Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Tour report; Stage 11

Where do I even begin with this one?

Vinokourov wins after being left for dead yesterday. Voigt is eliminated from the race for failing to make the time cut. Roberto Heras, once touted as a major threat to Lance if he ever left Postal, finished over 17 minutes down. Dario Frigo is expelled before the race as he was taken by the police in the morning, after his wife's car was searched and found to contain several vials of performance enhancing drugs. Christophe Moreau continues to ride well and is now in 3rd on GC ahead of Basso.

Vino apparently got some sleep and a good massage last night and came to the race today ready to attack as usual. Like him and his style or not, the guy rides with some amazing passion and his performance today was nothing short of spectacular. Lance and the Disco team claim they were not worried about his move, since he was so far down, but they were chasing pretty hard at the end and he still managed to stay away. Poor Botero. The two riders were once teammates and Vino was well aware of Santi's poor sprinting. Botero was the last winner of this same stage in 2000, so he must have felt like he had a good chance today... but he didn't have the kick in the final.

Jens Voigt reportedly has been feeling ill the past few days... at least if you believe the press from CSC. He got to wear the yellow jersey though, for exactly one day longer than I ever have, so I have to give him credit. Yellow one day, eliminated on time a few days later- that's the Tour for you.

Heras finishes over 17 minutes down? Was he dragging Beloki up the climb in a trailer or something? Holy crap! I think Roberto has suffered the post-Postal curse; leave the team to lead another team and watch your Tour aspirations go straight down the toilet. Maybe there really is something in the water on the Discovery team bus.

Christophe Moreau has been a great revelation in this Tour. It's really nice to see him live up the the press that nearly crushed him with pressure a few years ago. It would be nice to see him on the final podium in Paris.

Dario Frigo... what a moron! Has anybody ever told him about what happened to Raimundas Rumsas? Maybe Dario won't let his wife sit in jail for as long as Rumsas did. Frigo has had "brushes" with the drug police before, so one can only assume (if he is actually in the wrong here and wasn't just carrying drugs for his mother-in-law or terribly sick dog) that his career is effectively over now. What a dope!

Tomorrow, for many folks, will seem like a rest day. Although the stage has a series of climbs, none are too vicious. However, somebody with an axe to grind and good legs could make it into a painful day. With all the fireworks of the past few days, I would expect the stage to go to either one of the sprinters or somebody so far down on the GC that they could be allowed to roll off the front with a wave and a smile from Lance and his rolling goon squad.

We shall see... we shall see...


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