Yesterday was a pretty predictable day, with the Boass Hoag taking the uphill win. I must say that it's been a very satisfying first week as far as the stage winners go. Every stage winner so far has been very likable—even Cadel. Today is a really flat stage, and the only factors that could potentially effect the GC will be crosswinds, crashes or camera motos.
In other news, the "poutspoken" (I've just made up that word, it's used to describe the quotes from people like Cavendish that are both interesting and pissy at the same time, feel free to share it with the world) Nicolas Roche had this to share from his blog for the Irish Independent:
For the first time on this Tour, I thought some of the guys didn't pull their weight today and had a bit of a row with Max after the stage. It's hard to say something to him because we're good friends and have known each other for years. So when I told him 'Hey Max, today you were useless' it might not have been the best approach.
I told him I never saw him all day. Max said that he'd been on the front but I told him that was no good if he was on the left and I was on the right. He justified himself by saying he was working for Peraud but I still wasn't happy.
That's just savvy poutspokeness, I hope Nicolas enjoys turd paninis, because that's all he's going to get from Bouet.
124k to go, and the Boner pulls out—it's a sad sight, but I'm still giggling a bit—I am not mature.
122 to go and the pack shape tells me that there's a bit of a crosswind out there, the wind doesn't look too serious yet, but it will bear watching. Watch for Spaniards to look for a cozy place to nestle into—somewhere around 50th place.
Today is a day custom made for Cavendish, and his confidence is probably running high after his stage win. If he wins today he will pantomime doing something terribly PG-13 to a member of Greipel's family.
116k to go, there's still a crosswind, but it's not affecting the race. Garvelo is up front. Chavanel is gutting it out today.
108k to go, and we see one of the highlight of today's stage—the natural break. There is a break away, but there's a greater chance that Zsa Zsa Gabor takes up planking than there is of them staying away to the finish.
106k to go, I must admit I prefer Phil and Paul's tumescent nationalism to their adoration of Lance, the lesser of two evils I suppose. Had Lance been British, I'd assume they would have burst into flames in the commentary booth.
The most interesting thing about today's stage is that the intermediate sprint is 26k from the finish. Which doesn't seem very intermediate at all...
93k to go, this is a tough day to be a commentator. Paul just explained what a quick release is (really)—up next, bikes have chains.
Zabriskie has been eating bugs at the front so much this Tour that he's technically no longer a "fishy" vegan.
Phil and Paul are working today's media guide like a speed bag.
83k to go, and there's a crash, just a little "Spanish slip". Not a biggie.
76k to go, Bouet stops by the side of the road to pick up some manure, he mixes it with Nutella and places it on a bun, this is know as a "Roche burger".
How dull is today's stage? We're down to Boass Hoag shingles talk. If they really need to fill time, they'll get around to Phil's hemorrhoids.
70k to go, Bouet punctures, his pockets were too full with dung—a rookie mistake...
In other news, Lotto had an internal slap fight about whether Greipel should be their favored sprinter, and it seems that Greipel "pout-sprinted" Gilbert. Look for Lotto to start dominating the race for 6th place.
48k to go, JV radios to DZ to tell him to punch himself in the groin.
47k to go, we have a crash. More Shacks hit the road. Popo has spent more time in the dirt than most mud wrestlers.
38k to go, DZ is like this Tour's vegan hood ornament.
Another crash. One good thing about holding yellow is that VDV has been at the front—and not involved in any crashes. I'm going to be quiet and not say anymore about that now. Wiggo is down, Tyler went down also.
Uh oh, he's assuming the "collarbone position". Horner went down, is Kloden's pump sticking out of his spokes?
Wow, this sucks. Wiggo looks done for.
32k to go, Wiggo is out, a victim of Kloden shrapnel?
28k to go, we're coming up to the intermediate sprint, let's see who still cares. Sky at the back of the race, pacing a ghost bike back to the front.
The FDJs go one and two on the sprint, there will be milk in the coffee tomorrow!
25k to go, here comes the pack, HTC at the front. Gilbert goes really early, Rojas beats him, and Renshaw puts some salt into the wound by finishing a spot ahead of him. Greipel in rear, digging finger into nose.
19k to go, Rojas has earned virtual green, actual hostility from Belgium.
18k to go, it's echelon time!
16k to go, Leopard working for Kloden to distance Levi. Kloden looking to buy remote tropical island for underground headquarters, shark tank.
15k to go, since Tyler's in the back, we have ourselves a SMASH day.
13k to go, the break is caught. One last shot from the FDJ guy. Wow, those are some tight bends!
It seems that Sky has taken over as the favorite team of P&P, is that the last nail in the Shack's coffin?
Here comes the last 10k, good times.
HTC lined up at the front like lycra nesting dolls.
Look at all the company Levi has in getting screwed over.
8k to go, HTC putting Cav in the rocking chair. Older readers will recognize that "trucker chic" reference from the mid 70s.
The "bear in the air" tells me that Levi will be getting sandwiches for Kloden this Tour. He stops to ask Bouet for some recipes.
6k to go, HTC at front still, Gilbert up front to allegedly work for Greipel's inevitable embarrassment.
5k to go, Levi needs to get a new wheel, damn Kolden is good! He radios ahead for the diesel spill that nabs Horner.
4k to go, Leopard at the front to make finish non-fatal for Andy and Frank, they will sprint for the 3k to go banner.
3k to go, HTC gunning it, they have about 6 guys up there. Somewhere Cipo looks up from a concubine's bosom and smiles.
1k to go, Greipel sitting on Cav, good to see those two reunited.
Greipel jumps on the left, Cav goes, it's a drag race. Greipel plays "Pinto" to Cav's "Trans Am".
Levi finishes in second group, Kloden orders new boomerang helmet with razor edges.
You know that old box of bike parts you've put in your closet?
Recorded inside the press room at Grenoble Velodrome, we bring you Episode #8 of the Insider from the 2011 Tour de France, our final podcast.
Recorded 1,850 metres above sea level atop the famed Alpe d'Huez, we bring you Episode #7 of the Insider podcast from the 2011 Tour de France.