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.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Tour of California Stage 3

It was a tough day all around, both here at my house and at the Tour of California. I faced the arrival of a virulent gastrointestinal virus amongst my family members; the cyclists met their first mountain challenge. Somehow, I think I had the easier trial.

Route: Modesto – San Jose
Riders remaining: 132
Distance: 102.7 miles
- Del Puerto Canyon Road (category 4)
- San Antonio Valley Road @ 2338 feet (category 4)
- San Antonio Valley Road @ 2370 feet (category 4)
- Mount Hamilton (HC)
- Sierra Road (category 1)

Since I only caught fits and starts of the race online and about as much of the evening coverage with Phil, Paul, and Bob, I have virtually nothing to offer in the way of race narrative except to say that the race leader at the start of Stage 3, Tyler Farrar (Slipstream-Chipotle), abandoned the Tour due to illness. Race coverage reported food poisoning as the cause. I understand, too, that Kevin LaCombe (Kelly Benefit) was forced to withdraw after a crash sent him to the hospital for x-rays. The Tour of California website also had this to say about the health of the competitors in general:
Race doctor Ramin Modabber [said] yesterday that many riders in the peloton have been hit by a virus and are being treated with IV fluids.
This came across the web as well:
Matty Rice of Jelly Belly and Hilton Clarke of Toyota-United have abandoned...
As I said before, it was a tough day for everyone.

My favorite race moment: the finish, of course, because it was exciting and because it put Levi Lepiheimer in the golden jersey. I was happy to see George Hincapie on a lone breakaway, too. Maybe next time he will succeed.

Stage 2 Standings
- Robert Gesink (Rabobank)
- Levi Leipheimer (Astana)
- Jurgen Vandewalle (Quick Step)
- Kevin Seeldraeyers (Quick Step)
- Mauricio Ardila (Rabobank)

General Classification
- Levi Leipheimer (Astana)
- Fabian Cancellara (CSC)
- Robert Gesink (Rabobank)
- David Millar (Slipstream-Chipotle)
- Gustav Larsson (CSC)

Hopefully, the gastrointestinal symptoms of my family won’t hamper my Thursday viewing. I missed the first “real” mountain stage of the race; I don’t really want to miss the longest stage, too. See you later today.

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