Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Le Tour de France 2007 - Stage 15 - Vino tries again

What can I say? It's exhausting enough (as an Antipodean) staying up so late to see the finish to then contemplate what actually happened. Vino, who was a contender until he had a bad fall, but who recovered from those injuries to look as though he was fighting back, took a massive win in the TT - and it looked like race on. But then it was race off as he lost so much time in the first big Pyrenean test. But then he bounces back to take the Queen stage! Go figure!

Rasmussen is equally puzzling. Obviously a mountain goat, he was expected to get at least the spotted jersey and yellow was not that surprising. But to limit his losses in the TT - and catch Valverde - was, well, hard to take after last years disaster!

And Valverde? Well he obviously isn't up to the stratospheric heights we thought he was at... and Contador clearly is. Now we knew Alberto had fantastic acceleration on the climbs but - really - that was an amazing display of 'catch me if you can'. How Rasmussen managed to fight back and get on terms again was impressive. So the race is between Rasmussen and Contador. Will Chicken crack? Will Contador take control on the last mountain stage but lose out in the TT? Who will have any legs left for the TT anyway?

Before I go I have to say bravo Evans. To fight it out in these mountains with no teammates left at critical times is impressive indeed. Surely someone will want to lure him away from Lotto? Imagine if he had a team dedicated to supporting him and bridging gaps in the high country, giving him the chance to play the old one-two, too. Imagine. Well, he still could pull out a big TT and Chicken could return to TT non-form. Anything could still happen, and probably will.