Saturday, August 09, 2008


I left on vacation the final Saturday of the Tour and was unable to remotely post a final 2008 Tour de France summary; but we heartily congratulate Wim Vansevenant for his accomplishments and move onward!

Cyclist Ahmed Belgasem representing Libya was the final finisher in the men's road race at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, who finished 21:22 after the first rider across the line.

Update: ACK! My error! I wasn't able to properly scroll sideways on the NBC site (which keeps auto-refreshing, much to my annoyance) and that was just a preliminary split. Oh well, I'm happy to recognize Belgasem's participation for Libya anyway. But he was an earlier DNF.

DNFs also included familiar names such as Dave Zabriskie from the USA and Robbie Hunter from South Africa, also Alberto Contador for Spain and Jens Voigt for Germany, and Stuart O'Grady for Australia. I guess it was pretty nasty air out there.

The actual final finisher came in 90th out of 143 starters, 41:11 after the first place finisher, and represents the nation of Brazil: Luciano Pagliarini Mendonca. He was 3rd in the Pan American Games road race last year. This time around he beat 37% of the starters.

I recommend Jonathan Crowe's excellent DFL blog for ongoing coverage of the Olympics - for those who want to read beyond the simplistic sound-byte headlines surrounding the podium-finisher medalists!

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Good on yer, Ahmed from Libya.

Re Wim....from the pen of Theodore Roosevelt:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.
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