Thursday, July 22, 2010

The 2010 Tour de France reaches a peak on Tourmaket today

Looking at the group LA had with him, I really thought his best chance was for either he or Chris Horner to attack and try and go solo to the line. (What would have been better than Lance winning a stage? I say sacrificing himself for his faithful lieutenant, but we’ll never know.)

The Days Ahead: Some will say that it’s risky for Schleck to leave it all down to one day, but the reality is, what choice now does he have? Will he try and attack and attack until he no longer can? Or will he test the water a few times, and then if he can’t break Contador ride side-by-side for second place like he did on Ventoux last year? And then there’s the battle for the 3-spot on the podium between Sanchez, Van Den Broeck, and Menchov.

SHOOT: I hope we don't see a repeat of Ventoux's shadowboxing, but some very aggressive riding, and hopefully a clear split between Contador and Schleck. But can Schleck get away from the Spaniard today?
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Stage 16 – the day that was: The heads-up that the day was going to be full gas from the start was foreshadowed by Lance and Andreas Klöden actually going out on the bike BEFORE the stage and warming up.  Suffice to say that NEVER happens before a road stage, the riders preferring to use the neutral start and then spin up as things get going.  But if you’re going to give it one last shot, and from the gun it’s an 11km 7.4% ascent, you better be loose and ready.
And that’s just what happened, with several experienced riders saying it was “the fastest / hardest start in a Tour stage of their career.”  That’s saying something.  Lance and Nicholas Roche initiated the fireworks, and the 7-time Tour winner was not going to be content to just give it a go and say, “Well, I took a shot.”  With the first break containing too much horsepower and contenders the Contador / Schleck peloton wasn’t going to let it go, the gap less than a minute over the summit of four big Cols.
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