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Tour Teams: Mojo Measure Time

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Excitement is always through the roof after the first mountain stage of the Tour. People whose fortunes rose or fell are judged as though this stage's results were a new, permanent reality. Calculations run rampant ("If Andy gets 1.45 on the Alpe but Cadel gets 1.10 in the time trial..."). Even the transfer talk can catch this breeze and set sail.

But all the first mountain stage does, in truth, is exhaust the "ways you can lose the Tour but not win it" subjects. Of all the ways you can lose the Tour -- crashing, getting sick, sucking at time trials, crashing again, burning yourself out unnecessarily, and blowing up on the big climbs -- only the last was truly untested, until today. Everyone's been put through all the filters... so let's see what came out in the... hm, filters, filters, must finish off this metaphor... ah, yes, coffee! Let's quickly look to see what made it into the Tour's demitasse. Has the steam pressure merely concentrated your essence into a beautiful espresso with a nice crema layer on top? Or has fate unceremoniously squeezed your essence from you and covered it over with a layer of mockery and shame? The rating system:

Nice_espresso_medium Looking Good

Nice_espresso_mediumNice_espresso_medium Even Better!

Bad_latte_medium Oh No...

To be sure, almost nobody exits the Tour in actual shame. I will add some nuance as I see fit.

Leopard Trek

Original Recipe: GC

Current Status: Sitting pretty [and yes, Majope, I realize that Leenoos is 25' down. I was referring to their plans.] Jens! is still Jens!, and the rest of the help is proving most helpful.

Rating:

Nice_espresso_mediumNice_espresso_medium

Saxo Sungard

Original Recipe: GC

Current Status: Sub-optimal. No sentient being is giving up on Contador yet, but containing both Schlecks is hard enough without the 2' deficit and the balky knee.

Rating:

Nice_espresso_medium

Euskaltel

Original Recipe: GC, Stages

Current Status: Well that didn't take long... Samu has his work cut out for GC, sitting just off Contador, but the number of guys standing between him and that podium spot keeps shrinking. Oh, and he'll be wearing the coolest jersey in cycling tomorrow, which is doubly good, because let's face it, orange looks shitty on everyone.

Rating:

Nice_espresso_mediumNice_espresso_medium

OmegaPharma-Lotto

Original Recipe: GC, Stages

Current Status: Did we say yellow? We meant green. And in this Gilbert wins even if he loses, given the unlikeliness of a non-sprinter challenge. Unless he loses on the Champs, by a point. Then yeah, just misery. [Update!] Um, except the whole Vanendert almost winning today thing. That's good, yes?

Rating: [Mockery: that would be the Gods of Cycling, mocking the limits of collarbones]

Bad_latte_mediumNice_espresso_medium

Rabobank

Original Recipe: GC, maybe a stage

Current Status: Just stages now. Gesink's too injured for even a white jersey campaign. Boom failed where LuLu succeeded, so kinda yay I guess. Seems like awfully small consolation though.

Rating: [Mockery: the Gods mock hubris... even if it's the projected hubris of DDIFPs.]

Bad_latte_medium

Garmin-Cervelo

Original Recipe: GC, Green, Stages

Current Status: Stage monkey was pried off their backs with a yellow crowbar. Good times! But the demise of VandeVelde and Hesjedal has to temper the excitement about Danielson.

Rating:

Nice_espresso_medium

Astana

Original Recipe: GC, White, Stages

Current Status: Vinokourov's crash was as sad as it was scary, but their only other impression was an odd breakaway presence. Kreuziger left his legs in Sestriere. Oh, and why is Tiralongo acting as Contador's spokesman?

Rating:

Bad_latte_medium

Radio Shack

Original Recipe: GC

Current Status: Their misery has been well-chronicled. I just want to say that my touting Levi did not in any way cause him to lose time today. It's not like I put him on my VDS team.

Rating: [You'd think the Gods' cruelty would be less potent around the Shack. IIRC some of them raced Juniors with Levi and Klodi.]

Bad_latte_medium

Movistar

Original Recipe: Green, Stages

Current Status: I don't love JJ Rojas' chances but he has held the jersey and he's very much in the hunt, if he can ditch Cav somewhere. Rui Costa's stage win was happy times. A rarity for them this year.

Rating:

Nice_espresso_mediumNice_espresso_medium

Liquigas

Original Recipe: GC

Current Status: Basso may rue that minute he left along the road somewhere in week one, but otherwise things are just as they should be. The Szmackdown today was fun. For me, at least, since I don't have to hold his wheel.

Rating:

Nice_espresso_mediumNice_espresso_medium

AG2R

Original Recipe: GC

Current Status: What was Hubert Dupont doing dropping team leader Roche? Shouldn't he... wait, no, that's exactly what this Tour needs! In fairness, they're third in the teams comp, which may tell the story. Anyway, Roche is in good position, even if there's no reason it should last.

Rating:

Nice_espresso_medium

Sky

Original Recipe: GC, other fun

Current Status: Down in a hole. Losing their soul. Feeling so small. On the plus side, nobody has earned their prix combativite like Geraint did today.

Rating: [Taking Murdoch money? Don't get the Gods of Cycling started. You think they don't talk to the Gods of Journalism?]

Bad_latte_medium

Quick Step

Original Recipe: Stages, Green

Current Status: I'm going to set the bar a bit lower and do them a favor. Yes, losing Boonen hurts in a top-line way, given his profile. But when people (like me) put down the kool-aid long enough, we can see that he's not as fast as Cav and doesn't climb as well as Thor. Which leaves him nowhere. Fortunately Kevin De Weert is awesome.

Rating:

Nice_espresso_medium

FDJ

Original Recipe: Stages

Current Status: Not for lack of effort... and they have three combative paychecks to prove it. Jeanneson is in white after a nice climb today, and sits 13th overall with Gilbert likely to drop further. Pretty awesome Tour debut, non?

Rating:

Nice_espresso_mediumNice_espresso_medium

BMC

Original Recipe: GC, Hicapie's record

Current Status: They even have a stage to show for their pitch-perfect first half.

Rating:

Nice_espresso_mediumNice_espresso_medium

Cofidis

Original Recipe: GC, Stages

Current Status: If I told you Tony Gallopin would make his Tour mountains debut by finishing next to Robert Gesink, you'd have taken that, right? [sigh] Taaramae has a clear shot at white though, if he can finish stronger (and safer) than he started. Le hope.

Rating:

Nice_espresso_medium

Lampre

Original Recipe: Stages and Green

Current Status: What the...? Cunego ahead of Contador? Petacchi behind Greipel? Dogs and cats, living together?

Rating: [Tricking the Gods makes them angry. Remember that, Kid.]

Bad_latte_mediumNice_espresso_medium

HTC-Highroad

Original Recipe: GC, Green, Stages

Current Status: Martin is Martin. Velits discovers that, at the Tour, a Vuelta podium and 3 Euros will get you a cafe au lait. But Cavendish's Green chase is his proudest accomplishment so far... if he hangs on.

Rating:

Nice_espresso_medium

Europcar

Original Recipe: GC, Stages

Current Status: I labeled their GC campaign stealth, but that turns out to be the exact wrong word. It's there, for everyone in the world to see. Still won't last, but along with their depth and high team-comp placing, at some point they don't care about hanging on for 11th.

Rating:

Nice_espresso_mediumNice_espresso_medium

Katusha

Original Recipe: Something. Anything

Current Status: Nothing. Unless you count a doping scandal and a jiu-jitsu move.

Rating:

Bad_latte_medium

Vacansoleil

Original Recipe: Stages, Attacking

Current Status: Remember, Hoogie was getting attention for all the right reasons before he started getting WAY more for the wrong -- or at least for regrettable -- reasons. Top ranked Dutchman on GC? Rob Roo-(ahem). We Can Be Heroes.

Rating:

Nice_espresso_medium

Saur-Sojasun

Original Recipe: Happy to be here

Current Status: Still happy, I guess. We made it to Bastille Day and we haven't made fun of them. They even got a combativity prize. So, not going home broke. Works for me.

Rating:

Nice_espresso_medium