20 July 2007

Stage Eleven: Marseille > Montpellier


What lots of riders thought would be a relatively relaxing day of racing in the windy but flat Langue d'Oc region turned a bit more "stressful" (Cadel Evans' word) when Team Astana used some classic (abeit arcane to me) racing techniques to split the race into two pelotons, and trap poor Christophe Moreau in the 2nd peloton - essentially robbing him of his GC chances. Coming into the last kilometre, it looked like it was going to end up a typical sprint finish - but then two top sprinters, Tom Boonen and Freddy Rodriguez wiped out on a left hand bend in the road within 500m of the finish line - leaving the race open to anyone! Although Vinokourev had pushed ahead on the attack in the last km - letting us know he might have 40 stitches in his knees but that doesn't mean he's not a contender! - he was quickly reeled back in. South African Robbie Hunter won the stage - the first ever win by a South African, and the second win for his team, Barloworld, which is debuting in this year's tour. It was an exciting finish even though it was pretty clear that none of the standings would be much affected.

Many of us are mourning the elimination of Dave Zabriskie, who was eliminated, like Robbie McEwan a few stages ago, for failing to finish within the time limit.

The standings remain unchanged at the end of Stage Eleven:
Yellow Jersey: Michael Rasmussen
Green Jersey: Tom Boonen
Polkadot Jersey: Michael Rasmussen
White Jersey: Alberto Contador

It's been a quiet day on the knitting front - I suspect many of you are plugging away on your projects, too busy knitting to post. Either that or you are all suffering a bit of Tour Fatigue - it can happen, even to those of us watching from the Lounge, much less trying to keep up with the peloton! Hopefully this weekend's action, including a time trial on Saturday which will really shake up the the General Classification standings, will spur us all on to action!

Elaine is back from her trip to London where she witnessed the prologue and the first stage. Her account is in yesterday's comments, or on her blog. Sounds like heaps of fun, anyone planning a trip to France for 2008? While on her travels, Elaine managed to finish not one, not two, but THREE socks. She reckons she'll prolong the life of the socks by rotating them. Clever!

Further news from sockland: Kat is just a few rows away from the gusset on her Sockapalooza Socks, while Donni is pondering her choice of TdF project...but I'm sure she'll pull through in the end. Dotty is working on socks and stopped for a photo with her sock at Lac le Jeune on holidays last week. (Gee this TdF is creating some well-travelled socks!) And Jen has finished the cuff of her second Anniversaire sock, while mourning the elimination of Dave Z.

Blogless Megan reports that her sweater is going nicely and she's planning to have it finished by the time the Tour gets to Paris, despite the unlikelihood of Dave Z making an appearance there. Blogless Heidi is sticking to her goal of 2" a day on her sweater and should have the requisite 14" of stocking stitch done by Friday, when she moves into the bunch-sprint-finish of the neck and shoulder shaping. She's bored with her project but I think our clamouring for finished object photos will keep her on track! Nikki's project is similarly lacking the lustre for her at the moment, but she's doing a minimum of 3 rows a day. Sounds ilke a reasonable goal! Cindy's Fawne is, as she puts it, just about to enter the Pyrenees - when the sleeves get attached to the bodice and work the shoulder shaping. Here it is - ooh la la!

Lace knitters are grappling with the Mystery Stole. Stacey's perfectionist self is battling her lazy self...to frog and correct one teeny tiny mistake...or not? We'll see who wins out in the end. It's a balance every knitter has to find for themselves! Westozcaat has finished Clue 3 and will cast on the front of her green sweater for the upcoming flat stages. When we last left her, it looked like the lace was in danger of being thrown across the room, but Joy has now reached an entente cordial with her Forest Canape and she's nearing the finish now. And we are thrilled to report that Ambermoggie has finished her 'back on the bike' shawl, which she started after a frustrating old time with her first TdF project:

Isn't it lovely! No pasta with tomato sauce for you Amber!

And Meg has finished her Clapotis - here it is blocking:

Love the colours! No Lanterne Rouge for you! Rather than call her Tour fini, Meg cast on another French-themed project, a beret...and promptly finished it. (This tour is really doing wonders for the finishing!) So now she's working on a black cashmere scarf for a man which we all would agree is tres Parisien!

It's Friday evening here so I'm now off to drink a few strong coffees and stay up late to watch Stage Twelve and try to catch up on my Hex Coat. I meant to have the back finished up to the armholes by this evening but am only halfway there... just about 100 rows to go... of 98 stitches per row... that works out to 9800 stitches... wish me luck!

A bientot!


Nikki said...

I did actually complete my 3 rows last night too... next week involves some public knitting so hopefully that will lead to more than 3 rows a day :)

The_Add_Knitter said...

I felt so bad for Moreau, that Astana tactic was odd for sure...and poor Zabriskie:(

Elaine said...

Yes I'm back and back to ma jaquette tres chic. Actually I'm knitting 2 different jackets now. Both are purple (well one is more burgundy and the other more periwinkle). The one I'm primarily knitting is actually a complicated story - a knit-for-hire from last winter's Vogue. It looks simple, but it is actually a strange design. Half of each front is knit with single yarn while the other half is knit using the same yarn doubled so you are knitting with dangling needles and different guages. Tres curieux!

Chelsea said...

I feel so bad for all of the good guys that we're losing. This is a most unusual Tour in that sense. We don't usually lose the guys that we all know so well. Funny what happens when you eliminate all of the roids, huh? So weird! And as for who might win the Tour, don't even get me started - even more up in the air! :)

Emy said...

I'm quite sad about Dave Z, especially because there will be no more Zabriskie Diaries on the VeloNews site. Those always cracked me up. :(

I have to say though, I think Vino's attack at the very end was interesting - it was too early for him to go if he thought he might pull out the sprint win, I think it was sort of a posturing move, to show that he's got some strength in him still, despite ending the day before in tears. Actually, I suspect that's behind much of Astana's moves yesterday, is Vinokourov trying to erase the pictures of him breaking down emotionally.

Devorah said...

I finished the knitting on my vest and now just have ends to hide and buttons to sew. Next on tap, socks to match!

Riggwelter said...

It has been a strange race hasn't it, and now all the controversy with Rasmussen...but it's also good to see those who aren't in the running to win, well, win.

I'm slightly confused with something: When I checked the TdF website to check who won the Polka Dot Jersey, it says Soler, but if I go to the overall standing, it's Rasmussen...so, who has it?

I've named the socks "Soler" socks now anyway, and it will have to stay that way...just intrigued to know.

heather t said...

OOH! 9800 stitches! I sometimes start to figure out how many stitches I have left or how long it will take to finish this sock, but that way lies madness!

Phoebe said...

Have to say once again how much I love this knit along...I'm seeing and reading about new patterns that I was unaware of ever day. Thanks!