Tour de France

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mattre
Participant
#

The Tour left Rotterdam today, and I caught up with it in Goes (sounds like Hoos). I’ve always wondered what it was like to see it pass by and happened to be here for work again, so I went out to see it this morning and took a couple of videos on my phone.

Basically everyone milled around and waited, and then suddenly there were helicopters overhead and cars on the road:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0wZtn51H5I

Thirty seconds or so later, the leaders went through:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l76wAMRvAsE

Maybe a minute after that, the peloton went by, followed by almost two minutes worth of cars. The energy in the mass of cycles whizzing by was pretty cool; I took a step back like I would from a fast train or fast car traffic. I have another video, but it’s too big for youtube and I can’t figure out how to edit. I can send the file if anyone wants to crop and upload.

After the peloton went by that was it, and everyone picked up and went home. I was at the train station thirty minutes later, and the only signs were the banners and some traffic fences.

It was cool and definitely worth seeing; but next time I’ll plan ahead and go to see special segment, with crowds and after parties and all that.


dwillen
Participant
#

That sounds sweet. Anyone watching le tour in Pittsburgh? I don’t have cable, but I signed up for the $30 versus coverage online and it sucks. Buggy, slow, intermittent and unwatchable.


Chris Mayhew
Participant
#

3 times a day here!


anthony
Participant
#

I’ll watch as much as I can.. Mostly catching the 8PM replay nightly.


dbacklover
Participant
#

Been watching, I get twitchy at work when it is on and I cant watch it.


jkoutrouba
Participant
#

Got my tab set up with http://www.letour.fr/us/index.html

I haven’t watched live yet, though, just the wrap up video.


stefb
Participant
#

i watched some today. it’s hard for me to just watch people riding bikes for hours.


Marko82
Participant
#

@Mattre

Sweeeeeeeeet! I’d love to be there in person some year.


salty
Participant
#

Mostly by luck I managed to catch stage 20 of the the 2004 Tour. I did zero planning and was more or less taken by surprise when I flew in that morning and realized I might be able to go. I remember being exhausted and trying to decipher from the French TV and newspaper where I had to go, when I had to be there, and how to get there. Somehow I found the right train and made it with like half an hour to spare. The whole thing was pretty surreal, but I’m really glad I went instead of just going to sleep.

I ended up somewhere by the Louvre; I don’t remember helicopters but I remember all the cars, then the riders (although since it’s not really a race stage it was more of like a parade of teams than one big mass). Then I realized I was pretty close to the finish so I walked that way. I didn’t try to push through the crowds to get to the finish line (I wasn’t sure if I needed a ticket to get into that area anyways), but I could see them doing laps. It was pretty cool, especially considering it was really just an accident that I saw it at all


dbacklover
Participant
#

it can be boring but you also get those exciting moments. the breakaways, the dogs running out onto the course and taking out half the riders. the pileup 500k from the line that stopped the race. the sprints to the end.

got to love it


stefb
Participant
#

yeah those parts are exciting. and i think seeing it in person would def be exciting. i am SO relieved that the dog is ok. i feel badly for those who crashed though.

so my uncle was in town yesterday and i hung out at my parents’ house for a bit, where i caught a bit of the tour. i think my uncle was just trying to start something, but he was questioning why cycling is a sport. i didn’t get into the conversation, but colin did. he isn’t the first person though that has asked or just simply said “cycling isn’t a sport”.


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe
Participant
#

Love watching the Tour on TV. Would be awesome to see it or some part of it in person.

Seeing all the motorcycles, helicopters, support vehicles makes it look like some other thing than cycling. But then that dog ran out in front of them, and I could relate.

Been there.


sarah_q
Participant
#

I’m really into the (overplayed) LA vs Contador thing this year.


edmonds59
Participant
#

The Versus coverage (cable) I have been really impressed with. They’ve been throwing in specials on the history along with the race coverage. It’s pretty cool.

I’m tentatively keeping my fingers crossed, but between this and the World Cup coverage, it’s like maybe Americans are realizing there is the entire rest of the world out there.

I may have a man-crush on Fabian Cancellara. 180 lb bike rider, he’s a monster!


HiddenVariable
Participant
#

cancellara is a cool cat. i liked his comment last year about how the swiss invented time, which was why he was a second ahead.


dbacklover
Participant
#

I like (liked) VS, last year they had their coverage online and I could put it in the background at work and listen, then if something sounded exciting I could flip. now they want 30$ for me to watch it online.

ahhhh-no


dwillen
Participant
#

Don’t waste your money. I paid $30 and am trying to get a refund. The streaming is beyond worthless.


dbacklover
Participant
#

i wasnt going to, i did find several places streaming it and one was in english

http://www.steephill.tv/tour-de-france/#tv-schedule

you just have to check em out and see how each is working


dwillen
Participant
#

Yea, I tried that yesterday. I figured paying a few bucks would be less of a headache. I was wrong.

When it works, the picture is gorgeous. You can watch about 10-30 minutes of it before the plugin dies and you have to restart the browser, computer, whatever. I can’t believe they want people to pay for that.


Andrew
Participant
#

This year I have DVR so I will just watch it after work.

I previous years I would catch some highlight clips / final kms on youtube.


sarah_q
Participant
#

If you guys are DVR-ing when can I post a question about stage 2? Tomorrow? I don’t want to spoil it.


quizbot
Participant
#

Can I try to spoil stage 3 in advance? El Pistelero crashes hard & eats some pavé, loses 5 mins on GC.


Ross
Participant
#

I love the Tour de France! Every year I sit here for hours on end watching the race (I am so thankful for cable TV). I dunno, this must be what other people feel when it’s time for the Superbowl or the World Cup of Whatever…

I just wish we had full-day, minute-by-minute coverage of Paris-Roubaix. But maybe that’ll happen some year after I have a bike-only road form Shaler to Freeport…

<edit>

OK…I actually took the week off from work this week…I love this stuff.


Chris Mayhew
Participant
#

@Rocco We pretty much do. I’ve watched it live the last several years. Steephill.tv, Justin.tv and

http://voetbal-kijken.blogspot.com

the last of which is my favorite.


stefb
Participant
#

lance armstrong tweeted that he and a bunch of people fell. i still haven’t seen it. i hope the new satellite box gets here ASAP


ieverhart
Participant
#

NPR had a story that mentioned the many falls:

Just a day in and chute and tombĂ© (“fall” and “fallen”) along with somber ooh-la-las were already well-overused.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=128321497


brian j
Participant
#

Yes, lots of falls on one of the descents. Lots of bitching about the course (which should continue on the stones tomorrow), but Garmin’s DS, Matt White, made a good point–these roads were just fine for Liege-Bastogne-Liege, so what’s the matter with them now?

A fine ride by Chavanel, given that he fractured his skull earlier in the year. The French will be happy that a Frenchman will wear the yellow jersey into France tomorrow.


dwillen
Participant
#

Versus seemed to have sorted out their issues. Below is the email they sent out. They ditched this horrid plugin that seems to be the root of all the problems. They now have a video that streams just like a youtube clip and works great so far. Now just give me some cowbells and cheering and I’ll not get anything done for the next 2 weeks.

Dear Tour Tracker user,

First of all apologies for the problems over the last few days with the Tour Tracker service. We know that many of you have experienced problems and have contacted us through our support email or posted your feedback online. We’ve responded to many of you, but while we’ve worked on fixing these problems we know many of you have not yet received a response.

Due to the problems with the Autobahn plugin, after today’s stage we removed the video player and replaced it with one that does not require Autobahn. Initial reaction is that this has fixed the streaming problems. This was also why the On Demand video of todays stage was delayed.

Another issue (particularly for the prologue) has been the start time of the coverage. We start the coverage when the International TV broadcast starts, some days this includes the start, some days it does not – it depends on when the host broadcaster in France decides to start the broadcast. The feed goes up on the Tracker at the same time as anyone in the world gets a TV feed.

The daily schedule of broadcast times is now published on the FAQ page: http://tracker.versus.com/faq

The other issue that many of you have commented on is the audio feed and the lack of background noise. We’re frustrated with this as well. We’re working hard on a resolution to this with the host broadcaster in France to correct the problem.

We’re cycling fans too and understand that the problems over the past few days have been extremely frustrating, we appreciate your understanding and hope you will enjoy the rest of the tour without any further streaming problems with the service.

Regards,

The Tour Tracker Team.


steve k
Participant
#

i’m always amazed by the custom kit that people get. well, not so much the kit itself, but the quick turnaround time for it all.

chavenel has a half yellow, half green bike in honor of his two jerseys.


Ross
Participant
#

After yesterday’s greasy downhill course with so many wrecks, I hope the cobbles don’t wreak further havoc and result in another “protest finish” today…

I’d love to see Big George put his experience to use and win the stage, though.


edmonds59
Participant
#

So on stage 3 Cancellara was riding the cobbles with one hand, talking on his radio with the other, while dialing back his pace so he could lead teammate Andy Schleck and a dozen other riders, to keep him in GC contention, helping Hushovd to take the stage win, and incidentally take back the yellow jersey.

And on stage 2 helped to regroup the peloton after the chaos of the massive crash just because it seemed like the right thing to do, while losing the yellow.

BAMF.


brian j
Participant
#

Spartacus seems to be the “patron” in the peleton so far this year, with Armstrong being a shell of his former self, and Contador not quite strong/confident enough to control the race by his lonesome.

My money’s on Hushovd for the green jersey at this point–if he can stay competitive in the sprints and pull off another breakaway like he did last year, he should have it in the bag.


edmonds59
Participant
#

There’s a lot of hype about the Schleck’s, I don’t know what to think about them, they seem unlucky and/or fragile.


brian j
Participant
#

Andy Schleck has a lot of potential (he’s a youngster, remember, winning the white jersey the last few years). Saxo will miss Frank in the mountains (remember last year’s attempts to dethrone Contador?), that’s for sure.


edmonds59
Participant
#

I’m not sure I’d go as far as to call Armstrong a shell yet either. His catch-up ride to the chasing peloton after his flat was pretty impressive, that’s just the mental toughness of an old dog. Sure, in an earlier day he would have bunny-hopped the entire crash, organized the chase group into a coalition to run down the lead group, and crushed the cobbles into a smooth riding surface as he went, but now he’s just human, a really good bike riding human.


brian j
Participant
#

Yeah, perhaps I overstated my case a bit. I’m just not sure LA can stamp his authority on a race anymore, but hey, I like being proved wrong.

I agree about his chase, and makes you wonder what he could have done had he not flatted.

While I’m here…who else thinks Cadel Evans should give up his dreams of being a Grand Tour GC contender and become a classics specialist/state winner? He’s done quite well for himself on tough stages (see yesterday and the strada blanca stage in the Giro). I think if he put his mind to it, he could do well in the Ardennes classics (I’m not sure he has the luck for the northern classics).


steevo
Participant
#

Dude no way, Cadel is my hold out for 2nd or 3rd

place. He will podium by simply following wheels and

not having a single teammate near him for 80% of the

mountains. He killed the giro with its 12% climbs.

Also: former lance is characterized by having all

of the strongest riders on his team. They were

always there when he needed them (think floyd

chasing down Jan for lance)…. Yesterday showed

that he didnt have that. Just the fact that

shcleck finished lead group shows that their team

was way better than radio shack.


HiddenVariable
Participant
#

yeah, it was a pretty big difference from previous years, when he had to drop his help in order to keep trying to close.

also: cancellara is quickly becoming my favorite racer. time trialing is such a kick in the nuts (at least on climbs, you sometimes have people near you for extra motivation), and yesterday it seemed like he led the first chase group for about 70% of the last 20k. every time they showed the group, he was at the head, eating wind for his teammate. thor hushovd really lucked out on that one.


the.republic.of.e
Participant
#

Are there any bars in pittsburgh where people go specifically to watch le tour? (possibly OTB?) I am sans TV and would enjoy treating myself to a non-grainy, non-laptop view of the race, with a beer, amongst other fans.


brian j
Participant
#

RE: LA’s team…steevo is right. Lance rode Brakovic (sp?) right off his wheel. Kloden may be a good lieutenant in the mountains, but he was nowhere to be found yesterday.

I think Cadel will do well this year, as he always does, but I’m not sure he can beat a pure climber like Contador. If Evans had a better team, I think he could won the Giro. Liquigas was just too tough, though, and always had another arrow in their proverbial quiver.

I think Cancellera was being generous to Hushovd after the sprint was neutralized on Monday. Yes, Cancellera did a lot of work to protect Schleck and maintain his gap on Contador, but I think he could have contested that sprint if he wanted to.

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