Tuesday, July 26, 2011

And Now Depression Sets In...

Cadel Evans (BMC) with .Andy and Frank Schleck (Leopard Trek)

The 2011 Tour de France is over.

Like a good meal I was a little sadder with each bite (Stage) because that would mean one less that I could enjoy. And now with now more left depression sets in. Sigh....

But what a hell of a race it was. The most action in a tour that I can think of in resent memory.

The terrible crashes of the first week.

Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil-DCM) extracts himself from the barbed wire fence he landed on after being taken out by a French television car.

Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo) accepts the thunderous applause of the gathered masses.

Incredible tenacity and will from guys like Thor Hushovd and Thomas Voekler.

Thomas Voeckler was amazing on the Galibier and held onto the yellow jersey

Finally the fireworks coming from The Schleck's and Contador in desperation to try and dislodge each other and Cadel.

Alberto Contador makes his first attack on the Col de Manse, which drew an immediate response from race leader Thomas Voeckler.

If I look back on my predictions for this years tour I got almost nothing right.  About the only two things I did guess correctly at were Andy being on the podium. As well as, Mark Cavendish getting the green jersey. That's pretty much it.

Radioshack imploded and most of the other guys I thought might have some sort of shot either hemorrhaged time in the first week or crashed out. I guess it's true what they say. You won't necessarily win the tour in the first week. But you can lose it...

And speaking of losing it. I don't mean to kick someone when they're down. But I'm going to a little anyway.

 Andy, Andy, Andy....  Why weren't you more aggressive in the one place you knew you could kick Cadel's ass? Cadel is a good climber. But he can't handle those changes in pace or those really hard accelerations like you and Contador (Version 1.0, not so much 2.0) are capable of. You could have put two minutes into him in any number of the mountain stages.

But instead you chose to keep an eye on where Contador is. Or where your brother is...  You can't think like that man.. And choose a time to create a break and commit for crimany sakes! I lost track of how many times I saw you make a dig for 15-20 seconds and look back to see what happened. You've got to go man! I can't believe Jens didn't grab you by the scruff and tell you how to attack.

And the one time you did attack it was spectacular! To little, to late. But spectacular none the less. Had you made even one more move like that. Weather Contador went with you or not. You probably would have won.

But committing to a plan and sticking to it is something that Cadel and BMC did extremely well this tour.
He knew that if he just followed the wheels and limited his loses that he would own them in the TT. And in a lot of ways that's all that it took. That consistent and ever vigilant need to stay on those guy's wheels.

As well as a lot of luck. Because lets face facts. That's something that seemed to be in very short supply. Especially in the first week. A massive amount of respect has to go to the guys like George Hincapie on the BMC squad. They ferried Cadel through a huge amount of danger and set him up to succeed. A feat not a lot of other teams managed to do. So good on them. How's that go? Luck favors the prepared...

But kudos to Cadel Evans he more than earned that victory. It maybe wasn't the flashiest way to win. Not as much panache as the French (Or anyone except the Australians.)would like to have seen. But he was the little engine that could. And when it really counted he pulled himself inside out. And that's what it takes. Congratulations.

Team BMC

Rubber side down,

Big E

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