Thursday, July 13, 2006

more sporting news

Le Tour: Babobank is very happy with its results on what may prove to be the most difficult stage of the Tour: three impossible climbs mixed with one that's only outrageous followed by a mountain top finish. The team dominated the last third of the race and its riders placed first and sixth. Joost was in the pack, or rather one part of the splintered pack. He came in 85th and is now 81st in the overall standing.

His website has a quick rundown. Here's my fractured-English translation:
And that is three! Success for the Rabo-team! It is Denis Menchov who takes the honors. The stage of Tarbes to Pla-de-Beret runs over five Pyreneean cols. Four riders set the pace early: Fabian Wegmann, Iker Casano, David Fuente, and Juan Antonio Flecha. Four more catch them up. Ag2r, the team of yellow-jersey Cyril Dessel set the pace of the peloton to neutralize the threat. Rabo's Michael Rasmussen and Michael Boogerd jump off the front. When they catch the front group, Boogerd does most of the work. He pulls so long and hard that riders fall off the back. In the end -- about seven kilometres of the finish -- he himself drops off and there were only five left: Menchov, Landis, Leipheimer, Sastre and Evans. A kilometre under the top Landis, Leipheimer and Menchov spring forward. Menchov proves fastest in the sprint to the finish line. Michael Boogerd comes in sixth. Joost finishes 85th at 33.47 behind head man Menchov.
Zidane and Materazzi: the press feeding frenzy continues. The former speaks for the first time; the latter says more. I don't want to do a Zidane post of the day, but -- if you're interested -- the Zidane interview on Canal Plus is available here. He says he's sorry if he offended anyone but feels justified because of the seriousness of the provocation (which he doesn't discuss in detail). Zidane interviews well. He's calm and his voice is soft and reassuring. It's hard to judge these things but I'd say he projects confidence and sincerity. The interview is fairly long and very low key. The interviewer is unagressive, the words flow bwtween them like quiet background music. (In fact I kept the audio on in the background while conducting some business and it seemed just like background music).

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