Monday, July 20, 2009

Rest Day Predictions

So the picture at the Tour seems to have clarified a bit following yesterday's mountaintop finish. It looks like Contador is clearly the class of the peloton, and after Sunday he's signaled his desire to move beyond his nickname ("The Accountant") and establish himself as the strongest rider in the sport.

We also learned that Lance has lost some of the 'pop' that made him el patron for so many years: when Contador went he was simply unable to follow. Moreover, even with the help of the ever-loyal Kloden, he was only able to minimize his time loss and keep things respectable.

The Schleck brothers, on the other hand, showed both the ability and the desire to chase the big guns. While their team is in no place to challenge the dominance of Astana, they're ready to pick up the gauntlet when it's thrown down.

What else did we learn? What did you think of Contador's attack? There's a new poll, and I think Wednesday's mountain stage and Thursday's time trial still leaves the door open for some, but only a crack.

Personally, I was hoping that Ryder Hesjedal would make mountain bikers everywhere proud by pulling off the flier, but he wasn't even close in his attempt. (And I'm not sure it was ever a real attempt: Adam?) Discuss amongst yourselves.


co2cycle said...

Cadel has been leading the charge for disappointing mtbers-turned-roadies for years.

I actually like Cadel. He gets a lot of flack for not attacking, but what can you do if your only the second or third strongest rider in a grand tour? Chances are, if you're consistent every day, you can beat a stronger rider who suffers one bad day. However Astana/Discovery/Postal rarely have bad days when it counts.

curveship said...

Cadel has always struck me as the Rider Most Likely to Arise and Go Now, and Go to Innisfree. Also the Rider Most Likely to Shoot Up a Post Office. Come to thnk of it, those are probably the same award.

Hmm, I like the idea of *other* predictions, like say ...

Rider Most Likely to Punch a Reporter While Shouting "Day by Effing Day!": Bradley Wiggins

Rider Least Likely to Race Next Year: Lance Armstrong

Rider Most Likely to Be an Extra-Terrestial: ...

Best Versus Filler: yesterday's victory salute compilation

Rider With Most Confusing Name for Italian Announcers: Areedair Heh-seh-jeh-dahlia


curveship said...

By the way, here's one way to put Alberto's performance into perspective: he climbed Verbier about exactly as fast as the lead bunch of the Tuesday ride climbs Sinai, only he did it for ten times as long. So if the Professor could clone 9 copies of himself and do the climb as a relay race, he could keep up.

co2cycle said...

Okay. You start stacking 10 Mt. Sinais on top of each other and I'll start the cloning. However, I cannot promise that none of my clones will punch reporters or have cockney accents.