Sunday, August 13, 2006

A Utah Sports Wrap-up

August 12th saw three get events in Utah Sports history.

1. The Real Salt Lake stadium deal was approved and David Beckham and his metrosexual hair et al were there to break the ground. Will it be called the House that Becks Built? Of course, the famous Utah saying "This is the place" was over-used, but at least we have a soccer stadium. I thought they should have selected the old Geneva Steel site in Utah county for the stadium and changed the name of the team to the Utah Highlanders SC. We could have had William Wallace of "Braveheart" come out before the game with his face painted white and blue on a horse bearing a Scottish claymore to whip the fans into a good soccer frenzy by stating that the English would "never take our freedom".

2. Real Salt Lake lost to Real Madrid 2-0 in a friendly before 45+ fans. I was hoping for a better score, but hey, at least they didn't loose 4-1 like Red Bull New York did to FC Barcelona.

3. The final stage of the Tour of Utah was held and the local boy, Jeff Louder of the HealthNet cycling Team wasn't able to hold his lead going into the final stage and lost it to a fellow HealthNet rider, Scott Moninger. When I read that the Tour of Utah was the "toughest road race in the United States", I thought that that may be true, but after looking at the stages, I couldn't really see where that came from. If the toughness of a road race is measured by how many riders finish the race, then the Tour of Utah is what they say it is. Of 105 riders who started, only 54 finished the race, or just over 50%. Normally, the Tour de France, which lasts for 20 to 21 days, will drop around 25% of it's riders over the course of the race (this year, 20 riders did not finish out of 139 contestants), so dropping half of your riders over only 6 days shows just how tough the race was. The last stage up to Snowbird saw 17 riders fail to finish the 91-mile stage, so if your idea of a good bike race is dropping riders right and left, then the Tour of Utah is for you.


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