Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Stage 16 - the washup

Astana truck searched and performance enhancer WAS found.
This from Lance Armstrong on twitter “Team truck stopped at border 2day and searched for 3 hrs. At the end they said, "why do you have this olive oil?."

I think the driver answered “it helps you…cook and stuff… …”

Jens – Man of Steel forever more
Jens crashed on the descent from little Bernard after giving his all…again. It was a sickening image – unconscious on the tarmac, blood on his face. Sighing with relief, we heard later he was alright (fractured cheekbone, concussion etc). He sent this message to his teammates from hospital: "I think I was very lucky not getting severely hurt from today's crash. Now I hope that you can focus on the race and I wish you all good luck with the hard stage tomorrow.” What a legend. The amount of deserved respect this guy has! I have loved all of the SBS preludes with him in them. My boss’ only tour related question this morning was “is there any more news on Jens Voigt?” Missing him already? Comfort yourself with this:

Cadel finally points to the elephant in the room and gives it a name

This from Fox Sports:
Asked after the race if he was ill, he said: "No, it's politics ... stress." While he didn’t elaborate at the time, Evans told McGrory that his pre-race efforts to motivate his team had been unsuccessful. “I made many suggestions, and voiced many opinions. Not much happened.” Despite being Silence-Lotto’s team leader, Evans said the direction of the team is out of his control “When it’s the whole team, I can say my suggestions and voice my opinion, but it’s the team direction and management that have to take the whole team together and take them out of their normal race programs. “Go do a team time trial training camp or whatever. That I can’t organise”
Redant meanwhile is putting it onto Cadel (
"In the team time trial we had a big blow and lost 2:46 but there was still potential to do something. In Verbier he maybe should have tried to do something and today he had another off day…he couldn't follow the’s going be very difficult as he as lost at least another three more minutes. We have to see what his reactions are and how disappointed he is because I've not talked to him. We came here with a goal of helping him go for yellow and we stuck to that, we tried to get someone in the break today, like Saxo Bank did, but it didn't work."
You think?

While team problems are nothing new for Evans (no criticism of Wegelius and Lloyd intended) and he still rode to second, he wasn’t up against Astana…who, Evans also said in the above Fox Sports piece, thanks to Columbia and other teams, has had more than the two official rest days.

Meanwhile, Redant has found somebody else to ease his disappointment “Jurgen proved he can do it in the mountains for three or four days in a row. Maybe he is the guy who can do it in the future. He still has to grow of course. He had a great Giro last year and missed out on the white jersey because of riders like Sella and Ricco, but he is a diamond you can keep and treasure." (VDB finished 5th on the stage). What’s Cadel going to do for next year?

The real excitement on Stage 16 – the breakaway – 2.4kms from home, Mig attacked the breakaway -"It's the best day of my life…I've tried several times to win stages on the race (or any stage) but I've always failed because I'm not that good at sprinting…That's why I attacked from far out." Congrats Mig! Pello was great to watch too and is leading the mountain goat race by 58 points (Martinez on 101). Although Fedrigo showed some fight. Who said polka dots aren’t fun?

Armstrong – rode like a champ, looked awesome. But…why? Contador sums it up: “"It was great to see Lance Armstrong make it back to our group on the Petit Saint-Bernard, but in the end I didn't need his help."

Wiggins – will be interesting to see how he goes tonight and on Ventoux. We know he can Time Trial. Could there be a Great Briton on the podium?

In another episode of it's all about them (not, like you know the guy in the yellow jersey) Armstrong is “Making a very (exciting) announcement on Thursday re: a new American partner for our team in 2010 (and beyond). Stay tuned!” and Bruyneel is telling anyone who'll listen he's (der) leaving Astana. Cyclelicous says “Unsubstantiated rumors that Oracle Corporation will sponsor Lance's team. is registered to a Los Angeles coach.” Tourdecouch is not waiting with too baited a breath - I'll be watching the time trial and waiting for Ventoux.

Saxobank/Schleck - (pre Voigt crash) that's not how you're going to beat Astana/Contador. Good try though.

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