Jul 20, 2006

how do you like those apples

What does one say about today's stage? I'm having trouble thinking of words that do it justice. I had a similar problem when Lemond won the Tour with a heroic showing in the final time trial in 1989 to win the Tour, beating out Fignon. Or when a beaten Armstrong crashed, got back up, and effectively won the Tour in 2003.

Today an utterly devastated and beaten Floyd Landis decided he had nothing to lose. It was time to open a can of Mennonite whup-ass. He went off the front early in the race and rode it all alone to a stage victory that dramatically blew apart the GC standings. This is why I watch the Tour. I couldn't write a damn thing today until the stage was over. It was riveting. A whole stage by yourself, no help, and with a group of talented and strong riders behind you who knew that they could not let you get too far ahead. Well Landis did get too far ahead. And there wasn't a thing anyone could do about it.

He did not win the yellow jersey back and may not win the Tour but that is inconsequential. I bet 10 years from now many will not remember the name of the tour winner (unless it is Landis) but they'll remember this stage. In some ways it's more exciting than what Lance did. This guy was devastated yesterday. Utterly wiped out. This was an amazing performance. One particularly crazy aspect of the stage is the ending is all descent. Floyd buffered his lead by about 30 seconds from number two Sastre just on the descent. He effin' bombed that thing.

It's telling that after he crossed the line he didn't smile at all. Just grim, angry determination. I think he was embarassed by yesterdays performance. Hated himself for it. He had to win back some dignity.

Average speed 37.2 km/hr over 200 km of two Cat 1 hills, one Cat 2 hill, one Cat 3 hill , and one final HC hill! Alone. With no drafting.

Here are the GC standings:
Sastre - 12" back
Landis - 30"
Kldoen - 2'29"
Evans - 3'08"

Go watch it on Tivo or go read the full transcript to get a flavor of what Floyd 'Iceman' Landis did.

Awesome. Just awesome.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

No analysis necessary. A man, mountains, and a clock. Awesome indeed!

'Iceman' is good, but how can you beat Phil Liggett referencing Hannibal coming over the Alps. Hannibal Landis!

Should be a great weekend !