Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Tour De France: Wow!

Andy Schleck (Leopard Trek) in the maillot jaune, with 57 seconds on Cadel Evans heading into the time trial

Just when I thought that the tour couldn't get anymore exciting. A stage like today's comes along and blows me out of the water. Twitter was freaking out pretty much from the word go (The most immediate way for me to get coverage).

Alberto Contador attacked the Col du Telegraphe and pulled away the favourites

Once Contador decided that he needed to fly the coup only 15km into the stage. The fireworks came thick and fast.  And really didn't stop until everyone crossed the line. I swear I peed myself a little...

He may not have any chance of winning the tour this year (Unless Frank and Andy die in a strange pony watching accident. And Cadel sleeps through his alarm in the morning and is 15 mins late to the start). But I think he showed everyone that he is a true fighter. Not everyone may think he's a moral champion. But you've got to show him respect on the road.

Which is exactly what Andy Schleck was doing. As soon as Bert jumped. Andy was on him like a fat kid on a cupcake. Which was a wise move. Because I wouldn't have put it past a super strong Contador to take back all the time he lost and then some. I don't think he is near as strong as he was in the Giro (Obviously). But I would never disrespect him enough to just let him go. On top of the fact that if they could continually work together they would put more day light between Andy and Cadel. Which is really what both Schlecks should be worrying about right now.

Cadel Evans (BMC) answered all the attacks from the Schlecks and even tried his own

And speaking of Evans. I think that guy may have given himself hemorrhoids pushing so hard today. After all the tough luck he had with a bike mechanical (Evidently his rear wheel moved because of a loose quick release.) earlier in the stage. He fought his way back to the group. Then continued to tow the line when no one else would, or could help. It was an amazing testament to him.  He will NOT give up easily. I would say he's as tough as the come. And by keeping the time gap reasonable (57 sec to Andy) I'd say he has a really legitimate shot at taking the yellow jersey into Paris.

But you never know. The yellow jersey has an amazing effect on some people. I wouldn't expect Schleck just to roll over and pee on himself in submission during tomorrow's TT (Unless he's into that kind of thing...). So I would guess that it's going to be super close. Putting myself out there I would venture a guess at between 15-30 seconds either way.

Tomorrow is going to be freaking sweet!!!!!!

Thomas Voeckler chased alone for ages until he finally gave up

I would also like to give some massive props to Thomas Voekler and Pierre Rolland from Eurocar. First to Thomas (Speaking of the yellow jersey giving you wings..) And then to Rolland. He is certainly up for the domestique of the year award. Every time the main GC contenders were the only ones left Rolland was still there trying to tow Voekler up the mountains. Really impressive... I would be really curious to see if he's still with the team next year.  With a tour stage under his belt and such an great showing the rest of the time. I would guess that he's going to have teams banging down his door.

Pierre Rolland celebrates his Alpe d'Huez triumph

Well I'm going to shoot this out now. Hopefully the final TT will live up to what we've all got to believe that it's going to be.

Rubber side down,

Big E

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