16 July 2007

Stage Eight: Le Grand-Bornand > Tignes

Oh, Stage Eight, you are a cruel master. We all knew you would be one of the harshest stages, quick to punish those otherwise innocent young men who want nothing but to cycle your length and breadth without incident or mishap. But you, Stage Eight, had other plans. What has Australia ever done to you? Why have you chosen not one, not two, but THREE of our best to eliminate with one fell swoop of your mighty Alpine powers?

Thank you to the Tour participants who have already emailed me (the Australian co-hostess of this KAL) with your condolences for the losses we have suffered. Indeed, while Vino and Kloden, bruised but not broken, managed to complete the stage, we have lost Michael Rogers, Stuart O'Grady, and the KAL's favourite, Robbie McEwan from the Tour. Rogers looked relatively unscathed after a tumble from his bike and continued on, for a time...He was in the lead and far enough ahead of the other riders to be poised to take the Yellow Jersey when he was forced to abandon due to a dislocated shoulder.

I didn't see the footage of the crash that caught Stuart O'Grady up, but the poor fellow had 8 rib fractures and a punctured lung when he was carried off the road in one of those special stretchers for people with suspected spinal injuries.

And our dear old Robbie did not finish within the 40 minute time limit set by Race Officials and has been dropped from the Tour. Based on a stage's length and category climbs, a time co-efficient is calculated. The co-efficient is added to the time of the stage winner, then all riders must finish within this amount of time or be eliminated... thus proving that being the Lanterne Rouge is, in itself, a feat. Just showing up and crossing the finish line is not enough - you have to cross the finish line within the time limits for each stage.

Of course, all these losses amount to joy for fans of other riders, and one can't snub one's nose at the indomitable Dane, Michael Rasmussen, who showed in Stage Eight that he can be more than 'just' King of the Mountains, he could win the whole darn kaboodle, come the Champs-Elysee. And my favourite Aussie, Cadel Evans, managed to stay out of trouble... so all hope is not lost for the Aussies after all!

The standings at the end of today's stage are:
Yellow Jersey: Michael Rasmussen
Green Jersey: Tom Boonen
Polkadot Jersey: Michael Rasmussen
White Jersey: Linus Gerdemann

After two tough days in the Alps, tomorrow is a rest day. Is everyone clear on what happens on the Rest Day in our cozy little KAL? Here is a reminder. As outlined here, there will be a random drawing for a winner of a little French-themed prize on each of the two rest days and at the end of the Tour. You have just about 12 hours to comment or post about the Tour before entries for the first Rest Day draw close!

Now, what's everyone been up to?

Uncannily, Martha's knitting has been following the fortunes of Vinokourev. Going along fine... ripped... limping along... gaining strength... it will be interesting to see which crosses the finish line first, Vinokourev or the socks?

T. has her work cut out for her - she's been working on socks during the Mountain Stages, but is planning on keeping up with her Mystery Stole 3 as well! By Friday, she plans to have the socks finished as well as MS3 Clues 2 AND 3!

Barbara has posted a photo of yesterday's delicious potato salad recipe which just makes it imperative that I make that recipe for dinner tonight! And Janet is now working on a cute stashbusting yellow baby tank top, now that she's finished her circular blanket.

Sarah's Brigitte is up to the armhole decreases (give the woman a prize!) and is looking tres chic on the Bianchi:
Rachael's Clapotis has grown to the point of the first stitch drop, despite her impending inter-state house move! Good luck Rachael!!
Donna Lee has finished the first of her husband's socks:
Donni has finished the first pair of socks in her Mountain-WIP-busting-pursuit, and is thinking her daughter might as well mop the floor while she's skating all over it in her new socks:
Andi has found the Tour on tv, just in time for the Rest Day, but she is near the summit with her mountain of WIPs - you'll be unstoppable now that you've got the television going! Vivian is motoring along with her Jaywalker and wonders whether the combined mileage of all our yarn used in Tour projects might match the total mileage of the Tour? (at the rate some of these knitters are going, I reckon some people could make that mileage on their own!) Joy's Forest Canape shawl is also coming along nicely!
Jane has finished the first of her entrelac socks and Jen has finished the first of her Anniversaire socks. Angie has turned the heel on her socks and has decided she will name the pair after the holder of the Polka Dot jersey for that day's stage - great idea! Auntly H has had a change of equipment [needles] with her MS3 which has made all the difference. Lene is thrilled with Rasmussen's win and is nearing the home stretch with her sweater. All she has left to knit is a sleeve! Cindy2Paw has bid adieu to Monsieur Ravel as she's finished off her Cozy V-neck sweater in recond time! We're still awaiting photos Cindy!

Blogless Megan in Texas has sent me this update photo of her sweater - she's got both sleeves done and is 14.5 inches into the body!
And blogless Tam is speeding along on her Juno...yes that IS all over rib. Brave woman.

That's all the news that's fit to print at the moment... looking forward to announcing the identity of the Tour KAL's First Winner tomorrow! Bonne chance tout le monde!

27 comments:

Kristen said...

Condolences to you Meg on the elimination of 3 countrymen. Broken ribs?! Punctured lung?! I am learning through this KAL that the Tour is not for sissies!

Nikki said...

Oh my! I saw him being carted off in the ambulance but had no idea it was so bad. And Rogers... I was near tears when he pulled off the road to stop. Especially when he hunched over the bike and started crying.

Anonymous said...

Missed all the excitement last night, poor aussies . Actually went to bed early but have watched 5 out of the 8, not bad and my baby top is coming along, hoping to finish in plenty of time and do a " special " extra !!!!!! norma

The_Add_Knitter said...

I can't help it, I love Linus!! But I am sorry about the Aussies, that was a blow for sure.

romelda mckee said...

I root for our Discovery boys but I have to admit a liking for the Aussies . My heart was very sad as Michael Rogers slowly and bravely fought, slipping back ever so slowly until he just finally had to admit it was over for this year. Heart wrenching. My husband broke ribs, and his collarbone is a wheel tapping incident a few years back. It is a long recovery so we were so sad for Stuart O'Grady. Robbie McEwen did not deserve to be dropped that way. He is too good a rider, an exception was what we wanted!

Cindy said...

Speaking of the Laterne Rouge, I'm rooting for Dave Zabriskie (be sure to check out his video diaries on Velonews... who knew there was a Tom Boonen song?).

Jen said...

I am so sorry about your Aussie riders! :(

mishaele said...

Oh no! I hadn't heard about Robbie being disqualified. That's just adding insult to injury!

Chris said...

I can't believe Rogers kept going for even a while with a dislocated shoulder! Yowza. I wonder if Rasmussen will be able to hold it together for the time trial? I always have a flashback to his really horrific time trial (when he kept switching bikes) a few years ago...

Gretchen said...

Yay for Rasmussen! He was the one I've been rooting for all along! Rogers looked awful when he pulled off- they opened his shirt and there were nasty bruises all over the poor man's chest- it's amazing he rode as long as he did. I will miss the sprinters as well- McEwen wasn't my favorite, but he makes sprint finishes so exciting! I will not be resting on the rest day- I need to catch up to the peloton, and will be taking my Wisp to a margarita knit night tonight.

Béa (alias Greno) said...

Oh sorry for the Aussies, I was also very sad when I was watching TV "live" and I saw that Rogers began crying... I think I can't imagine all the dreams prepared for months and months, that are lost in so few minutes :-(

Auntie Jimbo said...

:( Oh Aussies. I cried, too, when I saw Michael Rogers crying. I'm such a sap, but they all work SO hard.
I am filled with righteous indignation on Robbie's behalf.
I'm about to be kicked out, too, because of my slow progress on Clementine!!

Stitchy Fingers said...

Well I haven't been able to follow the race on TV. They've only showed seconds on the news now and again. At least I've been learning and hearing about it on this blog!

Cecile said...

I too was so sad to see those two injured riders be forced to quit. That must have been quite a crash for the two who went down at the guard rail. We saw Rodgers come back up, or was he the other one? I forget. But we completely missed the crash that took out o'Grady. They all work so hard, it's a shame that any of them have to lose or quit. But I guess that's the nature of "le tour".

On the knitting front--there are some wonderful projects coming along at record speed. Kudos to all the knitters!

Condolences to all the Aussies!

Vivian said...

Those crashes were terrible! I don't think I've ever seen so many bad crashes in a single week of the Tour. Poor guys, all that suffering for a cruel twist of fate.

Aknita said...

And Mark Cavendish went yesterday too :(

Thank goodnees for a reat day. How cruel is Le Grand Tour - one moment you are staring at the Maillot Jaune, then in a moment *flash* there goes your shoulder and it's all gone!

Westozcaat said...

i didnt hear about robbie oh no, only one aussie left now- go cadel. I can understand though, my own green jersey project has been (temporarily) abandoned for a baby jumper.

hope the other aussies in the KAL are having better luck!!

Andi said...

Stage 8 was indeed a tough one! I cannot believe we've lost those three! What can a tour be without McEwan, O'Grady and Rogers? Oh, it was heartwrenching to see him pull over and stop!
But I have located Versus on my cable and can now watch and knit! I'm a happy chappie!

T. said...

I almost starting crying when Mick went out - very heartbreaking. I know Robbie is a fan favorite, but with him out, things are looking up for my boyfriend, Mr. Boonen.

mari said...

Oh no. I hadn't heard that Robbie McEwan hadn't finished in time! My absolute favorite sprinter. Very sad.

Auntly H said...

Those mountains are a tough mistress. Sorry to hear Robbie's out for time. I saw Rodgers pull over in the re-run this morning. Heartbreaking!

Maureen said...

I just found this knitalong and have loved the commentary of the stages as well! I am a huge fan of knitting and the tour! And Phil and Paul are bad either! KEep up the great work!

Lene said...

It's terrible that great performances go hand in hand with awfull crashes like those we saw yesterday. I hope the poor guys will be allright and that we are able to enjoy them in the tour next year! I'm glad that there at least is one aussie left.
I also hope that the elderly man who got ran over after the finish line by one of the riders will be allright and that he soon is out of the coma!

Arja said...

such excitement, while I was turning heels on my Fiesta socks. just a comment here, no new blog entries as I'm distracted by .. what's that little voice, is it really coming from my fridge? yes, it's the rhubarb I picked up during my bike ride and it calls out to become a rhubarb pie.

natalie said...

I think if I had got timed out like por Rodgers, I wouldn't want to come back another year.
Just as well the tdf mods here aren't going to get rid of some of us for lack of progress...
n

Tam said...

I was happily knitting away on the collar to Juno yesterday while watching the gruelling trek up Les Alpes but when Rogers was still trying to ride with the dislocated shoulder, I was so distracted that I had to frog it and start again.

heather t said...

just trying to squeeeeeeeek in under the wire! I think I am going to change my project - do i need to email you guys to make if official?