Unbelievably, there's actually been other news beyond speculation over Chris Froome's Vo2 max, Valverde's agonizing flat-stage meltdown and the peloton's collarless-skinsuit fashion tragedy, so in the few hours we've got before the breakaway gets going, here's the 'nother stuff:
1. If Alberto Contador sez Chris Froome ain't doping, I believe it. After all, who'd know better?
2. On a related note, if Contador can't take a stage, and *well*, his whole career looks like a lie. Uh, I think he's got a "virus," Bjarne!
3. Mark Cavendish finally *did* get Alessandro Petacchi as his lead-out! Not for the Giro or Tour though. And he can't help him in the Worlds. But Cav'll probably ride *something* after the Tour. Cage fight for Steegmans and Ale-Jet over who gets to be Cav's top main! Since Petacchi'll probably stop for a spa day and a nice mani-pedi, my money's on Gert for a surprise mid-sauna bushwhack...
4. Thor Hushovd won a race! Like two weeks ago, and not near the caliber of his earlier wins, but still. It just goes to show ya, BMC, don't screw over the Thunder God ever again!
5. On the topic of BMC, winless reigning world champ Philippe Gilbert just looks so glum. Can't the peloton discreetly give *one* stage away for this poor sod?
6. I think Sagan is genuinely heartbroken he can't show off more for his fans at the finish line, considering all his countrymen and women and like half the rest of the earth's female population took a three-week holiday to follow 'im. C'mon, Kittel, you've bagged three stages, show this guy some mercy already!
7. Andy freakin' Schleck, man. Even *I* can't pile on 'im at this point. He'll be lucky to get a contract scrubbing his own stage-soaked chamois next year.
8. Kittel's 80s mousse-fest blowout, or Uran's 80s mullet? Discuss.
9. Jens Voigt is still a god. We love you Jens!
10. !@#$ off, Phil & Paul haters. Phil Liggett could accidentally announce those irritating Michelob Light commercials the entire coming week and he'd *still* rule the airwaves, so like I said, bug off!
11. Cut the crap, UCI--the women deserve their own, real, permanent Tour de France. At least we *know* you jerks won't pay 'em enough to dope & destroy the sport like the guys have!
12. And if you really saw Bauke Mollema in second place, as opposed to just a dark horse for the top five, you are either Laurens Ten Dam or a lying lying liar. Allez Bauke--keep proving us wrong!
Well, onto Alberto's and Valverde's and Cadel's assault on the Alps. Good luck, 'cause with how Froomey looks, you're all gonna need it!