Monday, July 21, 2008

Great work, CSC - maybe

And nice work Simon Gerrans: Schleck had trailed Evans by just one second going into the 15th stage, and ended the day with a seven-second lead over Bernhard Kohl, who headed home the chasing pack behind the breakaway group. The rest day has come at the right time for Evans, so don't write him off yet. Kohl was fifth over the line, and now has a one-second advantage over Evans, who has dropped to third in the overall standings. Gerrans produced a perfectly timed late surge to secure his stage win..

A great stage? Maybe. Actually I don't particularly like to see days like this. It smells like bad sportsmanship, a bit like the old US Postal 'launch' move, but not as obvious. Here we see 3 CSC guys basically gang up (it's called 'teamwork', ha ha) on one isolated guy in yellow - a typical bully-boy gang thing to do. It's great that CSC has a strong team, and that they play to win. I'm sure they are all great guys, too. There's also no law against being good, or great, or working as a team. Indeed at this level of the sport collusion like this is accepted and indeed encouraged. I just don't like to see it.

Thankfully CSC individually are weaker in ITTs - which will even things out. And sure, it's all part of the game and gripping to watch - but I personally like to see a select group of individuals fight it out, man to man (or woman to woman or whatever you prefer). It's just a bit pathetic - akin to bullying - to see 3 guys - in this case Sastre and the Schleck brothers - take turns in attacking Evans (or whoever it may be tomorrow).

OTOH it was a joy to watch Menchov attack - and what a move it was! What a shame he took that slippery bend too quick - and too tightly - and ended on the deck. To my mind it's Menchov vs Evans in this race and only the unexpected or CSC can break it up. Rest day, then back to it.

Just my opinion.