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Tour de France Stage 1 -- Monaco ITT... LIVE!

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Really? This is starting now? I feel a little dizzy... though like the riders, once they roll out it will all seem right. A few thoughts about the ITT, in addition to the analysis in Crashdan's preview

* Lance and other notables go off at 16:00 or later local time. By my calculation 16:00 = 7am here on the West Coast. Vesus comes on at 6:30. It's all pretty good, though there are a lot of guys getting late (TV time) starts who are less than 10% as interesting as Tony Martin. Let it go, man...

* Weather looks pretty iffy for late in the day in Monaco. I doubt the heads of state will take risks in the turns if there are thunderstorms happening; they'll just slow down a tad. Which means there is a good chance the winner will come from someone early in the day. Someone like Tony Martin.

* Notable start times posted below the fold.

* For newcomers: we chat amongst ourselves during the stage using nested comments. I think you'll find that commentary ranges from funny to respectfully argumentative. I am also regularly amazed at how many truly knowledgeable fans there are. HOWEVER! If you don't follow the sport very closely you are still very welcomed to join the fray. Don't be shy; we all know that the Tour brings in casual fans, and I personally love how so many people love the Tour. So join in when you feel so moved.

* Tech specs: When you have the live thread open, comments will load automatically as they arrive; no need to refresh. However, experience shows that once a thread has about 300 comments, the subsequent ones start loading slowly. So we will announce new threads when we draw closer to the 300 comment mark, as long as something big isn't about to happen. Enjoy!

Thanks to Gryzdylu for these...

Important riders start time:

16:00 Van Hummel
16:17 Armstrong
16:34 Farrar
16:35 Posthuma
16:36 Larsson
16:37 Leipheimer
16:52 Grabsch
16:54 Millar
16:55 Freire
17:38 Zubeldia
17:46 Bruseghin
17:52 Cavendish
17:55 Gesink
17:56 F. Schleck
18:04 Devolder
18:08 Pereiro
18:14 Zabriskie
18:17 Kloden
18:24 Boonen
18:28 Iván Gutiérrez
18:30 Nibali
18:32 Rogers
18:34 Vande Velde
18:35 Clement
18:36 A. Schleck
18:39 Hushovd
18:41:30 Gerdemann
18:43 Moreau
18:44:30 Karpets
18:46 Chavanel
18:52 Luis León Sánchez
18:55 Pellizotti
18:56:30 Efimkin
18:58 Kirchen
18:59:30 Astarloza
19:01 Wiggins
19:02:30 Menchov
19:04 Cancellara
19:05:30 Contador
19:07 Evans
19:08:30 Sastre