So where did the Astana team go? There one moment, gone the next. Paris-Nice has been enlightening. Contador's skill, luck and good form won him the short TT section and the lead, much to the annoyance of the prologue specialists, but now his team has gone missing when the heat was on. Still, losing a minute is not the end of the world, it just puts him back where he probably should have been.
Once Rabobank hit the front Contador was in the fourth group on the road. He knew he had to do something. "I saw I had no teammates. The situation was very difficult, but I saw there was a short steep slope coming up and I accelerated." Contador looked good on the uphill, but closing the gap proved to be hard. He received some help from Christophe Moreau (Agritubel) to reach the group ahead. "This was the only possibility for me to save the race," Contador said.
I am guessing that Astana will get their act together in May and July. But there are some quietly good achievers steadily working to put roadblocks in the path of Armstrong, Contador and Co. Should be interesting.