Thursday, July 23, 2009


I have been watching the Tour avidly this year, though not more than the last three years. Lance's presence does not affect my interest in the Tour. I enjoy his presence but not all the politics that go with it. I would like most of these guys to talk with their legs not with their mouths. Kloden is a good example of that. He races, he goes hard, he may finish on the podium he doesn't complain.
A few days ago there was a lot of talk how George Hincapie was robbed of the yellow jersey, how he deserved the yellow, etc.... I like George, one of the highlights in my life was being in France watching the Tour while George won a huge mountain stage in 2005.
He did not deserve the jersey this year, because he simply didn't have the best time. The Tour is not Christmas it is a race. The reason Yellow is special is because it is hard to achieve. The real sad fact of that day was his own team was responsible for him not being in the jersey. They also lost the Green jersey in the same bonehead, greedy move. George was in a breakaway about 5 minutes ahead of the main field. He needed about 5 minutes to take the yellow. When the main pack came in the Colombia High Road boys went to the front to lead out Mark Cavendish. They weren't going all out but they were going fast enough to get to the front. In the confusion of the semi fast lead out Cavendish swerved to the side blocking Thor Hushovd. In my mind they were the cause of the 5 seconds George needed and because they were not committed and their lead out was not to plan, Mark swerved and was relegated to last place. They lost both the yellow and the green because they wanted both. They could have sent Mark to follow the wheel of Thor and not lead at all to make sure George had the time he needed. Mark could have then either won the field sprint or at least finished high up to get some points. He would then be still leading the points competition. That is not all. Columbia High Road doesn't want to be responsible for their own actions it appears. Mark Cavendish tells Thor, a previous winner of the Green Jersey in 2005, that this year the Jersey is tainted. The next day Thor, a really amazing bike rider, broke away from the field in one of the hardest mountain days of the Tour and won the two intermediate sprints. This gives him an almost insurmountable lead over Cavendish. I never have heard any quotes from Thor, his legs let the world know who deserves what and why.
I was delighted to see Contador win the time trial today also. No one could say he what he should or shouldn't have done today.
I like to watch the tour and see who is doing well and who does amazing things, I don't go into the tour hoping for a single person to win and then feel bad when they don't. I love the race, the glory, pain, everything. I am also delighted to see Lance in third and that he has been a good teammate whilst on the bike. Being a good teammate is what this year called for and he has done that well. I am not sure he likes that role though. Christian Van de Velde switched roles from leader to helper in just a second. He loves both roles. He is a complete person. Now we get to see what happens on the Ventoux.

1 comment:

martysavalas said...

glad to see you agree with my analysis (and i've had the time to watch a *lot* of the tour this year). Columbia/HTC made an arse of things on stage 14 - it was either/or but they tried to be greedy and get GH in yellow and MC in green.

MC is turning into a great rider, but sometimes it'd be nice if he'd give his mouth a 10 second delay...