Two strikes and you are out (depending on when you pick up the strikes)

When you make it up as you go along, you get to move the goalposts.

The two strike rule in the Tour de France has been modified. It seems there is a time period defined from a rest day (Monday) through Sunday where two COVID -19 positives in your team bubble will get the team removed from the Tour. The nominal plan though is to test on the two rest days, so that’s really only two tests on two days where two people need to test positive. That’s a lot of twos in that sentence. If they test midweek, and if a total of two people test positive for that period then the team is out. The Tour has taken a Trumpian approach – if you don’t test then no one will test positive. I suspect the only reason they will test midweek is if someone is symptomatic.

I’m still trying to figure out how I feel about this. On one hand, I think holding the tour is crazy. So much logistics, even on a reduced “show.” There’s a lot of opportunity for spreading if the virus finds the right person. However, the teams are doing their best to manage their bubble so is the infection risk that high? Or am I just feeling lenient because I’m craving some entertainment?

I’ll keep watching and hoping that they make it to Paris safely.

Fantasy Game

I had Thomas De Gendt today as my winner, assuming the winner would come from a breakaway. He’s usually in the breakaways, but alas not today. While the winner did come from a breakaway, it was Marc Hirshi who won and everyone seemed very happy. He was so close to a previous breakaway victory and really put in a big effort to win today.

With today’s scoring, I’ve moved all the way to 52,049th.

Tour de France week 1 – the show continues

The Tour de France actually made it through the first week without any teams being kicked out with the “two strikes” rule. No rider tested positive for COVID-19. Unfortunately, the Race Director, Christian Prudhomme, did! He says he’s not part of the bubble so no big whoop. He’ll just hang out somewhere for a week and then join again. Hmm, OK.

It seems the rule remains that if any two people test positive for COVID-19 from the same team (riders and support), that team is out. Unfortunately Ineos Grenadiers, Mitchelton-Scott, Cofidis, and AG2R staff did have a single positive each. Therefore, as it currently stands, they are one more positive away from expulsion.

TdF Fantasy Team

And how is my fantasy team doing? Two of them crashed today, and one broke his collarbone and won’t be continuing. I’ve already had to have five rider changes due to injury and performance issues. I’m now down to three more changes and then I’ll have no more changes left. I’m killing it though, I’m ranked 53474th. I have no idea how many are in the contest, but I have been as low as approximately 68,000th.

TdF Fantasy Team
TdF Fantasy Team at Stage 11

Come hell or high water (or pandemic)

According to IOC Vice President John Coates, it’s on!

It will take place with or without Covid. The Games will start on 23 July next year

Ah, OK. At least according to this post from a website I’ve never heard of before in India. 

The Japan Times reports almost exactly the same thing. And by “almost exactly” it’s pretty much word for word with a little stylistic treatment.

The story was picked up by both sites from Agence France-Presse.

I’m glad John Coates is so optimistic. At the moment, Japan won’t even allow me to enter the country, so a lot of things will need to change between now and next July for me to see the games. What about all the American athletes? Will they be allowed in? Time will tell.

Seiko Hashimoto, Japan’s Olympic Minister, seems to agree with Mr. Coates.

I think we have to hold the games at any cost. I want to concentrate all our efforts on measures against the coronavirus.

Pretty bold words.

But will they make it to Paris?

The Tour de France, usually a July event, kicks off on Saturday, August 29. Or, in relative terms, TOMORROW. It’s not the Olympics of course, but many of the participants would be hopefuls for the Olympics, so it is tangentially related. And I wanted blog content, so here it is.

The problem is, many people speculate that the race won’t complete all 21 stages. 

They will try to contain the crowd, but I’m not sure how they will manage that. Do you keep people off the roadside? I guess managing the mountain stages are probably easy to manage because access is relatively limited. City finishes may be a little harder. I’ve been to multiple stages in the 90s (saw Lance Armstrong when his first stage ever, as I stated before) and there was of course a big “village” at the start and finish. If you don’t set up the village, perhaps people won’t come.

There’s a great article in the Wall Street Journal about the precautions cycling teams have taken in the past regarding team, health. As team EF Education First’s Tejay Van Garderen stated in the article, “We were all germaphobes before. In the Covid era, it’s like that on steroids.” Perhaps a cyclist should have used a statement other than, “on steroids,” but we get his point.

NPR’s Eleanor Beardsley, she with a Southern accent peppered with French, reported as well.

One thing I’m doing this year, as I have in the past, is a Tour Fantasy game. I’m terrible at these things. Here’s my team at the start. I have some opportunities to make changes once the race starts in case of crash, illness, or I want to fire a rider. 

We have our 2021 hotel

It is less than a year away from Tokyo 2020 in the summer of 2021. We are really hoping that it happens. As I mentioned over and over when I thought I was going this year, finding accommodations was proving to be quite difficult. Luckily the accommodations we arranged had a full refund policy. I’m glad we didn’t opt for the Park Hyatt at $2000/night prepaid. I can’t remember the refund policy on that bargain.

We paid attention though, and saw that a hotel from a major chain has rooms available in Yokohama. OK, Yokohama is not Tokyo, but as much traveling as we will be doing from venue to venue, it’s good enough. Even better? We were able to book for the entire period on points! The hotel probably isn’t thrilled about that, but we are. So that worry is over, and if the Olympics are cancelled again, we just get our points back.

Update on Indiana Athletes

I haven’t lived in Indiana for over 30 years, but the roots run deep. I’ve been featuring Purdue and Indiana athletes in this blog. There is a good article in the Indianapolis Star that gets reactions from various athletes impacted by the postponement of the Olympics.

Check out the article here.

Tokyo 2020 is still Tokyo 2020 but not in 2020

Quite expectedly, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics have been postponed. Exactly one year. I didn’t immediately post to this blog because I didn’t break the story so I didn’t think it would really increase my numbers.

Actually I would have posted, but work stuff was crazy for me around the same time and after a full day of sitting in the home office talking into my monitor, I really didn’t feel like rotating my chair 90 degrees from the work computer to my home computer and write more depressing news.

In all honesty, delaying a year does not change our ability or enthusiasm to go, and for that I am grateful. I do feel for the athletes who have been making so many sacrifices to prepare for THIS YEAR and now they have to re-think everything. There was an article in the New York Times about the impact. Steele Johnson, who I’ve highlighted before, was featured in the article.

Steele Johnson, a diver who won a silver medal for the United States at the 2016 Rio Games, woke up Tuesday morning to texts from friends saying they were so sorry that the Summer Olympics had been postponed. They knew how hard it had been for Johnson, 23, and his wife Hilary, to make ends meet as he pursued a gold medal in Tokyo.

When he read the news, Johnson said, he felt it in the pit of his stomach.

“We’ve had a very, very tough year financially,” he said. “I don’t know if I could keep up a lifestyle like this for another 12 to 15 months of just diving without getting a full-time job. It’s hard to think about making more sacrifices than we already have.”

On a lighter note, the Olympics is still being called Tokyo 2020, so I don’t have to change the name of this blog! 

Social Distancing

Well, COVID-19 COVID-19 COVID-19 COVID-19. This pandemic certainly is the news. Sport is basically on hold in the US, and should be around the world. Qualifying for Tokyo 2020 has basically stopped. I seriously doubt if there will even BE a Tokyo 2020.

The pace of this blog will slow until I can build the enthusiasm to start researching and preparing for something that I’ve been anticipating since it was announced and now likely won’t happen in 2020 and may never happen.

The health of people around the world is more important, but I’ll allow myself to be disappointed with the impact this is having to things we enjoy.

Stay safe everyone, and let’s see what the future holds.


Oh well, my Google analytics show that this blog hasn’t even had a single hit in two weeks.

COVID-19 wins Indian Wells

COVID-19 cancels Indian Wells 

Viruses don’t cancel things, people do.

As tennis fans in greater Los Angeles, we have a great opportunity to watch top tier tennis at the BNP Paribas Open, aka Indian Wells. A year ago, we made plans to attend this year’s last three days of the tournament. It was scheduled to start tomorrow, March 9. Tonight, the entire tournament was cancelled.

“The Riverside County Public Health Department has declared a public health emergency for the Coachella Valley after a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19) locally. As a result, the 2020 BNP Paribas Open will not take place at this time due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus and the safety of the participants and attendees at the event. This is following the guidance of medical professionals, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and State of California.

“There is too great a risk, at this time, to the public health of the Riverside County area in holding a large gathering of this size,” said Dr. David Agus, Professor of Medicine and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Southern California. “It is not in the public interest of fans, players and neighboring areas for this tournament to proceed. We all have to join together to protect the community from the coronavirus outbreak.”

“We appreciate the proactive stance tournament organizers are taking to ensure public health and safety,” said Martin Massiello, Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, Eisenhower Health.

“We are very disappointed that the tournament will not take place, but the health and safety of the local community, fans, players, volunteers, sponsors, employees, vendors, and everyone involved with the event is of paramount importance,” said Tournament Director Tommy Haas. “We are prepared to hold the tournament on another date and will explore options.”

Any patron who has purchased tickets directly from the tournament may request a refund for the 2020 tournament, or a credit for the 2021 tournament. Patrons should click the button below to request a refund or credit.”



Happier times at the 2019 Australian Open

Cycling Update

In other news, some of the quarantined cyclistshave been released but a number of Italian races have postponed. Paris-Nice is on though.

Scoring points with pros

It turns out Nathan Peter Haas’ and The Peloton Brief’s quarantine workout regime got some press in Australia but with limited actual attribution to the content owners. I let them know that I followed their rules, so I got a Twitter like. That means we must be best friends now.

Does a Twitter “Like” make us friends?