Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Fashionable male

A not anywhere near live blog of the replay of the 17th Stage of the Tour de France. Today's stage is up legendary L'Alpe d'Huez. The blog includes bonus coverage of tonight's episode of "Project Runway."

7:54 p.m. -- My viewing begins with a pleasant surprise. Commentator Phil Liggett is interviewing Garmin-Chipotle's team director. I hadn't heard Liggett or Paul Sherwen much in primetime this year.

7:55 -- Now Craig Hummer takes over the announcing duties. He is Mario Mendoza to Liggett's Babe Ruth.

7:56 -- Commentator Bob Roll makes a simile involving a snow leopard.

8:00 -- A quick check of Runway, which is recapping last week's episode and Jerry's hideous outfit.

8:07 -- The model elimination process on Runway seems arbitrary and unfair.

8:10 -- Keith looks a bit like the lead singer of Suicidal Tendencies.

8:11 -- Back to the Tour, an interview with Christian Vande Velde who hails from suburban Chicago. He was a General Classification contender until yesterday. He keeps a great diary that sometimes appears in the Tribune, but I can't seem to locate it online.

8:14 -- Helicopter shots show the incredible vistas--lakes, waterfalls, peaks--of the Alps.

8:18 -- Back to Runway, where Stella explains her project while aiming to erase memories of last week's garbage bags.

8:21 -- Tim Gunn uses the phrase "hot mess" in a nod to last season's champ, Christian Siriano.

8:28 -- At the Tour, Peter Velits is alone leading the stage with two groups of chasers following. The Peloton is 1 minute, 45 seconds behind. The GC contenders are in Chase 2.

8:30 -- I read a profile of Tour leader Frank Schleck a couple years ago. He seems like a good guy and he's from Luxembourg.

8:36 -- Andy Schleck, Frank's younger brother, was second in this year's Giro d'Italia and is having a great Tour. Veteran rider Stuart O'Grady says Andy will be an all-time great.

8:40 -- Back on Runway, Leanne takes her creepiness to a whole 'nother level when guest judge Natalie Portman is introduced.

8:46 -- Nina Garcia provides this blast to Wesley: "Shiny, tight and short is the quickest way to look cheap." And I just realized that Wesley has been wearing white shorts this whole time.

8:52 -- In France, Jerome Pineau has joined Velits on the lead, and they approach the base of L'Alpe. The first group of chasers is approaching.

8:54 -- 13.8 kilometers to the summit of the famed mountain.

8:55 -- Velits has cracked.

8:56 -- GC contender Carlos Sastre attacks with Denis Menchov right behind.

8:57 -- In New York, Suede has won the challenge.

8:58 -- Wesley is eliminated and Leanne somehow goes on to sew another day.

8:59 -- In the Alps, Menchov is in difficulty with 12.2 kilometers to go.

9:02 -- I love the chalk messages on the Tour's roads. The group just rolled over 'ANDY' and 'FRANK.'

9:08 -- Bernhard Kohl, who is in second in the Tour and leading King of the Mountains, is fading. Only to quickly bounce back.

9:10 -- Sastre is 48 seconds ahead of the yellow jersey group.

9:16 -- Sastre is the "virtual" leader of the Tour right now, says Roll.

9:20 -- If I were a spectator at the Tour, I don't think I'd run beside the riders and pour water on them. But that's just me.

9:29 -- Andy Schleck and Vladimir Efimkin attack. Sastre has extended his lead to 2 minutes, 5 seconds.

9:38 -- Phil Liggett takes over the call with about a mile to go. And Sammy Sanchez, the Basque rider, is on the attack.

9:42 -- Sastre captures the stage and the yellow jersey.

9:44 -- The GC contenders finish 2:14 behind. The Tour will be decided during the Stage 19 individual time trial, and Australia's Cadel Evans (1:34 back) appears to be the favorite.


Joshua said...

I think I can say with near 100% certainty that this is the only blog in the world offering simultaneous TDF/Project Runway commentary. Bravo.

Erika said...

I know that this is just me, but I vote for more Project Runway, less TDF. In fact, why don't you blog the whole PR season? I'd appreciate the Driftless Area take on it.

Joshua said...

Hmmm, I can think of other things that I'd appreciate the driftless area take on more than PR but that is just me!

sportsshrike said...

I'm not sure how to respond to this. On one hand, I'm flattered. On the other hand, I'm worried I'd be taking this blog in a totally different direction but maybe that's OK. I do know I have more opinions on "PR" than I know what to do with.

Erika said...

And inquiring minds want to know what those opinions are!

Joshua said...

Here's my take: If you want to go the PR route, a separate blog is needed. You can't taint the Driftless roots with that stuff!

Erika said...

And Driftless Area isn't tainted by sentences like, "Now Craig Hummer takes over the announcing duties. He is Mario Mendoza to Liggett's Babe Ruth"? Puh-leeese. ;)

The Driftless Area is big enough for TDF and PR, yes?

Joshua said...

I have no further comments on this matter, I'm sure Mr. Sportsshrike will make the best decision for the DA and no worries Erika, the TDF is over and will not return for another 50 weeks.

Erika said...

I have nothing against the TDF! I liked it being blogged on Driftless Area! The wise Sportshrike angle on any topic is eminently readable and enjoyable. But I have to admit my heart lies with PR, that's all.

sportsshrike said...

You are two of the most loyal DA readers, and I thank you for that. I really don't know what to do. I wish I had blogged the most recent season of "Workout," though.

Erika said...

Well, we thank you for blogging, and for putting up with your opinionated readers.