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July 21, 2006



I'm one of the six and will not miss it. This has to be one of the craziest tours ever.


TM is a known Lacrosse basher...now he compares the world's premier cycling event and golf's oldest and most venerable championship to watching paint dry and grass grow....

I wonder if the bored sheep herders swatting rocks around with sticks ever imagined that one day the son of a black soldier and a Thai woman would be paid 100 mil a year for swatting the white pellet farther and more accurately than anyone else.

Gary Maxwell

30 seconds with only two flat stages remains. they may be sprinting down the Champs or third place may be all he gets. Not bad for American cyclist, just not Lancish.


Get on the bike!

Today's Stage 18 was calm. Tomorrow, Landis needs to have his third good day in a row.

The time trial Saturday should do it. The two in front of him are not time trialers.

It's on OLNTV, and if you don't like the cycling part, you got to enjoy watching the French countryside roll by. In the very least, the grief that the French feel at having lost the Tour seven times might be worth leaving the little round ball game behind.

Tour Day France!

Patrick R. Sullivan



windansea -

I suspect that if George Steinbrenner can't buy it, TM is not, athletically speaking, intereted.

When they start showing cycling on the YES network, though, watch out!


There are two good things about the Tour de France -

1) The race commentary is outstanding. They have a complete mastery of the subject, seem to enjoy each other's company, are intent on informing and entertaining the viewers, and never descend into cliche.

Given that it's freaking bike racing for six hours for god's sake, it's a miracle of broadcasting.

2) Bob from OLN saying 'Tour DAY Frants' during the prerace and postrace analysis.

Because, you know what, it makes the OLN coverage perfect.


Tom Maguire

OK, true confessions - I was riveted by the climactic time trial between Lance and Ullrich three years ago. Landis ought to win this one, but we will see (and I will watch, schedule permitting.)

Jim in Chicago

Iirc, in the prologue, Landis lost about 8-10 seconds at the very start. The clock had started on him, and he was nowhere to be found. Turned out the team mechanic had seen a small nick on his back tire at the last minute and he had to change it.

Shame if that slip were to cost him the race. Tho it shouldn't. He should be able to make up the 30 seconds on the maillot jaune, while the challengers behind him have to make up 2 minutes and more.

The tivo will be working overtime Sat mornin, tho I have to admit golf will not be on the agenda. That can wait for Sunday. Rather, the other tuner will be occupied with Manchester United's match from their pre-season tour of South Africa. Come on you Red Devils.

Lew Clark

I'm all gaga at the Tour and golf. Because you have competitors constantly moving toward a goal. Unlike the World Cup where you had two groups of men standing in the middle of a large field kicking a ball back and forth. Rumor had it there were two goals, one at each end of the field. But they were actually just designated spots, where another player, in a different colored shirt, stood and watched all the "paint drying level excitement" in the middle of the field, where the guys were kicking a ball back and forth to each other.

Tom Maguire

Because you have competitors constantly moving toward a goal. Unlike the World Cup where you had two groups of men standing in the middle of a large field kicking a ball back and forth.

Golf and cycling are metaphors for sports; soccer is a metaphor for politics.

Gary Maxwell

soccer is a metaphor for politics.

That might explain my deep interest in both.


07/21/06 Centcom: MARINE KILLED IN AL ANBAR PROVINCE (confirmed)
A Marine assigned to 1st Marine Expeditionary Force died due to enemy action while operating in Al Anbar Province today.

07/21/06 Reuters: Gloom descends on Iraqi leaders as civil war looms
Iraqi leaders have all but given up on holding the country together and, just two months after forming a national unity government, talk in private of "black days" of civil war ahead.

07/21/06 AP: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Shiite Areas; 18 Die
Gunmen attacked two Shiite neighborhoods Friday in the same town where Sunnis opened fire on a market earlier this week, prompting Iraqi forces to call for American air support in a clash that killed at least 18 people, the Iraqi army said.

07/21/06 KUNA: Bomb explosion south of Baghdad injures three MNF soldiers
Multi-National Forces (MNF) in Iraq said on Friday that three soldiers were injured when an explosion rocked their patrol vehicle south of Baghdad.

07/21/06 AFP: Christian working for the ministry of higher education shot dead
In the southern neighborhood of Dora, a predominantly Sunni area that has been a focus for violence in the city, a Christian working for the ministry of higher education was shot dead.

07/21/06 AFP: Nine Iraqis killed in 'quiet' day in Baghdad
At least nine Iraqis were killed in and around Baghdad, including a major clash that lasted several hours between Iraqi security forces and insurgents, an interior ministry official has said.

07/21/06 OA: Developing Robots that can Perform Dangerous Military Tasks
The U.S. military is ramping up efforts to cut down on the number of troop casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan.... Now, in an effort to stem the casualties, the Pentagon is funding research into robots that can perform some of the troops...

07/21/06 AP: Army Cuts Expenses Not Essential to War
The Army, bearing most of the cost for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, said Thursday its money crunch has gotten so bad it is clamping down on spending for travel, civilian hiring and other expenses not essential to the war mission.

07/21/06 gazetteextra: Injured soldier to receive treatment
An Orfordville man injured in Iraq last week by a roadside bomb... Troy DeVaultwas...suffered from a fractured L1 vertebra and ruptured eardrums as well as cuts, burns, bruising and swelling.

07/21/06 Reuters: Headless body found in Kirkuk
The body of an unidentified headless man was found in the southern part of Kirkuk, 250 km (150 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

07/21/06 Reuters: Policeman gunned down in Mosul
A policeman was gunned down in the centre of Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, a hospital source said.

07/21/06 Reuters: Bodies of three headless soldiers found near Falluja
The bodies of three Iraqi soldiers in uniform with gunshot wounds, bearing signs of torture, were found in a deserted area about 20 km north of Falluja, which is 50 km (32 miles) west of Baghdad, police said.

07/21/06 Reuters: Roadside kills one civilian, wounds 2 others in Baghdad
A roadside bomb targeting a Sunni mosque in the eastern New Baghdad district of the capital exploded, killing one civilian and wounding two others, police said.

07/21/06 Reuters: Three Policemen and three Iraqi soldiers killed in Mahmudiya
Three policemen and three Iraqi soldiers were killed when clashes with gunmen erupted in the town of Mahmudiya, about 30 km (20 miles) south of Baghdad, an Interior Ministry source said.

07/21/06 Reuters: Salvadoran and Polish soldiers wounded near Numaniya
Two Salvadoran and four Polish soldiers and an Iraqi translator were wounded when their convoy was attacked near Numaniya, 120 km (70 miles) south of Baghdad, the Polish defence ministry said. It was not clear how the convoy was attacked.

07/21/06 Reuters: Mosques bombed, tense Baghdad under curfew
Bombs outside Sunni mosques in Khalis, north of the capital, and in the mainly Shi'ite east of Baghdad, each killed one man and wounded two during weekly prayers, police said.

07/21/06 Reuters: Common tragedy for Iraq refugees divided by sect
The cities of Falluja and Diwaniya are on opposite sides of Iraq's bloody sectarian divide but refugees who fled to them to escape death threats and violence tell the same horror stories.

07/21/06 AP: Iraq's Reconciliation Committee to Meet
A government committee formed to try to unite the country's sectarian and political groups will hold its first meeting Saturday, a parliament member said.

07/21/06 Centcom: Two Iraqi Force Raids In Baghdad Net Four Insurgents
Iraqi security forces conducted two separate operations in Baghdad on July 20, capturing four insurgents who may be involved in ‘extra judicial killing,’ or EJK cells.

07/21/06 KUNA: Two dead bodies found
police patrols in Azadi area found a dead body in a prayer hall in Abu Allouk graveyard, noting that the dead body is for an unidentified two-year old child....an Iraqi Police patrol found an unidentified, beheaded body...in Kirkuk city.

07/21/06 WaPo: Baghdad police hunt for corpses, find 38
Iraqi police scoured the streets of the capital from dawn till midday, looking for corpses and finding dozens. Residents of a northern city who celebrated the end of a hot day with a scoop of ice cream were ravaged by a car bomb.

07/21/06 LATimes: Fundamentalist Shiites' crossroads
One of the hottest-selling items in Mustafa Hahel's shop here off Baghdad Street is a poster showing the leaders of Iran, Syria and Hezbollah side by side, smiling pleasantly and surrounded by roses and daffodils. Portraits of the founder...

07/21/06 RFE: Daytime Curfew Extended In Baghdad After Bloody Week
The hours of a Friday daytime curfew have been extended in Baghdad after one of bloodiest weeks that Iraq has suffered this year. Bomb and armed attacks in Iraq have killed over 120 people this week.

07/21/06 AP: Iraqi dies in U.S. operation near Baqouba
U.S. soldiers killed at least one person Friday when they fired on a group of Iraqis moving on rooftops, a U.S. statement said. Iraqi police said at least six people were killed. The dead included two women and two children, Iraqi police said.


""Iraq as a political project is finished," one senior government official said -- anonymously because the coalition under Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki remains committed in public to the U.S.-sponsored constitution that preserves Iraq's unity." Reuters 07/21/06

Pepe Le Pep

^- Those will be the headlines, but in American cities, if the Libs take over.


Or should I call you Mr. Doom and Gloom!
Your point is?....

Tom Maguire

Tech check.


From reading the above comments, I see that you truly can slam politics into any topic.

Then here's my attempt:

Winning cycling like winning politics needs Rovian preparation and planning even before the race starts.

As Landis rode to a conservative time trial finish today, his team's coach in the team car behind him relayed the twists, turns, and even bumps in the road to him via radio. Fantastic prep and teamwork. And enough time gap to meet the objective of winning the war, while not going recklessly for a stage win.

That politicos would do such prep work! For instance, like when appearing before a Grand Jury.

Was Landis' stage bonk Libby-before-the-Grand-Jury-esque? He failed to nourish himself pre-race, and hydrate himself in-race. Poor prep and execution.

Yet, unlike Libby, the team carried him on via Axel Merckx, who slowed down and encouraged Landis to hold on and survive to ride the next day.

Landis' second try at the Race of Truth was a ringer. Every foot of the course up the mountain slopes was detailed before the race. As he rode, he anticipated the weather, drinking frequently and drenching himself with so much water that he blew out his helmet radio.

Lance Armstrong was the master of course prep also, knowing every inch of ground before the day arrived. In addition, team support was carefully planned, since drafting behind teammates is such an important part of the race -- be it GC, sprint, or mountain work.

Remarkably, Landis annihilated Stage 17 almost by himself, without much drafting help from his team.

Here's to Landis and Armstrong. May the conservatives take a lesson! Know the course, the teamwork, and the nature of your opponents before the race starts!

BTW, the stage tomorrow is just a Champaign run. His team will protect him into Paris. No racing allowed on overall standings. Floyd then is the next American in the yellow jersey.

Tour Day France!


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