Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Stage Nine - Day Eleven

So, Robbie won. Yeah, I'm not really happy about that. I know I should be, since I'm a big Aussie supporter. But I was rooting for, well, anyone that's not Robbie. Mostly Baden. Well, up until he was caught, I was cheering for the Euskaltel rider who'd never won anything. But, alas, he's still never won anything. And that Robbie, just coming out of nowhere. I slept through the pre-race yesterday so I didn't know that Phil and Paul had tipped him as the winner of the stage.

For a moment I'd thought either Steuy or Thor had won, but upon watching the replay (numerous times) and then seeing the photo finish, it was clear that Robbie had just powered his way to win. I don't know how he does it -- and apparently a lot of people don't like it, including Quick.Step-Davitamon and Credit Agricole. According to cyclingnews, Quick.Step's DS Serge Parsani said "Work doesn't pay. McEwen got a nice present really. Don't work and still win, that's what you should do." I have no comment, really, except that Robbie takes wins when he can and know show to take advantage of other teams. He's a good rider, I just don't like it when he wins. Go Baden.


One of the things I noticed was that the Euskaltel rider accidently got in Tom's way as the sprinters finally caught up with him. And thus Tom wasn't able to contend and his frustration was so obvious. It was disheartening to see him work so hard only to fall short. But I guess when you're a sprinter, that happens a lot. I'm just glad he's got a stage win. But really, how frustrating.

I thought the stage was exciting. I was shocked by the crash near the end (and by Jaan's abandoning, but such is the way of an 'old' tour rider, especially a sprinter) of the stage. I mean, how could you miss the little roundabout thing? The poor rider wasn't paying attention, I guess -- probably waiting until the last minute to decide which direction to go. Poor Kurt, it seems that all he does is fall (and get caught in breaks). Hopefully he'll be able to start (and he did). The rider just ran right into Kurt as both of them crashed and flipped over their bikes.

Good things. Thomas finished the race still in yellow and there was only one really big crash. I guess it's sad when you're happy about having just one big crash.

Tomorrow should be interesting. We'll find out what both Thomas and BLB are made of. As well as how the "big guns," as Al calls them, are doing. Mountains, yay! Not to say that I haven't loved the flat stages, because I have. Exciting all around for me.


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