Tuesday, July 6, 2010

TdF: Stage one: Rotterdam to Brussels

The dog was fine. Several riders crashed. Keep your dog on a leash, dumbass.

They start 'em young around those parts...

This stage started at the Erasmus Bridge, named after, I'm guessing This guy.

This stage was flat, which means it was set up mainly so the "sprinters" on each team could race for the stage win. The weather was sunny and calm, supposedly rare for this locale at this time of year. (According to the announcers, the wind howls usually off the North Sea, gusting at something like 40 knots.) This made it even more tempting for the sprinters, as the wind allowed the teams to stay together.

Anyway, it seemed to be too tempting: with two major crashes in the last kilometer, both Mark Cavendish and Tyler Farrar were knocked down. Some guy whose name I can't remember pulled down the stage win. IIRC, he's a 36 year old who was just in the right time in the right place. (I'd look him up, but it's three in the morning, and I accidentally deleted the last 30 minutes of this stage from my DVR.)

As for Tyler Farrar, I wish they'd stop interviewing him so much. He hasn't come close to beating Cavendish, and I doubt he ever will. So please, stop trying to set him up as some sort of Cavendish-slayer.

As for sprinters in general...meh. Considering the TdF is a three-week race, I'm not sure why I should care about a guy who can sprint really fast for about one kilometer.

I'm pretty sure this is Jens Voight. He crashed so badly in last year's TdF he was actually knocked unconscious.

Erasmus Bridge, Rotterdam. Out of a population of 600k, approximately 500k showed up to watch the prologue time trials

One of the commentators speculated that this was a hindu temple under construction. Odd thing to see around the Netherlands/Belgium border

Addendum: The guy who won this stage is Alessandro Petacchi, ITA, Lampra-Farnese. And I shouldn't have been so flippant about his win in this stage, as I just watched him win stage four: this 36 year-old guy somehow blew away Mark Cavendish.