Saturday, July 02, 2005

More Stage 1 thoughts;

Ok, Ullrich was off the mark today and obviously not at his best, but he has a long time to try and bring the gap back down and almost always finishes the Tour very strong. Still, VeloNews online had a rather scathing assessment of his chances and his form. Even I felt a little sad for Jan.

Mayo? 175th place? 3:15 down already... and without any crashes on cobblestones to blame it on. Did you see that new TT machine though? Wow, that is a pretty bike- and I know pretty bikes.

Beloki was over 2 minutes down, though he should feel a bit at ease in knowing he didn't lose even more time. Honestly, I wish him the best and would really like to see him be the "Cinderella story" of this Tour. He was always a classy and soft-spoken rider in years past, so it would be nice to see him regain his former ability.

World TT Champ Michael Rogers was almost 2 minutes down. World Champ at the discipline and he was that far off the pace. I don't know, I'd be checking the bike for brake rub or something. There has to be an excuse for it.

My man Horner was just over 2 minutes off the winning mark. He's not a bad TT rider and I held out hope he would surprise everybody and take the win today. Foolish to think maybe, but I just had a feeling he would do it. Oh well, he'll have other chances.

All of these thoughts bring me back to the very same place though; Dave Zabriskie had the ride of a lifetime today. If he'd ridden like this at the World Championship Time Trial, he'd have a rainbow skinsuit to wear. What a day for the talented young man. He's only 26 years old, so you can feel fairly confident that he will have more days like today. Basso is lucky to have such a rider on his team, as the Team Time Trial will be exceptionally crucial.

Are the challengers to Lance's throne out of contention already? I don't think so. I have a feeling that there will be a much more concerted effort by the other teams to work together to bring him down. Surely they recognize that no one team has the power to do it alone.

One stage down and twenty more to go.


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