I had no idea that today's stage would be such a soap opera. Let me first say that I have never fast forwarded through so much crap on a stage as I did today -- and I'm not just talking about the commercials. I don't know why we have to have six million commercials, six million interviews and five million little specials (about Armstrong). Really, I just. Don't. Care. I want to watch cycling, I don't want to hear what people have to say about the stage. I know this is the curse of cycling (shut up, it's not boring, I don't care what you think). I know that they try to give us what we want (we being not me, but a lot of casual cycling fans), but I'll be honest, it's irritating. The other irritating thing is just how much Versus loves Armstrong. I don't mean all the specials, but the way they talk about him, the way they try to justify what he does. I'm sorry, but shut up. I don't want to throw things at my TV, but I came close on several occasions. It's absolutely ridiculous. I get why they love him and why they use him (and he uses them), but I still hate it.
Um. Right, about the stage? So, it was a mountain stage that started in Spain and ended in Andorra (of all places! Awesome). Our coverage started with the breakaway already in full force. It didn't contain anyone I was particularly interested in or bothered about, but as usual with such breaks, it was fun to watch (even though I knew the end result). The boys worked hard and I was pleased to see that they wanted to stay away and that the peloton, at least at first, had no intention of catching them. I didn't have a favorite because I already knew the result, but it wasn't disappointing in the least. What did bother me was how Paul and Phil kept talking about how Spain would be disappointed that it was a French 1-2 and how this was the biggest win for France in ages and I was like, seriously. What. Okay. Because those previous French victories (like the one TWO DAYS AGO) didn't matter at all? Right. NOT THAT I'M BITTER OR ANYTHING. Done shouting, for now.
Anyway, so Brice Feillu (Agritubel) won the stage (and was adorable when he forgot to zip up his jersey), Christophe Kern (Cofidis, aw) was second and the yellow jersey goes to ... (just trying to bring the suspense, much like Paul and Phil did by accident) Rinaldo Nocentini, it Italian from AG2R. While that excitement was going on, there was even more drama behind them. The peloton realized, far too late, that they totally screwed up the capture of the break, so they did what they do best, they attacked each other. Granted, there were some crashes (OF COURSE) that managed to throw chaos into the mix, but really, it was that attack by Cadel Evans that threw everyone into motion. There were more, none successful, until Contador decided he'd had enough. For reasons that I'll never understand and don't actually care about, he attacked and put time on his teammates and the main rivals.
Now, see, I don't care for or about Contador. I don't want him in yellow, if only because he rides for Astana, but better him than Armstrong. What bothered me the most was the fact that the commentators just kept making excuses about what Armstrong did or didn't do, why Contador attacked, etc. As if they needed to defend Armstrong. WHATEVER GUYS. You don't need to suck up to him all the time, it's okay not to. As someone I follow on Twitter said, it's okay to say that you're wrong. You can admit it, it's okay! It's just like when Versus/OLN denied that there was doping in the peloton. It's okay to be wrong, really. I mean, come on, I'm wrong all the time! Okay, not all the time, but you know what I mean.
Anyway, so no one in Astana is in yellow and Armstrong lost time. It was an exciting stage, and maybe those were the first signs of the (hopefully) impending Astana implosion, or maybe they really are being good to each other (ha ha ha). Who knows, but regardless, I am definitely looking forward to tomorrow's stage.