Well, Just for a Change I was Talking Crap.
Anybody watch the cycling today? I suspect that ‘Bert must have read my blog post last evening and thought, not for the first time, “Right, time to stick it to that Galloway eejit. ”
This was a day to regroup. To bed in legs confused by the rest day and fatigued by two weeks of Grand Tour action. A day for plucky breakaways to take the limelight and for the elite to sit and watch, to weigh each other up before the real action starts in the high Alps.
Well at least one part of that played out, a plucky breakaway did carry the day. Thor Hushovd continued Garmin-Cervelo’s fairytale Tour with Ryder Hesjedal in close support. EBH confirmed his excellent form with another great performance.
However, nobody told Contador it was supposed to be the calm before the storm. In really shitty conditions after a long day of hard, fast riding he decided to test the legs of his rivals.
Now, I’ve said on many occasions that I consider ‘Bert the best GT rider of his generation. I’ve said on just as many occasions that, in my opinion, his stellar performances have been “aided”. Today I think we saw a clean(er) ‘bert who’s coming into form just when it counts. More importantly though I think we saw a fiercely competitive, determined athlete who was making a point, reminding the others that the Tour is his turf and if they want it they’ll have to take it. Contador steps forward as my favourite for the title.
In the background though is Evans. Looked entirely untroubled today and gapped Contador on the descent. Took time to get back on ‘Bert’s wheel but that’s the nature of the man. To use an already overused cliche´, he’s a diesel. He can’t match the best climbers for pure acceleration but he can sure as hell claw them back in his own sweet time. He did that today. If Contador falters in the slightest? The Tour is Cadel’s.
What of The Schleks? Who cares? Grey, whining, spoiled brats in a team that’s pretty much the Protour’s equivalent of the emperor’s new clothes. The very definition of over-promising and under-delivering.
Voekler? Showed that he’s human today but, dear god, the man’s got heart and personality. If I could will someone to the Maillot Jeune in Paris I’d be sending good vibes to Tommy V. Think he showed he won’t win Le Tour today but would love to see him claim a top 5 place.
Yesterday I said I felt the favourites had let us down a bit. Today they showed their true character and mettle….and I loved it!
Vive Le Tour!