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TDF rest day #1 - thoughts

Monday,  07/11/11  07:43 PM

The parade over the Passage du Gois was the Grand DepartA few thoughts on the 2011 Tour de France, as of the first rest day:

  • The race for GC is still wide open.  No serious climbing yet, no big selections.
  • There's going to be an interesting race for the green jersey.
  • The crashes in the first week were worse than usual, and eliminated more contenders than usual.  Bradley Wiggens, Jurgen van den Broek, Chris Horner, Alexander Vinokourv.
  • Alberto Contador had a bad week, lost four minutes, and crashed a lot.  But he's still right there.  Plus he won no stages and looked vulnerable.
  • Cadel Evans had a great week, he's in the lead among the contenders, and stayed out of trouble.  Plus he won a stage and looked strong.
  • Andy and Frank Schleck also had great weeks, they're right there, no crashes.
  • The sprint battles have been pretty much as expected, with Mark Cavandish winning two stages, but Tyler Farrar got one and so did Eduard Boassen Hagen.  Meanwhile Jose Joaquin Rosas has stayed close all the time.
  • Thor Hushovd was a great leader for the first week.  He looked good in yellow, and he'll be up there battling for green you can be sure.
  • Rabobank has reason to smile, with Luis-Leon Sanchez winning a stage and sitting in second place, and Robert Gesink in the white jersey and in the GC hunt.  Sanchez could stay up there, he's a great climber and a solid time trialer.
  • Johnny Hoogerland's horrible crash and subsequent recovery have made him a hero.  I doubt seriously he can hang on to the polka dots, but who knows.
  • Thomas Voeckler in yellow is awesome.  Everyone likes him, and while he isn't a threat to win overall, he could hang on to it longer than anyone thinks.

My picks for overall:  Cadel Evans to win, Phillippe Gilbert in green, Samuel Sanchez in polka dots, Robert Gesink in white.  Stay tuned :)

[ Tour de France 2011: all postsindex ]

 

Megan and class on the capital steps

Monday,  07/11/11  08:06 PM

Last May Megan and her Oaks Christian Middle School class went on a 10-day history trip to the East Coast, visiting Washington, Philadelphia, and Boston.  While in Washington they met briefly on the capital steps with Elton Gallegly, our congressman, and posed for this excellent photo:


(click to enbiggen)

Pretty cool :)

 

touring the Sierras

Monday,  07/11/11  08:15 PM

Last weekend Shirley and I had a chance to tour the California Sierras, and it was amazing.  Friday we drove through the central valley (yes it was 110in Fresno) and then into Yosemite from the West, ending up in Markleeville for dinner, Saturday I rode the Death Ride (a tour of the Sierras in itself), and Sunday we drove back down the Eastern Sierras, stopping at Mono Lake and the Mammoth Lakes to admire the incredible views.  It is so nice traveling this way when you're not in a hurry, pulling over to see all the sights, reading the historical markers, and generally experiencing the scenery instead of just watching it pass by the windows.

Some pictures, in case they are of interest:


Our route: up the central valley into Yosemite and the high Sierras,
then back down the Eastern Sierras past Mono Lake and Mammoth Lakes
(Kind of cool having the profile; the crosshair is at Lake Topaz)


big sky in the central valley
(not pictured, 110o heat!)


up up up into the mountains we go
yay, pine trees


incredible panorama from Big Tree (click to enbiggen)


birds of prey in Hell's Kitchen


OMG snow in mid-July


Alpine Lake panorama (click to enbiggen)


waterfalls everywhere


Mosquito Lake - still nearly frozen over


beautiful streams splashing along Ebbett's Pass


our amazing dinner companion at Stonefly in Markleeville


amazing model wagons by Dale Ford at the Lake Topaz Lodge


Mono Lake from the top of Sherman Pass
wow


Mono Lake: Black Point - Negit Island - Paoha Island


Twin Lakes seen from below...


... and from above :)


reflecting at Lake Mamie


Horseshoe Lake


who knew?  a French bistro in Independence
(thank you Yelp)

We hope to do this again soon...  there are so many amazing places to explore, and they really aren't far away.  Stay tuned!

 
 

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