Tour de France 2014: Stage 20, Bergerac to Périgueux (ITT), 54k

Riders in the 2014 Tour de France take on a tough, hilly, 54-kilometer Individual Time Trial from Bergerac to Périgueux.

With a lead of seven-minutes-and-ten-seconds, Vincenzo Nibali is certainly secure in the yellow jersey, but the next three riders on GC are within 15 seconds of one another. Today will undoubtedly determine which of them stand on the final podium tomorrow in Paris.

CLICK HERE to join us for Live Coverage of the only Time Trial in this year’s Tour to see how Thibaut Pinot, Jean-Christophe Péraud and Alejandro Valverde fare in this race against the clock.

Stage 20 Profile

Tour de France 2014: Stage 8, Tomblaine to Gérardmer, 161km

The eighth stage of the 2014 Tour de France, a 161-kilometer race across northeastern France from Tomblaine to Gérardmer, near the confluence of the Franco-German-Swiss borders.

The stage appears to favor breakaway riders, but a tough three-climb finalé will also offer an opportunity for top riders to shake up the overall standings.

CLICK HERE to join us for Live wire-to-wire coverage as the Tour moves into the mountains.Profile Stage 8

We’re baaaaaaaaaack

We’ll be here for the Tour. Now, by that I mean that PO’G and I will offer live wire-to-wire coverage of the entire 2014 Tour de France.

I realize that it’s late, but we both actually have obligations outside of LUGing and I didn’t want to commit until I was sure that we could cover the entire Tour. Well, now we’re able and willing to make that commitment.

I will be on-line at the start of Saturday’s 191-kilometer stage from Leeds to Harrogate all the way through to the final stage to the Champs-Elysées.

We’ve made the commitment. Don’t hesitate to visit the Tip Jar in advance to express your support for our decision.

Early support is cool.

Giro d’Italia, 2014: Stage 20, Maniago to Monte Zoncolan, 167km

The 2014 Giro d’Italia spends its last day in the mountains with Stage 20’s 167-kilometer race from Maniago to a finish atop a steep climb up Monte Zoncolan.

After yesterday’s hill climb, Nairo Quintana has a solid lead in the overall standings. He’s an odds-on favorite to excel on the steep (up to 20%) slopes of the Zoncolan, but anything can happen on that wild road. CLICK HERE to join us for extended coverage of this Giro’s final test in the mountains.


National Breast Cancer Awareness Month Needs a Bit More “Awareness”

Okay, it’s National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. For the most part, we are all quite aware … with one lone exception. In an effort to increase “awareness” this annual parade of pink ribbons generates a host of news stories about breast cancer, early detection etc. More often than not, those stories include the phrase “women with breast cancer.”

imagesNinety-nine percent of the time that is an accurate statement. There were approximately 180,000 women diagnosed with breast cancer in the U.S. in 2011. That year, there were 1800 MEN diagnosed as well.

I know.

I was one of them.

Obviously, men are far less likely to get breast cancer than women. It’s logical to refer to it as a “women’s disease,” but it isn’t. We are mammals. We all have “breast” tissue, including ducts, nipples etc. In men it’s generally useless tissue – tits on a boar, if you will – but it can be subject to the same cancers suffered by women, albeit far less frequently.

According to a study presented earlier this year at the American Society of Breast Surgeons conference, when men are diagnosed with breast cancer, it is often deadlier. That’s largely because men (and even their health care providers) tend to ignore those early symptoms that trigger alarm bells when it comes to female patients.

Because of that lack of “awareness,” men tend to be diagnosed later than women (even though our tumors are actually detectable at an earlier stage) and as a result have larger tumors, are more likely to have had the cancer spread and live, on average, two fewer years than women who are diagnosed.

I was lucky. I found an aggressive 2.3cm, grade 3 tumor when it was just at Stage 2b. A failed lumpectomy, a bilateral mastectomy and five months of chemo later, I’m as good as new (albeit sans nipples).

We caught that sucker in time. Other men, like my late uncle Philip, aren’t as lucky. Many ignore indicators, thinking that a bump is merely a cyst. Worse still is when medical professionals tell them it’s nothing to worry about.

I’m not asking you to donate money. I am not begging you to participate in a walk or a 5k. You don’t have to wear a ribbon, a pin or a wristband.

Instead, let’s honor National Breast Cancer Awareness Month by being “aware.” Be aware that now and then, in those rare cases, this also happens to men.

Don’t panic if you find a lump, but please, please, please don’t ignore it thinking that breast cancer is only something that affects women.

Just be aware.

We’re on for the Tour

It looks like the test-run was a success. Reader comments regarding the new software were positive and I believe we’ve covered the software costs for the Tour. So, at this point, I can categorically say that we are on for the 2013 Tour de France.

You often read LUG, but here’s a chance to hear him

NPR, All Things Considered: “Armstrong Stripped Of Titles, Banned From Cycling”
By Tom Goldman
October 22, 2012
Cycling’s governing body Monday stripped Lance Armstrong of his Tour de France titles and banned him for life. “Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling,” said Pat McQuaid, the president of the cycling union. Armstrong’s name will be erased from the record books and he might also be stripped of his bronze medal from the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
Hear the full Story at

NPR, All Things Considered: “Lance Armstrong’s decision to stop fighting the doping case against him has drawn mixed reactions from the cycling world and elsewhere.”
By Mike Pesca
August 24, 2012
To athletes young and old, Lance Armstrong has been an icon and an inspiration, even more so to cancer survivors, their families and anyone who wore a yellow LIVESTRONG bracelet. So what becomes of Armstrong’s legacy now that his titles are gone and he’s been labeled a doper?
Hear the full Story at