me that we head in to Stage 10 and I haven't even written about the Tour this year. I can tell you that as long as the words "Kirsten Gum" appear on my weblog, I will never be lonely -- searches for the OLN anchor hottie, who made the switch from big blonde to shaggy brunette sometime after ski season, have doubled the traffic to my blog since the Tour started. Of course, no one stays to read anything, because they're hoping I have naked pictures of Kirsten, and must be very confused when their search brings them to the random rantings of a middle-aged lunatic. If I did, I certainly wouldn't post them. No gentleman would. Do you people have no scruples?
So far, it's been a great Tour. Discovery Channel certainly look like worthy successors to Postal, despite a little miscalculation the other day when they hit the first hill, the attacks came fast and furious and Lance was left alone to deal with them. They rode the team time trial brilliantly, though CSC would have certainly at least tied had David Zabriskie not taken a nasty fall in the final clicks. Lance did the honorable thing and refused to wear yellow the next day until Jean-Marie forced him to. Much less twitchy tour than the last couple of years -- maybe the 3km rule has helped (it used to be that anyone who crashes within the last 1km got the same time as the group he had been with -- now it's 3km, making for less of an urgent rush to get to the line for those who aren't going for the stage win. People have been calling for this for a couple of years, and it seems to have made for some safer finishes.
Before the rest day, Lance had slipped out of yellow -- by more than a comfortable margin, to my way of thinking. He's counting on Voigt of CSC to be unable to compete in the high mountains -- something Voigt himself admits he wouldn't be able to do. But still, CSC has got to want to keep that jersey. Rasmussen rode so strong, out alone just about forever, and it's got to be that Discovery are sure he spent himself and won't be able to climb, either. In any event, today's the first day in the mountains (haven't watched it yet), and coming off a rest day, it's bound to be interesting.
In celebration, I did my own Tour de Saratoga and Washington Counties today -- a tax-free metric century or, for the normal-thinking, 92km. Nice average speed, too. I was going to go for the full metric century, 100km, but baby, my legs were fried. It was up over 92 degrees (33, for my Canadian friends), I had been going for a high cadence and high speed (for me) the whole time, and the last 8k or so made my quads cry, so I just finished when I got to my car and was happy to finally be done. A lovely day, other than the heat and sun, and I discovered a lovely funky little cafe / health food store / gift shop in Schuylerville, General Schuyler's Pantry. The kind of place I keep wishing were in Kinderhook, but isn't -- turns out it's been up north the whole time! Had a good croissant, a big cup of iced coffee, a little chat with one of the owners, and a very pleasant little break. Highly recommended.