When AGV released the Pista GP, it was pretty spectacular as it’s the only motorcycle helmet that I know that was designed with Finite Element Analysis. This is a technique to optimize and approximate missing data from known quantities. It’s pretty cutting age and processor intensive, but it does give good results. The Pista GP was made of 100% carbon fiber, while the Corsa used a blend of carbon fiber, fiberglass, and aramid.
What do you get when someone decides to “rat-rod” a Willys Jeep from 1945? Rat rods are custom cars that imitate and exaggerate early hot rods. I have to say that despite its low ground clearance, this particular rat looks like it could go toe to toe with dune buggies.
It’s another year and another Tour de France. After some massive crashes, for no apparent reason, in Stage 6, a lot of favorites were out. The course itself wasn’t that hard, but nervous jitters were enough to send most of the peloton sprawling all over the roads.
This was the first mountain stage and it was actually one of the first stages where we’d see who would emerge as the real leader of the tour. Currently, Voeckler isn’t looking so bad, but the Schleck brothers and Contador are still the favorites. Frank Schleck looks somewhat better than Andy Schleck, as it was he who made the move to get the time on Contador and Evans. He managed to gain about 30″, which was very good. Sanchez won the stage with a last minute acceleration, which left Vanendert getting second.
Not looking good for Alberto Contador. He’ll most likely be guilty of blood doping and be banned for a few years. So, it looks like there was a reason why he was so hard to beat. This probably means that Andy Schleck won the TdF this year. Am I disappointed? Probably just a bit. But I kind of like that his arrogance is no longer an issue. Contador has always been an extremely arrogant racer. This can be a good thing, but doping = cheating.
Jerome Pineau and a few others managed to get on a breakaway. Pineau is the leader of the KOM comp and wears the polka-dot jersey, so he’s going to want to get all of the points in this stage’s climbs.
The lead is about 5 minutes right now. BBox is trying to pace the climb in the peloton so that they can get the group back. The breakaway includes the German champion Knees and a total of 5 riders.
I guess I was a bit hard on Mark Cavendish yesterday, but I was somewhat mollified when I saw his reaction when he was crowned the winner of the stage. He must have finally felt vindicated after so much time. He was finally able to pay back his team by winning.
Lang, Perez and Perget got away 4km into the race. They were joined by two more riders but were all caught at the 10 km mark. The race was predictable, nothing big happened. The undulating slightly hilly course wasn’t optimal for a bunch sprint, but this is how it ended. There was a small crash midway, nothing to write home about.
For a moment, it looked like Garmin Transitions would close the win, but a fantastic lead out by Mark Renshaw from HTC Columbia allowed Mark Cavendish to grab the win in a decisive manner. There was no doubt that he was the fastest. Interestingly enough, Farrar finished 2nd and Petacchi finished 3rd.
I’m looking forward to the mountain stages to see the jockeying in the GC standings.
There was also a little fight after the event, between Barredo and Costa. Barredo went after Costa with his front wheel and started pummeling him. Costa gave him a few hits and then they were separated. Apparently, Costa bumped into him during the race, at around 20 km before the end and knocked the wind out of him.
BikeRadar has posted some initial views on the ride quality of the BMC Impec, which is currently being used by the pro BMC Racing team. It’s an interesting take on lugged frames, even though BMC doesn’t call it that.
After the thrilling 3rd stage, the last two stages weren’t as interesting, as they ended in bunch sprints. While I was pretty happy to see that Cavendish didn’t win yesterday and gave up well before the end of the sprint, when he saw Petacchi powering ahead of him, this didn’t happen today.
Marc Cavendish is a very cocky racer, who needs to be schooled in respect and stop talking so much trash. I’d love it for Thor Hushovd to win the green jersey again, as Cavendish’s arrogant attitude is not worthy of a winner.
That being said, he won in a decisive manner, but the Tour is heading into the mountains, so it will be interesting to see who will make a move.
Today, a breakaway of three riders were kept at bay for most of the day. They were caught in the last few kilometers, even though Guitterez of Spain tried his best, he was caught also within a few kilometers of the finish. Nothing much else to report on that front. I can’t wait to see the Alps and the climbing. Cancellara won’t be wearing yellow for long, however Andy Schleck could be quite soon, as he’s a great climber.