Monthly Archive for July, 2007

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Tour de France: Rasmussen’s Reign

As the first mountain stage in Tour de France turned out slightly disappointing, this one was, well, as promised, an ab-so-lu-te blast. Great Dane Michael Rasmussen (of Dutch Team Rabobank) tore the peloton apart, won the stage riding halfway the route virtually without help (as his only ally, T-Mobile captain Michael Rogers unfortunately hit a roadside barrier and pulled out of the race shortly after). Good Lord, what a stunning ride, a phenomenal achievement! Rasmussen not only won the stage, but the maillot jaune and the polka-dot mountain jersey as well. Continue reading ‘Tour de France: Rasmussen’s Reign’

Tour de France: The Thin Air is Coming

Enter the Alps! It has been a crazy week for the riders in the world’s greatest cycling race. Although the maillot jaune has been in Fabian Cancellara’s possession since the Prolouge, the Tour has been surprisingly eventful so far, which is both good and bad. Good, obviously, due to the entertainment value of the race – bad, because some of these events included the brutal crashes of Team Astana-chiefs Alexandre Vinokourov and Andreas Klöden, which just might put an end to the podium dreams for these two riders, who otherwise happened to be among the top favourites for the GC (general classification). Sure, it’s somehow exciting in a strange, sadistic manner to watch a rider giving it all that he’s got, with deep contusions on both knees, a bleeding elbow and abrasions on hip and buttocks. But then again: if that sight means the exit of Vinokourov, well… not good at all. Continue reading ‘Tour de France: The Thin Air is Coming’

Tour de France: Fausto Coppi and ‘La Bomba’ – Updated

Jorgen Leth Tour
If you haven’t got any real plans for the summer, here’s your deal: Le Tour is the thing! Even though the first two stages were more exciting than expected, Tour de France is of course at its best when it reaches the Alps (14th to the 17th of July, Sunday being a resting day) and the Pyrenees (23th to 25th of July). So, should you be reluctant to spending endless hours watching the Tour on TV, do check for the mountain stages where legends are born…

I hope to follow the Tour, and hopefully to blog about it now and then. In my first Metabunker post on cycling, I discussed Bjarne Riis’ doping confession. At the moment, Bjarne Riis’ Team CSC holds the maillot jaune, but Riis himself is not with his team, due to the pressure from the media caused by his doping confession, as well as former CSC-rider Jörg Jaksche’s allegations (see here and here). But it’s also worth noting that Tour de France boss Christian Prudhomme has condemned Bjarne Riis harshly, and made it clear that he would prefer Riis to stay away, because the presence of the former Tour de France winner would soil the grandeur of the race. In fact, Monsieur Prudhomme wants to reclaim Bjarne Riis’ maillot jaune, and erase him as winner of the 1996 Tour de France. Continue reading ‘Tour de France: Fausto Coppi and ‘La Bomba’ – Updated’

Death in Venice

Back from Roskilde, feeling elatedly exhausted as always. It was the wettest festival on record, which was quite an experience. I’ve never seen anything like Thursday. People were wading in mud halfway up their hips, and the 20 hours of relentless precipitation was prodigious. It was pandemonium. Fortunately music makes such problems moot (for much more, see the Rapspot coverage), but my name is still Mud.

Raphael sells to private collector for £18 Million

christies_raphael_sale.jpgThe Raphael portrait of Lorenzo de’Medici that I recently examined at Christie’s and wrote about here, has now been sold for £18 million to an anonymous ‘private European collector.’ Pity it did not end up in a public collection, but the combination of disputed authorship, bad state and high price probably dissuaded any institutions that might have been interested.

David Packwood has more on the picture’s attribution here, and on the sale here. Tom Flynn was present and took the photo used above.

On to Roskilde!

It’s been a while ‘cos I’ve been busy. Still am, but I still wanted to check in here with some notes on this week’s musical happenings in Copenhagen and environs. I’m back in Denmark for a little while here, and started out my stay with a session featuring Beenie Man (pictured above) who, amongst other things, delivered a special, partly improvised but nevertheless felt, tribute to Natasja, narrating how he saw her over the last few days of her life, including her last show, last Saturday. Continue reading ‘On to Roskilde!’