Friday, July 20, 2007

Stage 12 - Friday, July 20: Montpellier - Castres, 178.5km

It's hard to know what to write about today's stage. Not just because of what happened with the man wearing the yellow jersey outside of the race, but because everything seems to relate to doping. But at the same time, it doesn't make me stop watching. Hell, Al Trautwig doesn't make me stop watching so why would doping? But that's beside the point.

Today's stage was another transition, but unlike the previous one, there was no Astana to push things. The consensus is that this is because the time trial is tomorrow. I think, in this case at least, that I agree. It's a huge stage and it could potentially determine the final tour winner, or at least the top riders (top five or ten). And whoever wins the ITT probably won't win the tour, but it'll be the guys coming in second and third and so on.

But, back to the stage. It was a breakaway stage, of course. How could it be anything else? There were plenty of attacks, but only two boys managed to get away. And for awhile, though not long, it seemed like they had a chance. But FDJ and Liquigas, among others, put the pressure on. And, of cousre, the peloton caught the two breakaway riders. The next question, who would win the stage?

Well, without McEwen there to compete, and with the unexpected results yesterday, anything could happen. What did happen? Tom Boonen won. Of course he won, it's not big surprise (and much to my chagrin, I might add -- at least he hasn't dominated) and it was a very good win. But not what I wanted. Seb Chavanel was up there, but not good enough. Zabel and Hunter were close, but again, there was no one who was going to beat Tom today.

Nothing else changed, but by tomorrow two of the four jerseys could have changed. Rasmussen's record in ITTs is terrible and there's no real guide to go by for Contador. So tomorrow, we could be looking at a new Tour leader and a new boy in the young rider jersey.

But today is just another stage, fun and interesting, but not impacting (much) the overall race. Hopefully tomorrow will live up to all the hype.


Anonymous said...

Your Chagrin? What?

You can you find fault with loveable Tom, Elvis of Belgium?

What a ride! Though that breakaway lasting as long as it did was awesome and it was too bad that they could not get that extra last two k... I would have loved that.

Sarah said...

You know how I feel about Tom!