Jul 20, 2007

tdf - stage 10-14

I have a lot of catchup to do. It's earnings season on Wall Street and the family did some beach combing this weekend so I've missed a ton of stages.

Stages 10-12 were pretty uneventful. Zabel and Boonen continue to due it out on the sprints. Contador looks like a very promising rider of the future as he has a good hold on the maillot blanc.

Stage 13 was an interesting time trial. Vino I suppose was expected to win even though he's battered. Kloden and Evans both looked good. And Contador's 7th place was quite strong for a climber (and a rookie). Leipheimer continues to be uninspiring. And then of course Rasmussen was amazing. Recall in 2005 that Rasmussen was bad to the point of hilarity. Given recent reports that he missed two drug screens because the testing authority didn't know where he was, there will be some question marks if he wins.

Stage 14 was a great stage. Contador basically shows that he will be a name to keep an eye on for years to come. 24 years old. He will probably be a lasting name in the pantheon of great Spanish riders if he continues to improve. Amazingly he is #2 in the GC. Has a maillot blanc ever been maillot jaune? I'm not sure. Leipheimer looked pretty good and in fact the entire Disco team are starting to emerge as a strong team. Leip stands at #4 in GC. He'll need to attack on one of these mountains to gain some time on Kloden who is nipping at his heels. One wonders how the multi-leader issue could affect them.

And Rasmussen looked great. Holding with Contador until the end. He put some good time in most GC rivals to a point where he's given himself a decent opportunity to survive the last time trial.

Vino and Astana fade quickly after the time trial fireworks. Vino absolutely bombed. He is out of the race now.

And Mayo finally cracked like I should have suspected. He finished 9 minutes back.

And Valverde is starting to crack. He did this 2 years ago when he beat Lance on a mountain stage. The guy doesn't seem to have the endurance for a this long tour. He's not out of it but close.

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