An interesting day yesterday where the rich (Quantum) got richer and the rest fell further back. Quantum had a short run into Normal thanks to pushing on to Logansport, IN the previous day. This allowed them to get to the Stage Stop and recharge batteries while other teams fought the weather and heat, slowing them considerably. Teams that arrived late, in Normal, didn't have much of a chance to charge as the weather closed in. Minnesota suffered some battery/heat issues while Illinois State had a battery melt down (after it was out of the car - we'll get to that in a moment). After some serious overnight storms, in northen Illinois, the day looks clear for the run to La Crosse, WI. Quantum holds over a seven (7) hour lead while the next four competitors are within five (5) hours of each other.
Quantum pulling a charge after arrving, @ 1:13 EDT, in Normal, IL.
Iowa State rolled in 1 hour and 45 minutes later.
CalSol (Berkeley) was third in at 5:02 EDT.
While other teams continue to roll in, Quuantum continues charging.
Images, above, courtesy of Ethan Lardner
Charles (Chuck) S. Hutchins has had a consistent presence on the U of M Solar Car Team for 22 years. Accompanying the Team on every race since the running of Maize and Blue in 1993, Chuck has maintained cultural and technical continuity that has motivated generations of Wolverines working in Ann Arbor. Chuck’s experience as an engineer (BSE MEAM ’57) and as an entrepreneur (co-founder of Manufacturing Data Systems Inc.) have proved priceless in the development of the 2011 vehicle, Quantum.
Thanks Chuck! Thanks a lot!
Stage 3 Board (after Stage Close):
Images, above, courtesy of Furqan Nazeeri
An overnight battery malfunction may knock Illinois State out of the ASC: LINK Let's hope Illinois State can figure out a way to continue.
It looks like a really nice morning in Normal. CalSol is charging. Quantum lurks in the background, also charging. Skies to the northwest look good.
Results after the Normal Stage Stop:
|Team # and Name||Ann Arbor Start 7/17||Kalamazoo Arrival 7/17||Normal Finish 7/18||Penalty Time||Stage 3 Elapsed Time|
|2 – Michigan||09:00:00||13:02:09||13:14:15||00:12:00||12:26:15|
|9 – Iowa State||09:03:00||13:29:33||14:57:33||00:10:00||14:02:33|
|254 – CalSol||09:04:00||15:08:08||17:02:08||00:02:00||16:04:08|
|256 – Oregon State||09:05:00||14:30:12||17:18:44||00:12:00||16:30:44|
|32 – Principia||09:02:00||14:15:17||17:57:00||00:15:00||17:12:00|
|35 – Minnesota||09:01:00||13:35:20||Trailer||04:01:03||22:01:03|
|20 – Western Michigan||09:06:00||14:26:34||Trailer||06:18:45||24:18:45|
|55 – Montreal||09:05:00||Trailer||10:46:39||28:46:39|
|5 – Illinois State||09:06:00||Trailer||11:33:27||29:33:27|
|28 – New Paltz||09:07:00||Trailer||12:12:09||30:12:09|
|4 – MIT||09:09:00||14:22:40||Trailer||21:29:33||39:29:33|
Quantum's penalites involve fan vehicles coming too close to the race cars or impeding support vehicles and/or traffic. I am unsure of the penalites for the other teams but wouldn't be surprised if they were for something similar.
A little hardware for winning Stage 3:
I'll do my best to keep everyone updated during the day. Go Quantum!
UM Solar Team Web Site: LINK
American Solar Challenge Web Site: LINK
UPDATE: Hello Wisconsin!
Last day in the mountains (already?) in the Tour. Time for the riders to open those suitcases of courage and dance on the pedals:
The Col den Menté is pretty steep but given its early placement, is unlikely to see serious GC action. It could be the site of a Voeckler/Kessiakoff battle for the mountain points, though.
The final two (or three, if you prefer) climbs of the day:
This is not the best perspective but on the Port de Balès, the riders ascend from nearly sea level to about 5,000 feet in altitude.
Big questions: Is this the day the Wiggins diesel finally runs out of gas? Will Nibali launch another attack, or play it safe now that he's in good shape for the podium? Can Van Garderen crack the top 5? Can Voeckler hang on to the polka dots?
It's the 20th anniversary of the NCAA Football series, so I thought I'd see what MGoBloggers favorites were. I have every one except 98. My favorite has to be 06 and 07 as a close second.
Can't go wrong with these two:
UM Solar camped over night just outside of Logansport, IN. Things continue to go well and Quantum keeps increasing its lead. The Stage will end, this afternoon, at Illinois State University in Normal, IL. Here are the Day 4 stands thru the Kalamazoo Check Point:
Top 3 Overall:
Stage 3 current standings:
Last updated 7/17/12 – 21:10 Eastern. Times given as hh:mm:ss.
Quantum, aerial view:
Quantum is already on the move towards Normal, IL. The weather may be really variable today and I'm sure the plan is to get to the Stage Stop before the atmosphere heats up and begins to get unstable (rain, t-storms). They'll also want to get as much of a charge, in Normal, as possible (for tomorrow):
Cloudy but beautiful morning charge! Rolling out in 5 minutes (8:45 AM EDT)
UPDATE: a storm filled, gray day awaits the competitors as they traverse Indiana and Illinois, on Rt. 24, into Bloomington/Normal. Storms have already popped up and died down. This must be the reason UM Solar pushed all the way to Logansport. I'm guessing they'll want to get to IL St. and see if they can get a charge before the weather totally craps out.
UPDATE II: The Weather car has arrived at Illinois State (11:02 AM CDT). Quantum shouldn't be far behind.
UPDATE III: Hello Illinois! Number 6 out of 8 states, we're still leading! (11:15 AM CDT)
The weather doesn't look too bad in that picture. Welcome to the Land of Lincoln (and Corruption).
UPDATE IV: Quantum is first into Normal and charging (12:16 PM CDT):
Fantastic list done by EDSBS matching up lots of the BCS football teams to the drugs they represent. Some of the my favorites:
"OHIO STATE: Weed. Wildly popular. Gets smoked by SEC football players in bowls."
"MINNESOTA: Fetanyl lollipops. First you get numb. Then your teeth fall out. Then you die."
"SYRACUSE: Milk of Magnesia. Doesn't really do anything except make you shit your brains out."
What they said about Michigan - "MICHIGAN: Opium. It's the 1930s intellectual's heroin. A gentleman's crack, if you will. (Warning: may cause lassitude, grandiose visions, and slow perception of time passing.)"
So, after a dull stage 15 and a rest day (and the departure of F. Schleck), it's hopefully time for the some race-related fireworks. The course for Wednesday promises to offer them:
If Bradley Wiggins is to have the jersey snatched away, it's realistically going to have to happen today or Thursday. The question: when to attack?
The first HC climb is a familiar one, the Col d'Aubisque:
It's not the steepest peak but quite long and offers few chances to catch a breather.
Following a gradual descent, the Tourmalet makes its appearance:
Following a "mere" Cat. 1 climb up the Col d'Aspin comes the final climb of the day:
Finally, a pretty steep descent to the finish. We know about Nibali's descending skills . . . can he start descending with time to spare?