Politics, open government, and safe streets. And the constant incursion of cycling.

Month: April 2008 Page 2 of 7

TdG: Washington to Gainesville – Stage Three

Well, we’re heading into the third stage of the 2008 Tour de Georgia in pretty much the same condition we started the first stage. No one is yet building a claim to the overall GC. In fact, we’re still in the dark as to who some teams are turning to for their GC hopes. And the only clear favorite is waiting with quiet confidence at the back of the peloton. Against this background, the Tour de Georgia has thus far been a sprinter’s race, and don’t expect that to change for Stage Three.

Stage Three starts in the small town of Washington and heads north to Gainesville. This 109.7 mile (176.5 km) stage will mark start of the transition to the mountains of North Georgia, with this stage featuring a steady rise in elevation. Most of the ride will feature rural country highways until the peloton arrives in Gainesville for another circuit finish.

Stage Three Profile

The stage is scheduled to start at 11:00am and finish sometime between 3:00pm and 4:00pm. You can get the official terrain profile and map (as PDFs) or you can check out a composite from MapMyRide.com (provided in partnership with WCSN).

The stage will start with the the leader jerseys on the following riders:

  • AT&T Georgia Leader Jersey: Ivan Dominguez (CUB), Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team
  • Georgia Power Sprint Leader’s Jersey*: Greg Henderson (NZL), Team High Road
  • United Community Bank King of the Mountain: Frank Pipp (USA), HealthNet presented by Maxxis
  • GE Energy Best Young Rider Leader’s Jersey: Nicholas Saunderson (AUS), Jelly Belly Cycling Team
  • Georgia Lottery Most Aggressive Jersey: Rhys Pollock (AUS), GE Marco Polo presented by Trek
  • * Worn by Henderson due to Dominguez holding Leader jersey.

Stage Three will see the first appearance of the King of the Mountain Jersey, earned by Frank Pipp’s solo attack near the end of Stage Two. He’ll be getting a pretty good return on that investment, too. The next KOM points don’t appear until Friday, so he’ll be pulling that KOM jersey on for the next three days.

Rhys Pollock also brings some glory to the GE Marco Polo team, having snagged the Most Aggressive Rider Jersey for his efforts in bridging from the peloton up to Toyota-United’s Justin England. It’s a bit surprising, however, that this jersey didn’t go to England, who created the reason for Pollock’s efforts in the first place. (And it looks like I’m not the only one surprised by that.)
The sprinters will have three opportunities to earn sprint points at sprints lines in Comer (48 miles in), Ila (60 miles in), and Homer (80 miles in). The overall sprinter’s jersey is far from decided, so look for some animation at these points. Current sprint standings:

  1. Ivan Dominguez, Toyota-United, 25 Pts.
  2. Greg Henderson, Team High Road, 23 Pts.
  3. Tyler Farrar, Slipstream-Chipotle, 20 Pts.
  4. Jose Juan Jose, CSC, 15 Pts.
  5. Nicholas Sanderson (Aus), Jelly Belly, 15 Pts./Robert Forster (G), Gerolsteiner, 15 Pts.

Who to watch? Well, no riders have really shown their cards (aside from JJ Haedo, who has pretty well illustrated that he’s got his wrist under control). With it looking like another bunch sprint finish, one can only imagine that Dominguez would be quite happy to put his team in yellow for the next day’s team time trial. However, with the mountains approaching – where the big GC teams will almost certainly take control – tomorrow represents one of the last chances for some of the other domestic teams to make a statement. The top ten for the overall, at the moment:

  1. Ivan Dominguez, Toyota-United, 7:02:39
  2. Greg Henderson, Team High Road, +3″
  3. Juan Jose Haedo, CSC, +4″
  4. Nicholas Sanderson, Jelly Belly, +6″
  5. Tyler Farrar, Slipstream-Chipotle
  6. Robert Forster, Gerolsteiner, +10″
  7. Ivan Stevic, Toyota-United,
  8. Christian Meier, Symmetrics, +11″
  9. Scott Nydam, BMC, +13″
  10. Rhys Pollock, GE-Marco Polo

No musical talent to be showcased by this stage, but we do get a little bit of history. If there were actually video available showing the start in Washington, you’d see a town that has made quite an industry out of showing off its antebellum homes. Washington also hosted the last meeting of Jefferson Davis’ cabinet, at which the Confederacy was dissolved (a fact that surprised your correspondent, as I’ve been to this little monument to the Antebellum South before, and don’t recall seeing the dissolution of the Confederacy mentioned anywhere). Gainesville is probably best known as the biggest town on Lake Lanier, an enormous reservoir lake created in the mid 1950s. It’s long been a popular recreational area, but Lanier’s shores (and economy) have suffered from last year’s record drought, and the lake (and associated tourism) is still recovering.

Want to watch it live? Live video from WCSN will start at 12:00pm. Viewers outside of the US (and perhaps Canada – we’re not really sure what WCSN and Cycling.tv have agreed on regarding Canada’s being a part of the United States, it seems) should turn to Cycling.tv, where the coverage usually starts a little while after WCSN’s. The Tour Tracker should start its coverage when the race gets rolling at 11am.

– originally posted to PodiumCafe.com

Right Back Where We Started

You may have seen the news last week that the GAO issued a report titled “The United States Lacks a Comprehensive Plan to Destroy the Terrorist Threat and Close the Safe Haven in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas.” The Daily Show’s Rob Riggle nailed the analysis last night:


Catching up

I know I owe my readers the rest of the Mark Ellmore interview, as well some thoughts on the debate between him and Amit Singh that took place last Saturday.  Soon.

Sources for 2008 TdG Coverage

While I am pleased that Google thinks I’m worth a second page listing for 2008 TdG coverage (behind VeloNews, but ahead of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution!), there are obviously a lot of other (and undeniably better) sources of excellent reporting out there. In addition to the usual and reliable VeloNews, CyclingNews, and PezCyclingNews stops, I expect I’ll be regularly checking out a number of other sites in the next week:

And there is, of course, the place where you should be already – PodiumCafe.  In addition to my articles, you’ll get lots of community insight and analysis from long time fans a lot smarter than me.  I still get the feeling that I’m forgetting a few. Help me out?

Gop Will Eat Itself

Ironies abound.

TdG: From Statesboro to Augusta – Stage Two

The second stage of the 2008 Tour de Georgia will start in Statesboro and end up in Augusta 116.9 miles later, having wound its way through flat-to-rolling terrain along the eastern edge of Georgia. If you look closely at the course map, you’ll see that – in a rare display of cooperation between these Southern states – Georgia’s actually letting South Carolina in on the action with a quick trip across the Savannah River for the peloton. The riders return for a circuit finish in downtown Augusta. It’s unknown whether anyone’s heading out for a round of golf afterwards.

The stage is scheduled to start at 11a and finish between 3:30 and 4p. You can get the terrain profile and map (as PDFs) or you can check out a composite from MapMyRide.com (provided in partnership with WCSN).

The stage starts with the following leader jerseys:

  • AT&T Georgia Leader Jersey: Ivan Dominguez (CUB), Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team
  • Georgia Power Sprint Leader’s Jersey*: Greg Henderson (NZL), Team High Road
  • GE Energy Best Young Rider Leader’s Jersey: Nicholas Saunderson (AUS), Jelly Belly Cycling Team
  • Georgia Lottery Most Aggressive Jersey: Scott Nydam (USA), BMC Racing Team
  • * Worn by Henderson due to Dominguez holding Leader jersey.

There are two sprint points opportunities, and with a KOM “climb” thrown in for good measure on the run in to Augusta (nevermind that there’s actually a slightly bigger climb earlier in the stage). Weather looks to be much the same as Monday’s stage.

Who to watch? Well, Toyota-United will presumably be interested in defending the leader’s jersey, so one would expect them to cover any attempted breaks. However, Dominguez isn’t a GC threat, and they won’t burn too many matches to preserve that position. As with stage one, most any team could take stage two, though the smart money may limit it to the teams with real sprinters given the high likelihood of a bunch finish in Augusta. Look for Slipstream’s Tyler Farrar to be interested in making up for having flatted just before Monday’s sprint, and maybe CSC’s Haedo or Rock Racing’s Freddy Rodriguez reminding us that they’re among – if not the, along with Dominguez – sprint talents in the race.

Finally, music fans should appreciate the broad range of musical history you can find along this stage. Macon may not have made the Tour de Georgia schedule this year, but Macon’s own Allman Brothers can still make an appearance with the Statesboro Blues. And who can think of Augusta without thinking of The Hardest Working Man In Show Business? And if it’s the Augusta National Golf Club that comes to mind, well, JB’s got you covered there, too.

– this first appeared at PodiumCafe.com

Overnight Music: Georgia On My Mind

All this writing about the Tour de Georgia has gotten me in the mood for my Georgia music.  No, it’s not Ray (tho’ there’s nothing wrong with him).  Tonight, we’ve got Billy Preston, the reason I still have vinyl:

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TdG: Ivan Dominguez Takes Stage One

It was a textbook first stage. A late start (by 30 or so minutes) from Tybee Island got the peloton moving into what might best be described as something of a warm-up ride. No wind-induced splits, or rail crossing excitement. We did get some beautiful Georgia coastal marshes, though. What few breakaway attempts there were got reeled back in within minutes. No one dominated the collection of sprint points, and only near the very end of the stage did we get much in the way of organization in the peloton. Rock moved too soon to set up a leadout, and ended up ceding control of the pace to High Road. What happened after that? Well, I’d simply be repeating what you’ve probably already read elsewhere, because the video was dropped in the last 500-600 meters or so where Toyota-United set its best sprinter up for the win. D’oh. Still, the lesson is that Ivan Dominguez remains a threat in any sprint situation.

As far as the fan experience goes, many of us discovered this morning that the TdG had split the live video coverage away from the vaunted Adobe TourTracker, and handed it off to WCSN. Well, to WCSN for US domestic viewers. And then only to some of them. The live chat over at the TourTracker page indicated that fair number of viewers had a hard time getting a reliable feed. I had relatively few problems (until the maddening end), but I’d logged on a good hour before coverage even started.

Speaking of things that remind you of Cycling.tv, Cycling.tv is responsible for getting the live video to the rest of the world (both on the Free2View channel and at higher bitrates in premium). This coverage started a fair bit later than the WCSN coverage. Not sure if that was by accident or design.

In any event, while I appreciate TdG’s need to monetize the internet broadcast of the feed, it’s a real shame that they had to hobble the Adobe TourTracker in order to do it. That remains, by far, the most impressive sports fan interface I’ve ever come across. Word is that they’re working with WCSN to reintegrate it in some way that retains the WCSN branding/benefits, but I don’t have any confirmation of that.

So, if you’re planning on watching the TdG live this week, remember to get there early (much easier than with P-R!) and with at least two windows – one for WCSN, and one for the TourTracker. Wait, make that three – you’ll need one for PodiumCafe.com, too. But you won’t have to worry about any login troubles there.

Photos courtesy Ken Conley. Follow that link and check him out.


Modified from a story crossposted to PodiumCafe.com 


This is just pathetic.

Update: I’m still mostly sticking to my plan to avoid Dem primary politics.  Nothing I say is going to be constructive.  But I want to follow that link with another from TPM.  Not (as they also note) as a gotcha, but an honest-to-god endorsement of something that Bill Clinton said a few years ago:

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Winning the War on . . . What?

I think this Washington Post article on the Federal government’s inability to secure convictions in its “terrorism” cases misses the mark.  The problem, as I see it, isn’t the “early prosecution” strategy taken by the FBI/DOJ, but calling them “terrorism” cases in the first place.   For example, one of the guys recently escaped conviction in Miami had:

confided [to his grocer] that he wanted to blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago, which would then fall into a nearby prison, freeing Muslim prisoners who would become the core of his Moorish army. With them, he would establish his own country.

Certifiable lunatic?  Probably.  Real live terrorist?  Hardly.  Over and over again, we get fantastic announcements about big busts of scary terrorist plots.  And then we later find out it was a bunch of incompetent idiots who couldn’t shoplift, nevermind pull off an actual act of terrorism.

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