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Tropical Depression Two

Tropical Depression TwoPosition: 12.0N 45.1W [10PM CDT 0300 UTC].
Movement: West [280°] near 16 mph [26 kph].
Maximum sustained winds: 35 mph [ 55 kph].
Wind Gusts: 45 mph [ 70 kph].
Minimum central pressure: 1012 mb.

Currently about 1110 miles [1790 km] East of the Lesser Antilles.

Intensity increase is in question because of the dry Saharan Air Layer just to the North of the storm. The Antilles and other islands would welcome a rain event, as they have had a very dry summer.

Here’s the link for NOAA’s latest satellite images.

[For the latest information click on the storm symbol, or go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select "Hurricanes" for all of the posts related to storms on this site.]

July 21, 2014   No Comments

Le Tour 2014 – Stage 15

Tour de FranceTallard – Nîmes

Distance: 222 kilometers.

The relatively flat descent to sea level out of the Alps before the final Rest Day which is followed by the Pyrennes.

Martin Elmiger and Jack Bauer broke away at the start and led for all but the last 50 meters. The chase was led by the sprinters and after it began raining the major Yellow Jersey contenders were more concerned with not crashing than winning.

Yellow Jersey Vincenzo Nibali ( Ita – AST – 041 ) [Yellow] 66h 49′ 37″
Green Jersey Peter Sagan ( Svk – CAN – 051 ) [Green] 402 points
Polka Dot Jersey Joaquim Rodriguez ( Esp – KAT – 021 ) [Polka Dot] 88 points
White Jersey Romain Bardet ( Fra – ALM – 082 ) 3 [White]

Team: AG2R La Mondiale ( ALM - 081-089 ) [Yellow numbers]
Stage winner: Alexander Kristoff ( Nor – KAT – 023 )
Combative: Martin Elmiger ( Sui – IAM - 193 ) [Red numbers]

Top Ten:

1 Vincenzo Nibali ( Ita – AST – 041 )
2 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte ( Esp – MOV – 011 ) + 04′ 37″
3 Romain Bardet ( Fra – ALM – 082 ) + 04′ 50″
4 Thibaut Pinot ( Fra – FDJ – 127 ) + 05′ 06″
5 Tejay Van Garderen ( US – BMC – 141 ) + 05′ 49″
6 Jean-Christophe Péraud ( Fra – ALM – 081 ) + 06′ 08″
7 Bauke Mollema ( Ned – BEL – 061 ) + 08′ 33″
8 Leopold Konig ( Cze – TNE – 201 ) + 09′ 32″
9 Laurens Ten Dam ( Ned – BEL – 067 ) + 10′ 01″
10 Pierre Rolland ( Fra – EUC – 151 ) + 10′ 48″

The Rest of the Top 30:
[Read more →]

July 20, 2014   No Comments

Le Tour 2014 – Stage 14

Tour de FranceGrenoble – Risoul

Distance: 177 kilometers.

Another mountain stage and even more brutal than yesterday. This a 1-HC-1 group with a summit finish again. The first 1, Col du Lautaret, is 2,058 meters, followed by the HC, Col d’Izoard, at 2,380, with the finish at Risoul only 1,855 meters. The Col d’Izoard is this year’s Souvenir Henri Desgrange climb, and the first rider to the top gets € 5,000 for reaching the highest point in the Tour.

Nibali managed to again increase his hold on the Yellow Jersey, but the Polka Dots and White are very much in contention.

Bardet only has a 16 second lead over Pinot in the battle for the White, and that can disappear on any stage.

Rodriguez managed to move 2 points ahead of Nibali, but he is tied at 88 with today’s stage winner Rafal Majka, so it is far from certain.

If Contador hadn’t dropped out, Majka would have been helping him on these climbs, not racing for himself and the team. As a young rider on his first Tour he has really improved his future in the sport with this win.

Yellow Jersey Vincenzo Nibali ( Ita – AST – 041 ) [Yellow] 61h 52′ 54″
Green Jersey Peter Sagan ( Svk – CAN – 051 ) [Green] 361 points
Polka Dot Jersey Joaquim Rodriguez ( Esp – KAT – 021 ) [Polka Dot] 88 points
White Jersey Romain Bardet ( Fra – ALM – 082 ) 3 [White]

Team: AG2R La Mondiale ( ALM - 081-089 ) [Yellow numbers]
Stage winner: Rafal Majka ( Pol – TCS – 034 )
Combative: Alessandro De Marchi ( Ita – CAN - 053 ) [Red numbers]

Top Ten:

1 Vincenzo Nibali ( Ita – AST – 041 )
2 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte ( Esp – MOV – 011 ) + 04′ 37″
3 Romain Bardet ( Fra – ALM – 082 ) + 04′ 50″
4 Thibaut Pinot ( Fra – FDJ – 127 ) + 05′ 06″
5 Tejay Van Garderen ( US – BMC – 141 ) + 05′ 49″
6 Jean-Christophe Péraud ( Fra – ALM – 081 ) + 06′ 08″
7 Bauke Mollema ( Ned – BEL – 061 ) + 08′ 33″
8 Leopold Konig ( Cze – TNE – 201 ) + 09′ 32″
9 Laurens Ten Dam ( Ned – BEL – 067 ) + 10′ 01″
10 Pierre Rolland ( Fra – EUC – 151 ) + 10′ 48″

The Rest of the Top 30:
[Read more →]

July 19, 2014   No Comments

Le Tour 2014 – Stage 13

Tour de FranceSaint-Étienne – Chamrousse

Distance: 197.5 kilometers.

A definite mountain stage, it starts with a Category 3 and hills for 134 km followed by a Category 1 up and over Palaquit and the finish is a Hors Catégorie climb to Chamrousse. We find out who in the top ten can climb, and who is ready for the Polka Dots.

The answer to those questions is Vincenzo Nibali, who won the stage, the Polka Dots, and increased his overall lead.

This stage was obviously designed by a fan of the Marqis de Sade, the race began at noon with the air temperature at 37°C/98.6°F [normal body temperature] and continued through the hottest part of the day. Three riders [Arthur Vichot, Daniel Navarro Garcia & Janier Alexis Acevedo] dropped out, and Alexander Porsev was unable to finish within the time limit.

Welcome to the Alps…

Yellow Jersey Vincenzo Nibali ( Ita – AST – 041 ) [Yellow] 56h 44′ 03″
Green Jersey Peter Sagan ( Svk – CAN – 051 ) [Green] 341 points
Polka Dot Jersey Vincenzo Nibali ( Ita – AST – 041 ) [Polka Dot] 70 points
White Jersey Romain Bardet ( Fra – ALM – 082 ) 3 [White]

Team: AG2R La Mondiale ( ALM - 081-089 ) [Yellow numbers]
Stage winner: Vincenzo Nibali ( Ita – AST – 041 )
Combative: Alessandro De Marchi ( Ita – CAN - 053 ) [Red numbers]

Top Ten:

1 Vincenzo Nibali ( Ita – AST – 041 )
2 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte ( Esp – MOV – 011 ) + 03′ 37″
3 Romain Bardet ( Fra – ALM – 082 ) + 04′ 24″
4 Thibaut Pinot ( Fra – FDJ – 127 ) + 04′ 40″
5 Tejay Van Garderen ( US – BMC – 141 ) + 05′ 19″
6 Jean-Christophe Péraud ( Fra – ALM – 081 ) + 06′ 06″
7 Bauke Mollema ( Ned – BEL – 061 ) + 06′ 17″
8 Jurgen Van Den Broeck ( Bel – LTB – 131 ) + 06′ 27″
9 Alberto Costa Rui ( Por – LAM – 111 ) + 08′ 35″
10 Leopold Konig ( Cze – TNE – 201 ) + 08′ 36″

The Rest of the Top 30:
[Read more →]

July 18, 2014   No Comments

Le Tour 2014 – Stage 12

Tour de FranceBourg-en-Bresse – Saint-Étienne

Distance: 185.5 kilometers.

Another hill section with the categorized climbs [4-3-3-4] spread out along the route and a flat run to the finish.

For the fourth time Peter Sagan comes up in second place at the end of a stage, as Kristoff takes it at the end. Simon Clarke won the Red Numbers for his breakaway efforts but was gathered in at the end.

As expected Andrew Talansky didn’t start the stage. De La Cruz’s Tour ended with a broken collarbone as the result of a crash.

Yellow Jersey Vincenzo Nibali ( Ita – AST – 041 ) [Yellow] 51h 31′ 34″
Green Jersey Peter Sagan ( Svk – CAN – 051 ) [Green] 341 points
Polka Dot Jersey Joaquim Rodriguez ( Esp – KAT – 021 ) [Polka Dot] 51 points
White Jersey Romain Bardet ( Fra – ALM – 082 ) 4 [White]

Team: AG2R La Mondiale ( ALM - 081-089 ) [Yellow numbers]
Stage winner: Alexander Kristoff ( Nor – KAT – 023 )
Combative: Simon Clarke ( Aus – OGE - 183 ) [Red numbers]

Top Ten:

1 Vincenzo Nibali ( Ita – AST – 041 )
2 Richie Porte ( Aus – SKY – 007 ) + 02′ 23″
3 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte ( Esp – MOV – 011 ) + 02′ 47″
4 Romain Bardet ( Fra – ALM – 082 ) + 03′ 01″
5 Thibaut Pinot ( Fra – FDJ – 127 ) + 03′ 47″
6 Tejay Van Garderen ( US – BMC – 141 ) + 03′ 56″
7 Jean-Christophe Péraud ( Fra – ALM – 081 ) + 03′ 57″
8 Bauke Mollema ( Ned – BEL – 061 ) + 04′ 08″
9 Jurgen Van Den Broeck ( Bel – LTB – 131 ) + 04′ 18″
10 Jakob Fuglsang ( Den – AST – 042 ) + 04′ 31″

The Rest of the Top 30:
[Read more →]

July 17, 2014   No Comments

Le Tour 2014 – Stage 11

Tour de FranceBesançon – Oyonnax

Distance: 187.5 kilometers.

Not too bad today as the categorized climbs don’t start until the last 50 kilometers, and feature a 3-3-4-3 group with a downhill run to the finish.

As often happens on the Tour, the day after a rest day features people realizing how sore they really are. Fabian Cancellara, another big name, withdrew before the start in hopes of getting well for another race later in the season, and Andrew Talansky struggled with a back injury all day. Talansky finished alone, a half hour after the stage winner and may withdraw tomorrow if he can’t get some relief.

Nicholas Roche won the Red Numbers in his attempt for a stage win, but ran out of energy at the end, being overtaken by Tony Gallopin who took the stage

Yellow Jersey Vincenzo Nibali ( Ita – AST – 041 ) [Yellow] 46h 59′ 23″
Green Jersey Peter Sagan ( Svk – CAN – 051 ) [Green] 301 points
Polka Dot Jersey Joaquim Rodriguez ( Esp – KAT – 021 ) [Polka Dot] 51 points
White Jersey Romain Bardet ( Fra – ALM – 082 ) 4 [White]

Team: AG2R La Mondiale ( ALM - 081-089 ) [Yellow numbers]
Stage winner: Tony Gallopin ( Fra – LTB – 134 )
Combative: Nicolas Roche ( Irl – TCS - 037 ) [Red numbers]

Top Ten:

1 Vincenzo Nibali ( Ita – AST – 041 )
2 Richie Porte ( Aus – SKY – 007 ) + 02′ 23″
3 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte ( Esp – MOV – 011 ) + 02′ 47″
4 Romain Bardet ( Fra – ALM – 082 ) + 03′ 01″
5 Tony Gallopin ( Fra – LTB – 134 ) + 03′ 12″
6 Thibaut Pinot ( Fra – FDJ – 127 ) + 03′ 47″
7 Tejay Van Garderen ( US – BMC – 141 ) + 03′ 56″
8 Jean-Christophe Péraud ( Fra – ALM – 081 ) + 03′ 57″
9 Bauke Mollema ( Ned – BEL – 061 ) + 04′ 08″
10 Jurgen Van Den Broeck ( Bel – LTB – 131 ) + 04′ 18″

The Rest of the Top 30:
[Read more →]

July 16, 2014   No Comments

One Small Step

Apollo 11

Apollo 11

Commander:

Neil A. Armstrong

Pilot: Columbia Command Module

Michael Collins, Lieutenant Colonel, USAF

Pilot: Eagle Lunar Module

Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin, Jr., Colonel, USAF

Launched: 16 July 1969 UT 13:32:00 (08:32:00 CDT)

Landed on Moon: 20 July 1969 UT 20:17:40 (15:17:40 CDT)

Landing Site: Mare Tranquillitatis – Sea of Tranquility (0.67 N, 23.47 E)

Returned to Earth: 24 July 1969 UT 16:50:35 (11:50:35 CDT)

July 16, 2014   5 Comments

Le Tour 2014 – Stage 10

Tour de FranceMulhouse – La Planche des Belles Filles

Distance: 161.5 kilometers.

Riders are going to need tomorrow’s Rest Day after this stage. There are seven Categorized climbs – 2,1,1,2,3,1, and 1 with the last climb to the finish. As it takes place on Bastille Day, every French rider wants to excel on the stage.

Nibali ground it out to regain the Yellow and take the stage. The young French rider, Romain Bardet, and French team AG2R La Mondiale boosted local spirits by winning the White Jersey and team competition respectively.

Alberto Contador ended his Tour with a crash today that caused some serious knee damage. Update: The knee damage was not the real problem – he fractured his tibia and will require surgery to set it. He will need months to heal.

That guarantees a new Tour winner as all three of the former winners [Chris Froome, Andy Schleck, and Contador] have had to withdraw.

Yellow Jersey Vincenzo Nibali ( Ita – AST – 041 ) [Yellow] 42h 33′ 38″
Green Jersey Peter Sagan ( Svk – CAN – 051 ) [Green] 287 points
Polka Dot Jersey Joaquim Rodriguez ( Esp – KAT – 021 ) [Polka Dot] 51 points
White Jersey Romain Bardet ( Fra – ALM – 082 ) 4 [White]

Team: AG2R La Mondiale ( ALM - 081-089 ) [Yellow numbers]
Stage winner: Vincenzo Nibali ( Ita – AST – 041 )
Combative: Tony Martin ( Ger – OPQ - 075 ) [Red numbers]

Top Ten:

1 Vincenzo Nibali ( Ita – AST – 041 )
2 Richie Porte ( Aus – SKY – 007 ) + 02′ 23″
3 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte ( Esp – MOV – 011 ) + 02′ 47″
4 Romain Bardet ( Fra – ALM – 082 ) + 03′ 01″
5 Tony Gallopin ( Fra – LTB – 134 ) + 03′ 12″
6 Thibaut Pinot ( Fra – FDJ – 127 ) + 03′ 47″
7 Tejay Van Garderen ( US – BMC – 141 ) + 03′ 56″
8 Jean-Christophe Péraud ( Fra – ALM – 081 ) + 03′ 57″
9 Alberto Costa Rui ( Por – LAM – 111 ) + 03′ 58″
10 Bauke Mollema ( Ned – BEL – 061 ) + 04′ 08″

The Rest of the Top 30:
[Read more →]

July 14, 2014   No Comments

Happy Bastille Day

La Fête Nationale
Bastille Day

France

Thank you for the help with the Revolution.

Some background.

July 14, 2014   13 Comments

Le Tour 2014 – Stage 9

Tour de FranceGérardmer – Mulhouse

Distance: 170 kilometers.

This stage begins with a Category 2 climb, then two Category 3s, followed by another Category 2. Then there is 20 km of hills before the first Category 1 on this year’s Tour which has a Category 3 climb and then about 40 km of downhill to the finish. The sprinters will be pushed even further back in the General Classification.

A Frenchman, Tony Gallopin, will be wearing the Yellow Jersey on Bastille Day. Nibali’s team needed to save their energy for tomorrow’s stage where they think that Contador will make his move in the General Classification. By protecting Nibali so long the Astana team has been stretched fairly thin chasing down escape groups.

The other big winner was Tony Martin who repeated Blel Kadri’s win of yesterday – taking the stage, the Polka Dots, and the Red Numbers.

Yellow Jersey Tony Gallopin ( Fra – LTB – 134 ) [Yellow] 38h 04′ 38″
Green Jersey Peter Sagan ( Svk – CAN – 051 ) [Green] 267 points
Polka Dot Jersey Tony Martin ( Ger – OPQ – 075 ) [Polka Dot] 18 points
White Jersey Michal Kwiatkowski ( Pol – OPQ – 074 ) 6 [White]

Team: Astana Pro ( AST - 041-049 ) [Yellow numbers]
Stage winner: Tony Martin ( Ger – OPQ – 075 )
Combative: Tony Martin ( Ger – OPQ - 075 ) [Red numbers]

Top Ten:

1 Tony Gallopin ( Fra – LTB – 134 )
2 Vincenzo Nibali ( Ita – AST – 041 ) + 01′ 34″
3 Tiago Machado ( Por – TNE – 206 ) + 02′ 40″
4 Jakob Fuglsang ( Den – AST – 042 ) + 03′ 18″
5 Richie Porte ( Aus – SKY – 007 ) + 03′ 32″
6 Michal Kwiatkowski ( Pol – OPQ – 074 ) + 04′ 00″
7 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte ( Esp – MOV – 011 ) + 04′ 01″
8 Pierre Rolland ( Fra – EUC – 151 ) + 04′ 07″
9 Alberto Contador ( Esp – TCS – 031 ) + 04′ 08″
10 Romain Bardet ( Fra – ALM – 082 ) + 04′ 13″

The Rest of the Top 30:
[Read more →]

July 13, 2014   No Comments

The Final Game

Germany v. Argentina

If they haven’t forgotten how to play football in the last few days, this should be another German win. They have a solid team that knows how to play both offense and defense and it would really be rubbing salt in the wound if Argentina won Brazil’s World Cup.

Lionel Messi is a great player, but he can’t be expected to do everything. Teams need to stop depending on ‘stars’ and start building teams.

The German team add the fourth star to their patch:

Germany 1-0 Argentina

An Andre Schurrle cross to Mario Gotze who left-footed it into the lower right corner of the net ended the game. The Argentine keeper came out, probably expecting a header, and had no chance of stopping it. Argentina was unable to respond in the 7 minutes left in Extra Time. The game was a 0-0 tie at Full Time.

July 13, 2014   2 Comments

Le Tour 2014 – Stage 8

Tour de FranceTomblaine – Gérardmer La Mauselaine

Distance: 161 kilometers.

Now the climbing becomes serious as at the end of this stage are a pair of Category 2 climbs followed by a finish at the summit of a Category 3.

This is where the battle for the Yellow begins to take shape and climbing ability enters the calculus of the race.

Blel Kadri had a very good day – he won the stage, the Polka Jersey, and the Red Numbers. He broke away and led the race for the final 130 kilometers to finish comfortably ahead of Contador and Nibali. The top thirty riders have been significantly altered by the climbs.

Yellow Jersey Vincenzo Nibali ( Ita – AST – 041 ) [Yellow] 33h 48′ 52″
Green Jersey Peter Sagan ( Svk – CAN – 051 ) [Green] 267 points
Polka Dot Jersey Blel Kadri ( Fra – ALM – 086 ) [Polka Dot] 17 points
White Jersey Michal Kwiatkowski ( Pol – OPQ – 074 ) 4 [White]

Team: Astana Pro ( AST - 041-049 ) [Yellow numbers]
Stage winner: Blel Kadri ( Fra – ALM – 086 )
Combative: Blel Kadri ( Fra – ALM - 086 ) [Red numbers]

Top Ten:

1 Vincenzo Nibali ( Ita – AST – 041 )
2 Jakob Fuglsang ( Den – AST – 042 ) + 01′ 44″
3 Richie Porte ( Aus – SKY – 007 ) + 01′ 58″
4 Michal Kwiatkowski ( Pol – OPQ – 074 ) + 02′ 26″
5 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte ( Esp – MOV – 011 ) + 02′ 27″
6 Alberto Contador ( Esp – TCS – 031 ) + 02′ 34″
7 Romain Bardet ( Fra – ALM – 082 ) + 02′ 39″
8 Alberto Costa Rui ( Por – LAM – 111 ) + 02′ 52″
9 Bauke Mollema ( Ned – BEL – 061 ) + 03′ 02″
10 Jurgen Van Den Broeck ( Bel – LTB – 131 ) + 03′ 02″

The Rest of the Top 30:
[Read more →]

July 12, 2014   No Comments

The Battle For Third?

Brazil v. Netherlands

I’m not sure that either Brazil or the Netherlands wants to play this match. The Dutch coach, van Gaal, feels put upon by having to hang around to play a game to decide third and fourth place. Brazil can’t be too thrilled to take to the field again after their last massacre.

Oh, well, I’ll report the results even though only a few statisticians will actually care.

Not much of a battle:

Brazil 0-3 Netherlands

All Brazil got for this World Cup were bills. Brazil manager, Luiz Felipe Scolari, will probably be replaced at a minimum. Brazil’s fans booed every time he appeared on the screen during the game.

July 12, 2014   No Comments

Friday Cat Blogging

Lazing In The Grass

Friday Cat Blogging

I’m watching you…

[Editor: Froggy has selected a spot in the yard from which to see my front door and the door to my Mother's house so she knows when food is coming.

Friday Ark

July 11, 2014   3 Comments