Inspired by a little-known picture book from the pen of Bethany Tudor, this is a diary, of sorts, where I document some of my thoughts, activities, and ideas as I explore the challenges met by the characters in the story: hard work, the care and nurture of others, housekeeping skills, life changes, charity, community, and cooperation, among others. Like Samuel and Samantha, the ducks in the tale, I struggle and succeed, cope and celebrate, work and play, handling the tasks that come my way. I invite you to join me on my journey.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Tour of California Stage 1

Trying to watch a bike race during the early season is such a struggle around here. My time is already allocated to other, dare I say, more important things like homeschooling and household management tasks. I can’t/shouldn’t really give it the time of day, but…today, I managed to squeeze in Stage 1 of the Tour of California.

Route: Sausalito – Santa Rosa
Riders remaining: 132
Distance: 96.8 miles
- Coleman Valley Road (category 3)

It appeared, and was reported, to be cool most of the day: 53°F at the start and forecast to be cooler by the end of the route. Jackson Stewart of BMC spent most the day on his own, out front, only to be captured by the peloton just before the closing circuit. Sad. I was hoping he would take the day, especially since he earned all the top sprint points for Stage 1, as well as the King of the Mountain jersey. Being from Santa Rosa, it was understandable that Mr. Stewart would want to turn in an impressive performance. I think he should be pleased with a job well done.

Mario Cipollini (Rock Racing) was definitely on his game, racking up third place on the first intermediate sprint. To watch a video of it, click here and go “Peloton Hits the First Sprint.” I had to run some errands toward the end of the race, so I didn’t get to see if he mixed it up at the end. Curious question: does SeƱor Cipollini hold the record for the highest number of ‘unretirements” in the history of cycling? Just curious. At 40, he sure looks great. Not that I was paying attention. :-)

I understand that George Hincapie (High Road) took a spill in the final turn, although he was able to remount his machine and finish up on the day. Here is a short note on his condition, quoted from the media page of the Team High Road website:
George Hincpaie was part of the lead-out train setting up Ciolek for the sprint but was involved in a crash going under the tunnel within the final kilometer. He was pretty scraped up at the end but finished without losing time.
Last year, Mr. Hincapie broke his wrist during a fall in Stage 6. Hopefully, he will start Stage 2 with only a few aches and no worries.

My favorite race moment: Fabian Cancellara, back in the pack and wearing the yellow jersey, cheering on his teammate, Juan Jose Haedo, even before he crossed the finish line, knowing he had sewn up the Stage 1 win. To view the video, click here and go to “Juan Jose Haedo Wins Stage 1.”

Standings Stage 1
- Juan Jose Haedo (CSC)
- Gerald Ciolek (High Road)
- Heinrich Haussler (Gerosteiner)
- Dominique Rollin (Toyota-United Pro)
- Matteo Tosatto (Quick Step)

General Classification
- Fabian Cancellara (CSC)
- Tyler Farrar (Slipstream-Chipotle)
- Bradley Wiggins (High Road)
- Levi Leipheimer (Astana)
- David Millar (Slipstream-Chipotle)

Hopefully, I can squeeze in Stage 2. Stay tuned.

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