Jul 7, 2006

tdf - stage 6

Great stage today. Boonen again gets hammered on the sprint by McEwen. That makes 3 stage wins by way of a sprint for McEwen. Steegmans, McEwen's leadout man, is setting McEwen up perfectly and McEwen is just overpowering the competition. I feel he probably has the green locked up because he won by a decent margin today. The fact that the green jersey race has been tight has meant that the breakaways are all getting reeled in. They don't want sprint points going to some no names. If McEwen makes it a little more obvious he is going to take the green jersey we might see some interesting breakaways stay out from the peloton. It's still pretty close though.

Tomorrow is a time trial so things should be interesting. Fairly flat stage, rolling a bit in the early half. Watch to see how Zabriskie, Hincapie, Landis, Rogers, Lang, Hushovd, and O'Grady do. They've had some strain put on their legs. It'll be interesting to see if anyone is starting to flag a bit.

And I just noticed something. There is no team time trial on this year's tour. I swear the tour's organizers are just idiots. They do everything they can to make the sport unpopular. The team time trial was one of the most interesting things to watch. Seeing a full team rolling down the road all tucked behind one another is impressive. Maybe they'll cut those pesky mountain stages out next year.


Anonymous said...

You could tell last year that the organizers were trying to declaw the TTT because they limited the amount of time you could lose. Mostly I'm sad about not having one this year because CSC would have crushed the rest of the field like ants.

C. Fuzzbang said...

You are absolutely correct. I completely forgot about that. They did limit the time. I thought at the time it was just to limit Discovery's ability to take time away from Lance's opponents but maybe it was just a general case of organizers trying to make the tour as boring as possible.

Chupathingy said...

On a completely unrelated note, I have to say that the finish of stage 6 showed me how important teams are not just to the winner of the GC but to most of the competitions.

Seeing Steegmans (and hearing Phil Liggutt say) "launch McEwen" opened my eyes to the concept that even the sprinters, who I heretofore thought were a bunch of pretty boys who got the glory at the end of the stage, need their teammates to be successful. Perhaps even moreso, seeing Steegmans celebrate as McEwen crossed the line showed how much pride he took in helping his teammate out, which I think is pretty damn cool.

C. Fuzzbang said...

As they say, drafting is everything in the Tour. All tactics revolve around that simple physical principle. It's kind of amazing.