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He’s had an arm struck by a spectator’s camera at over 60kmh during the sprint on stage 1 of the Tour Down Under, yet he backed up for stage 2. It looked bad at the time but it was just swollen, not broken. It sounds so Pythonesque, as in “it’s only a flesh wound!”: <a href=”http://www.cyclingnews.com/news.php?id=news/2009/jan09/jan21news2″>”Unless it was actually snapped in half I was always going to start today. I think I’ll be able to get through, it’s just obviously not ideal,” he explained.</a>
It shouldn’t be a surprise to see a bike manufacturer mix carbon fibres with flax – yes, flax, the plant fibre used in linen. As reported in Cyclingnews.com: Carbon fibre tubes are already highly tunable in their ride characteristics by altering the lay-up, number of plies, fibre content and tube shapes. The beauty of flax, claims Museeuw, is that the material’s fibres themselves are what absorb the vibration. This allows for the production of frames that are built purely for stiffness with no need to specifically build in vertical compliance as in other frames. Whilst carbon fibre is a you-beaut space age invention it really is just a tarted up wood composite. Yes, it is more pure, more ‘designed’ for the purpose but it is really just one step away from what more ancient humans were doing with bows and arrows – i.e. laying up composites, or laminates, of wood to make highly ‘bendable’ bows. Bows were bent under great stress and to get greater energy storage (and release) out of them required better wood – and when we ran out of ‘better’ wood, humans created glued laminates of wood and animal sinew to give that much needed strength whilst remaining small and light. Now we spin carbon fibre, weave it with kevlar – or flax – and bond it into layers with epoxy resin. Hmmm resin.. doesn’t that sound like something you’d get from a tree? Anyway, to complete the process we form it into the shape we want (by various means) and bake it in an oven. It’s not really that high-tech after all.
Just for the record, bikes have historically been made of wood as well, indeed some today are still made of bamboo. And before we had steel, aluminium and carbon wheel rims we had – you guessed it – wooden rims. But before we say that nothing is ever entirely new, carbon nanotubes are a revolution in the making… and if we use nano-machines to make it as well… then possibly we have something with fewer close analogs from our past. Mind you, if you try hard enough I’m sure you can trace the tracks of our technology back to the caves.
OK, this is for the technically minded, but it occurs to me that your laptop could be a lot more than just a mobile computing device. It could also be a very large bike computer, or a power and g-force measurement device for your race car. Oh, sure, you knew that already, but I don’t mean by adding extra sensors. No, I mean by using the built-in accelerometer! If you have a decent and recent laptop, one with the shock-sensing hard disk automated shutdown and lock feature (ThinkPads have this, for example), a whole new world of uses opens up. Yes, you need to write some fancy software, but hey, it’s an idea! Cool, or what? And yes, I got the idea from this ibm.com article on footstep mapping (yes, really!) using the Lenovo ThinkPad. The ThinkPad was an IBM PC until they sold off that business to Lenovo.
(Note that whilst I also work for IBM, this is my opinion only, not necessarily the corporation’s. And I’m not just trying to get more Lenovo sales… because it won’t help me one bit. Rather, it’s just a cool idea.)
OK, you didn’t ask, but here I go. Some thoughts and questions to consider for today.
- Why is it that the bicycle industry can make frames that are compatible with the drivetrains of at least 3 major manufacturers and the componentry of just about everyone? Doesn’t that (otherwise very sensible) component commonality impinge upon product differentiation?
- Why is it that automotive companies can barely get it together to share wheels and tyres and sundry hidden mechanicals and electricals? Sure they have tried to share platforms and engines, and there are plenty of exceptions, but generally they keep reinventing the wheel; or in this case the complete drivetrain and monocoque shell. Does this more complete individualism grant some competitive advantage or are they simply blind to the savings that they could make for themselves, their customers and the world?
- Why is it that the PC industry is split so unevenly between the bespoke “locked-up” designs like Apple’s and the open, modular and shared componentry that the “IBM-compatible” (or perhaps ‘Intel/Microsoft architecture-compatible’) makers comply with? What can we take away from the far greater market penetration of the latter approach? Or the higher prices and possibly ‘cooler’ designs from the low-volume makers?
- What is the best approach for the world (including our living environment as well as our economic one)? To evolve shared componentry in all cases and thereby reduce overlap and waste; or to instead foster maximum competitive differentiation with bespoke, individualised design? Or to balance the 2 approaches? Or to find a 3rd way?
- If there is ‘a better way’, should governments mandate it? Car safety legislation would be one example when government has enforced a common standard of safer design, however I have the sneaking suspicion that there are better, lighter, cheaper safety systems than the amazingly contrived explosive ‘airbag’ system that car companies have foist upon us. Airbags are of course less intrusive than helmets, harnesses and the like – but are they ‘better’? Is this an example where the compromise reached favours maximising car sales over implementing good sense? Or do the practical problems of getting people to wear harnesses and helmets outweigh the benefits?
These are the questions on my mind right now. More later, I’m sure…
It seems that way, like it’s a war between people and cars. The cars are simply inanimate objects, sure, but they behave like angry bees looking for a fight. Or like the worst sort of human bullies, pushing themselves and everyone else out of their way. How did we get into this state? Why do we allow this anti-social behaviour to continue? Of course the root of this evil is simple – “drivers” are no longer people, or so it seems; instead they are themselves a collectivist entity known as “cars” or “traffic”. Yes folks, step inside this tin can and de-humanise yourself. Become as one with the machine.
OK, it’s a broad brush but as a person, a pedestrian, a cyclist and a driver I see otherwise “nice” people suddenly take on bizarre aggressive traits whilst driving. And they defend their anti-social activities to the death, sometimes literally. “Bikes should not be on the road, roads are for cars”. “We pay road taxes and registration and licence fees, and they don’t”. “It’s not right to slow cars down or to blame them for pedestrian stupidity, instead pedestrians should take more responsibility”. “Speeding fines are just for revenue raising.” And so on. It’s a litany of denial, of abdication of responsibility and a dereliction of due care. And they believe it, too.
I am prompted to write this because of what another rider – Cadel Evans, the number 1 professional rider in 2008 – has been reported to have said, namely: “I’ve cycled in every continent in the world, other than Antarctica, and it’s incredible. Drivers in America and Australia just have attitudes. I don’t necessarily say attitudes towards cyclists, but towards other road users … . people just don’t realise the danger they’re causing other people.” In Evans’s experience, the worst offenders come from the ranks of very young and very old drivers. He despairs that cyclists have to contend with people throwing bottles and driving dangerously close to them.
And I can but agree. It’s been like this in Australia for some years. I gave up commuter cycling for a while because of it. Bullying drivers who leave no room (despite clear laws about keeping to your own lane) and who intimidate, or simply abuse. I had a can thrown at me in a quiet backstreet and a speargun aimed at me at 6:30 in the morning. For no reason. At 5:30AM a bus swerved across 2 empty lanes seemingly to simply scare me. Several times buses have ignored my presence and just cut in front, barely, and trapped me against the kerb. Cars turn in front of me, or sweep me into the gutter. Or overtake where it’s not safe out of some misplaced desperation to “get ahead”. One friend had a gun pulled on him – he escaped down the Cook’s River canal.
You can see the problem. These are not people, these are “cars”, “buses” and “drivers”. At worst they are arrogant owners of the road. At best they grudgingly give some space. If you met them face to face there’d be no problem. But in their steel tanks they take on a new, angry outlook that leaves no room for anyone else.
Well, I ride, walk and I drive. I pay taxes. I see mistakes being made by people in cars as well as on foot or on bike. Yet I can calmly share and give a bit of space to all, and can slow down and give others some room. Now if I can see all sides of this, and plenty of other people can too, and we can all get along fine, what’s your problem?
What in tarnation has this to do with goats? Why are goats linked with anger or frustration and annoyance? (Here’s one theory: The most common story to explain the phrase relates to horse racing in North America and to the common practice of putting a goat in the stall with a skittish thoroughbred racehorse to help calm it. Enterprising villains capitalised on this by gambling on the horse to lose and then stealing the goat. A substantial desire to suspend one’s disbelief is needed to accept this story at face value.). Anyway, my goat has been got again!
I was riding my bike (as I do) and a rider pulled alongside to tell me how in a 40km Sunday morning ride he was spat at and abused by at least 3 separate car drivers and/or their passengers, despite being both legal and sensible about staying out of harm’s way. Now we are used to this sort of behaviour in Australia because the car is king, and I choose to say “king” because it’s most commonly a bully-boy male domination thing, although that doesn’t stop women joining in after a male has set the tone. It’s become accepted behaviour for these alpha-male-wannabes to bully people in smaller or less powerful vehicles, or those on bicycles. Pedestrians of course have no place in this car-mad world, either. Now not everyone is like this, but a large number of people get behind the wheel and actively seek out the weak and intimidate them, presumably because they see their own behaviour and life-choices as ‘normal’ and the life-choices of others as aberrant. Indeed so aberrant that they are filled with hate at the very sight of a bike rider simply minding their own business.
Don’t believe me? Try riding a bike in an urban area for a few years and write a list of the incidents that occur. Be honest about it, if you were even partly to blame then admit it, but I guarantee that it’s not too hard to come up with a ‘clean’ list – one where you did nothing wrong at all yet copped abuse. No amount of electronic drivers’ aids will change the aggressive attitudes of the nut behind the wheel, or even wake people up who are just driving without care, concern or conscience. It’s a psychological problem. OK, maybe some electrodes on the sensitive anatomical parts could help, but ABS and EDC alone do not a good driver make.
Share the roads, people, cars are just conveyances and getting somewhere safely is more important than getting there quickly. And leave a bit of extra space for everyone, irrespective of their personal life-choices. They may be on a bike right now but – glory be – they may actually drive a car, too. And have a wife and kids at home hoping to see them again, just like you.
Yes, I bought an ibike because I’m a data junkie…
here’s some of the story…or visit addicted2wheels for the whole lot! ibike – part 2 – mounting it on the bike and setup
No real problems here. The ibike is just like many other bike computers and comes with a bayonet-style mount that sits on your handlebars. I chose the standard size but there is also the larger vesrion if needed. Follow the instructions though, as you need to keep the ibike absolutely ‘rock-solid’ on the bars. I tried using old tyre as padding at first, just to make removal easier, but settled on the double sided tape provided instead. It’s easy to fit, just plan where the wire goes first. It has to get down to the forks, where the magnetic pickup gets strapped on. I kept my old speedo in place and mounted the new gear on the opposite side of the bars and forks.
Mounted it looks like this…
And the mounting itself looks like this….
All in all – dead easy. Lots of twist ties to play with but no harder than a regular ‘wired’ bike computer. The screws that affix the ibike mount to the bars are a bit fiddly, but it’s easier on a stand, or turn the bike upside down.
Once connected I powered it up and went into setup mode. All the expected stuff: time, date, total bike and rider weight, plus the ‘turn 180′ exercise which levels the unit. Again, good clear instructions and I used them (for once in my life). I also zeroed out the wind (I was in a garage) and took a guess as to altitude (later riding down to sea level to make that accurate – hey I was only out by 10m!).
All up – simple and quick.
ibike – part 1 – the purchase experience
OK, so I chose the ibike.The first hassle was the ibike shop on the web
. They revamped it a bit since but you can’t login to the shop without first clicking on a product and pretending to buy it (then the ‘log-in’ option finally appears). And when you try to log-in the login ID box is unclickable without 14 ‘tabs’ to get you there. I tried 3 different browsers and 2 PCs… they all had the same trouble. Not everytime, just 9 times out of 10. Anyway, the tab-tab-tab until you get to the correct input box works. (Must admit I just logged in fine, so who knows?)
Enough whinging. I bought it online and found that the ‘tracking’ option didn’t work for International US Post. Not to worry, I guess. 10 working days later it turned up fine, but opened by Australian Quarantine Services. Must have looked suss with ‘Velocomp’ written on the box… hmmm. Go figure.
The box looks like this:
Which is fine, although for around $A600 it’s a trifle underwhelming. Still, it’s the technology we are buying, isn’t it?
And opening it up we find the device itself, which is tiny and very light (which is good, right?):
It’s showing average Watts here in this pic but it will also show maximum values.
And then I mounted it on the bike… well 2 bikes, actually. I had bought an extra mount, so I could swap from bike to bike with ease, something I saw as a killer feature of the ibike over almost all its competition.
Power to the people – power meters for serious cycling
When I started this riding gig I was 16 and it was 1973. The bike was an Aussie-made Alcon, circa late 1930s and well looked after, if hand-painted. 28inch tyres, 40spoke wheels, diamond outrigger with sliding adjustment for handlebar reach and just 2 cogs on the back. On one side of the wheel was a freewheel and the other a fixie. Cool way to get started, eh? Even cooler was the mechanical odometer that clicked over incrementally with every turn of the front wheel. Ahhh, data! I started writing it down. Curiously it made me ride a bit more, just to get a scrap more data.
In the 1980s I found myself with electronic assistance in my data habit: a cycle ‘computer’, although all it really did was count wheel revs using a magnet and show elapsed time. It did allow me to see my current and average velocity, rather than doing the usual sums at home after the ride. And it was more accurate than some of the guesstimates I had to make. Now that sort of technology got a bit better over the last 25 years or so, but essentially remains as it was: a bunch of data based on wheel rotation over time, displayed on an LCD. (Although some of these new options are very sophisticated: check out BikeBrain for example)
Now this did make me ride for longer distances, and do more miles each week, as I could actually and accurately see when I had slacked off. And being data-obsessed I just wanted to push teh totals ever higher. Funnily enough I still had to chase down attacks, stick with the peleton over varying terrain and avoid being dropped, irrespective of what the displayed velocity was. But now I could also go ‘ah, look at that average’ after a hard crit.
The next leap forward in this history lesson was to the heart rate monitor. In my case it was the mid 90s and a Polar HRM. So now I could match perceived exertion against both time and distance, as well as estimate my caloric budget. It again made me ride, just to get data. Bizarre, I know. I wanted to exceed 200bpm on my local tough climb and set ever higher averages, so again I could go ‘wow, that was a tough ride’.
Which brings me to my newest desire: power measurement. Up to now I’ve calculated it after the ride, inexactly, and longed to know how many Watts it really took to ride that hard crit. SRMs, offering measurement at the crank seemed a great option. But SRMs were (and remain) waaay too expensive, especially now I had kids to feed. The hub-based CycleOps option was still a bit rich (and what if I swapped wheels?) and Ergomo Pro was again a tad exxy and suffered (like the SRM) from being integrated into the bike. The Polar option was both expensive and tricky to set up. So I looked at the next-best options – the German HAC4 and other options from Germany and Italy, which calculated power from time, speed and altitude gain using accelerometers or barometric changes. Of course this only works on hills, but it was an option. Some of these options don’t offer download, so it would be a ‘write down later’ sort of thing – like back to the 80s.
The HAC4 looks great options-wise but is a bit expensive compared with low-end ‘real’ power meters. I also looked at GPS units like Garmin‘s and wondered why no-one had integrated the coolest features into one unit. Maybe one day, I guess.
Anyway, I flipped a coin and went with the simplest, cheapest real-time data logging power meter I could find. The ibike. It back-calculates power by measuring the opposing forces – wind, friction and inclination – and comparing it to real speed (using a magnetic pickup). Easy to fit, easy to use. It looks the goods but does rely upon (a) your calibration accuracy and (b) unimpeded airflow. Which is to say that it misreads power if you aren’t good at entering data (weight, aerodynamic and friction data, basically, although the latter is derived by the “coasting” test) or have impeded airflow (in a bunch, maybe, and certainly in a sharp corner).
I ummed and ahhed about this for weeks (whilst watching the Aussie to $US exchange rate fluctuate, too) and wondered if I really needed to spend $A580 on a gadget. I decided it was now or never and pressed the “buy” button in the ibike website. I’ll tell you more later…
OK, I’m bitter and twisted but I do take umbrage at car manufacturers going “green”. Or being portrayed as “green”.
I do understand that cars have replaced bicycles and horses in our “modern” lives, let alone feet and legs, but I don’t accept that’s all good. It’s only just over 100 years since the car was invented, mostly as a powered bicycle that came to absorb and replace the carriage-building trade. It’s pretty recent. Indeed the concept of mass consumption of the automobile really only goes back to the 1920s, and mass expectations only to the post-war boom when the independence of movement was seen as a great way to shrug off wartime restrictions. At least in many countries. Some have yet to embrace all of this consumption, although they would like to.
And there’s the rub. When we all embrace personal automobile transport we will create a monumental environmental problem. Cars consume resources – power and materials – in their creation and distribution and in accompanying infrastructure. Yes, they employ people as well but let’s put that aside for a moment – lots of other industries employ people, too. The cost of the car is measured not just in fuel consumption – hideous though that may be – but in the opportunity cost of the land set aside for roads, car parks and garages. And in the human cost of road trauma and hospitalisation, and rising rates of obesity and diabetes. And in the social cost of a community split by un-crossable roads and footpaths emptied by fear. These are not small things. They are a price we pay to jump in our cars with impunity and drive a few kilometres to the shops. Along this highway to hell we have killed corner stores, ruined our health and re-jigged our lives to expect – nay, demand – easy parking, close to everything. And hang the cost. We used to walk to the shops, meet our neighbours along the way and watch kids playing in the streets. No more.
So that’s what we have “voted for” by buying cars in proliferation. Governments have subsidised roads and run down railways to pay for it, and to earn votes. Car companies have lobbied to get their way because “we” wanted it. Or so it seemed. But who actually wanted cities of concrete, paved roads, car parks and smog?
And I haven’t even mentioned global warming. If a car company pretends to “go green”, it means to fool you. It’s a smokescreen so they can get more of what they want. Electric cars still have to be built from something, they will still consume resources – even if they don’t move an inch. Don’t imagine any of this is actually green. Dig a bit deeper. Go behind the gloss and hype and you find sheer greed, laziness and a failure of intellect. We don’t need bigger, faster, heavier cars, or hydrogen cars for that matter. We need to change the size and shape of our lives to fit into a more sustainable lifestyle. If we keep pursuing this current craziness – this mass consumption ethos – we’re going to run out of enough power and materials to make it all happen. Of course that’ll drive costs up and demand down, but will it all be too late? What if we have cooked ourselves with carbon emissions in the meantime?
Anyone for a bike ride?
PC World has reported on Sony’s GPS-based photo-location tagging device. Whilst no surprise, it’s interesting that it’s self-contained, rather than built into the camera (so far). Not so sure about the 10-hour battery life – seems a tad short. But yes, it’s useful, especialy for archivers. Many times I’ve wondered exactly where a photo was taken, and as long as we can shake off the “print” mentality that wastes paper – and actually use our digital images as our one true source, we’ll be OK. I’m sure GPS will be included in cameras real soon now, as well as all mobile phones, bicycles, cars… you name it. Now where did I park that car? Oh yes, simply “ping” the car’s GPS unit to bounce the location back to your cell phone and Bob’s your uncle. Same for bikes. It serves the double purpose of letting you know where you are, of course, and possibly avoiding traffic and other hazards. It’s a luxury but a nice one.
When Floyd Landis won that bizarre stage when he broke away and caught a bunch up ahead and then dropped them all, finishing alone, I didn’t think “drugs”. I thought “angry”. Angry at his own mistake the previous day, when he “lost” all chance. I also thought “stupid” as in ‘it is stupid letting him take all this time back’. Just at it appeared foolish when Oscar Pereiro’s breakaway was allowed 28 minutes or so. Now it was the making of Oscar and it appears to have been the unmaking of Floyd. But why testosterone? And why test positive just on that day?
It doesn’t make sense that testosterone would give Landis the boost he needed to make that one break. Testosterone is generally applied as a course over time to make longer-term physical improvements. One dose won’t do it. It may have given him a psychological boost, but not a physical one. Maybe it made him angrier, but not that angry, surely?
So has he been set up, or is he in denial? Is he lying? Is the lab wrong? Both labs, I mean. If he is guilty as charged then a look back through the records should reveal a longer term change in his testosterone levels. All the more reason to use baseline testing of athletes and their blood, so a longitudinal record is kept. Any change that shouldn’t occur naturally would then be investigated. There must be trust in the process and the labs, as well as the athletes. Alround, it’s just sad.
Friday, July 28, 2006
Landis stands accused of doping
Landis stands accused of doping – steroid abuse, or a higher than normal ratio of testosterone to epitestosterone if you prefer – following a failed test after the lone, brave attacking stage – and win – into Morzine. I hasten to add that it’s all based on an A-sample at this stage and nothing is proven
. Now, given that he has a serious hip condition I don’t blame the guy
for taking cortisol - an approved substance
under the situation – or any reasonable dose of anything
that gets him through the day; but at this level of performance and success you can’t take any chances
. Whether or not he did it deliberately we may never know – and the B-sample may yet prove negative
– but even as an accidental side effect of medication, or drinking beer, or whatever – it’s unacceptable
. To try and clear it up post hoc
and ‘prove’ that the steroid levels are ‘natural’ seems dubious at best. We will all be left asking ‘why didn’t this ‘natural’ level show up in other stages or at other times?’. What about those other stages, other races? Why this stage? Why testosterone? There are things here that just don’t add up.
There’s an account (or 2 or 3) here: www.cyclingnews.com news and analysis
posted by gtveloce at 7/28/2006 03:28:00 AM
My 2006 Tour de France Wrap up, all wrapped up
It’s short (7km), it’s fast (winner usually above 50kmh, up to 55km average) and it’s about power to weight, rider preparation and focus, ability to keep at high revs and – sometimes – a bit of risk taking around corners. This year it was flat with a few tight turns. The winner was a big sprinter (excellent power delivery): Thor Hushovd from Norway.
In Oz we got a live coverage via our SBS. Noteworthy for one commentator mixing up an online cadence display with heart rate. Hmmm.
What can we say from this result?
- Thor Hushovd (Nor) Crédit Agricole 8.17.00 @51.43 km/h was a surprise winner but not an inexplicable one. He’s in yellow now and his team takes the heat for a while; he also won’t get over the mountains with the climbers, so he’ll protect the yellow for a few days and work towards the green jersey overall.
- George Hincapie (USA) Discovery Channel in 2nd was also a small surprise – but again he’s stepped up to fill Lance’s shoes and has been in top form. He can climb a bit - maybe not with the mountain goats but certainly enough to limit losses. Stakes his claim here to be the Disco team leader. Maybe he’ll get back any time lost in the climbs in the remaining longer TTs? Relief for his team that they don’t have to ride to protect the yellow – yet.
- David Zabriskie (USA) Team CSC 0.04.21 was no surprise after last year’s prologue performance. He’s close enough to grab yellow in the right circumstances. Not a likely winner on GC but it’s a great way to start.
- Sebastian Lang (Ger) Gerolsteiner 0.04.80. A TTer’s ride, good result. He will ride for his leader now.
- Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne-Illes Balears 0.04.92 – excellent result. He’s a complete package and can get over mountains. A threat overall for the yellow. Top 5 at least, with luck maybe the podium.
- Stuart O’Grady (Aus) Team CSC 0.04.93. A bit of a surprise – after his earlier-season bad luck and the drama of swapping teams, he’s back. He may be able to chase the Green jersey if the team allows. He’s stamped some authority here in Basso’s absence. Not a climber but a gutsy attacker who may break away before the mountains. Perhaps a high GC is not impossible. Top 20?
- Michael Rogers (Aus) T-Mobile 0.06.30. Good result, he will be better still at the longer TTs and he can climb. Has stamped his authority on his team in Ullrich’s absence. A top 10 prospect overall and a Top 5 maybe. If he falters he will become a support rider, though.
- Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Discovery Channel 0.08.02. A proven grand tour winner. He must assert himself over Hincapie within the Disco team. Easier said than done. It will be interesting to see how Discovery gels without a definite focus. High GC, potentially Top 5 but depends on who actually leads the team by the end. Could win if let off the leash.
- Floyd Landis (USA) Phonak 0.09.26. Barring a cut tire incident he would have been on the podium today. A real threat to yellow. Can TT, can climb and has the experience to do it as well. Top 5 at least, maybe the winner.
- Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Caisse d’Epargne-Illes Balears 0.10.09. A TTer’s result. Will hang in there, may get a high GC.
- Serguei Gonchar (Ukr) T-Mobile 0.10.11. Rogers’ teammate, will follow him for the next 3 weeks. Could become leader if Rogers fails in the high Alps. Top 10.
- Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick-Step-Innergetic 0.11.21. A big sprinter like Thor. He’ll be a real threat to green but like Thor will lose hours in the mountains.
- Manuel Quinziato (Ita) Liquigas 0.12.33. A great ride. His team may shine in the mountains and in opportunistic breakaways, but he will be a support player.
- Cadel Evans (Aus) Davitamon-Lotto 0.13.24. Just 13 secs adrift and like Rogers a climber as well as a TTer. A real threat to the overall. Will gain time in the mountains over all but the very best and can hang on to it on descents and in TTs. Watch him to wait for the mountains and then attack at the end of a long, hard climb. Top 5 at least – but his team is weaker than most as it is split in support of McEwen as well (in the sprints). Could be a real surprise though.
- Christophe Moreau (Fra) AG2R-Prevoyance 0.13.73. A Frenchman, now leading his team. Will shine this year and can expect a good high GC. Maybe Top 10.
3 weeks of tactics to play out yet. Worth watching, eh? You can follow it all here.