Thursday, July 19, 2007

Tour de France- Stage 11

Hooray for Hunter! Team Barloworld, one of the wild card invites to the Tour, pulls off their second win of the race and score not only Robbie Hunter's first grand tour stage win, but also the first Tour stage win for a South African rider.

(Photo ripped off from CyclingNews.com.)

The stage was also exciting for the hardheaded return of the Astana team and its battered leader, Vinokourov. As the race hit the open and exposed farmlands, Astana went to the front and drilled the others into the ground in the heavy crosswinds. Caught out, most significantly, was podium contender Christophe Moreau. Now Moreau sits down a solid 6:38 in 14th place... virtually assured of finishing off the podium. Best of all, Vino even launched his own solo attack in the closing km's of the race. He may be battered, bruised and stitched up like a baseball, but he's still got huevos gigante! I love it when a race turns into a race!

Other stuff happened, but... blah, blah, blah... the big stuff is really Hunter/ Barloworld, Moreau's blunder and Vino coming back from the grave with the help of his team- still willing to work for their beat-up leader. Still, I didn't pick up any points and I'm beginning to learn to live with it because this has been a great Tour this year. I mean, sure, without the rampant drug use, it's a little slower... but who the hell cares when the racing that is happening is so good? (Oh yeah, and now it is being reported that current Tour leader, Rasmussen, is being kicked off the Danish National Team for failing to cooperate with their doping controls.) Tomorrow looks like it should be an ok stage... but it does have one cat 2 climb with less than 50km to go to the finish. It might be an interesting stage for a true headbanger. I'm gonna go with Flecha, 'cause he's due, and Fabian Wegmann... I just got a feeling about these two.

Tim

4 comments:

Ardi XIV said...

I discovered your blog through the AOC book. How awesome that a bike geek is engaged in the conversation. congrats with the book!
Concerning 'Le Tour', I agree about Flecha and Wegmann. As a Belgian, I hope that Philippe Gilbert will try to pull something off. The last 600m climb can is much like a Liege-Bastogne-Liege final. The stage is too heavy for sprinters, and not heavy enough for the real climbers.

Donna T. said...

Astana was Rockin' yesterday, weren't they?! Wow. I think Vino may be "recovering" a bit...
I'm with you, I'm psyched that it's becoming a real race with no clear outcome yet. Makes me keep watching every night.

Bill Shearer said...

Regarding Rasmussen, I love how they say it was confidential but that people had a right to know. And any guess as to why they held onto this info for over three weeks and made it public while he is riding in yellow? Something seems odd.

westernqueensland said...

Yeah,

I've gotta say it sounds fishy when they ding Rasmussen right when he's taking off. His win in the mountains was "formidable." I love it when someone just runs away with a stage. And as for getting kicked off the Danish National Team, hearbreaking (sort of).

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