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Monday, July 13, 2009

Weekend washup + Spanish paper reports new Contador team

It took just 24 hours for Fabian Cancellera to slip from the centre of my 2009 TDF highlights - that stage 7 descent - to the very shadows of my cycling low-lights. And it was like watching the second half of Benjamin Button (albeit a bit quicker) and seeing a beautiful man transform into a baby right before your eyes. I lost A LOT of respect for he and Hincapie and thought the self righteous hand wave etc of Fabartacus was ridiculous. (I think I remember such bike bullying from an episode of the Henderson kids..or was it BMX Bandits?).

Forum bog dwellers similiarly criticised Cadel for making such a move. Sure, it was probably always going to be contained, especially knowing he had no alliances before Fabian rode to join the breakaway to give him a stern talking to. But what did Cadel have to lose and why criticise him for it? Here's an good point to ponder for the critic-ati: http://bit.ly/RzQnJ - Although news today published in Spanish newspaper Marca, it's probably a brand new team http://tinyurl.com/lkdwxr

And you can't criticise Sanchez either. If you know you've got these alliances etc it's even smarter to go for it - it's pro cycling after all. Cadel said it himself afterwards - he's always going to get chased down/told off/have noone join him. Even at 3 minutes down, he must have a certain Police song running through his head as he rides. Unlike Sanchez though - and alliances aside - Cadel's a real threat. And if that's the SNAFU, why not go for it anyway? Imagine if it had worked?

Others saw the move too and commented, if it wasn't Cadel but any other serious GC contender, he probably would've had help. But I ask another question, if it was Cadel - same awesome talent, same team, same personality - and he wasn't Australian, would some of us be equally affronted when nobody joins him?

Meh - who the bloody hell cares.

In arguably the greatest form of his life it's hard for us to see him 3 minutes down. But stage 9 was more heartening for me than any move he's made so far. Chinks started to show in Astana's armour. Kloden struggled and Popovych found his 2008 form. Sure, Kloden rejoined his teammates and he'll probably find his form again, but it was interesting to see him struggle at what was a relatively 'neutral' pace. Contador will still have his alliances with future employers/fellow colleagues, Lance/Levi theirs but if Sastre, Schleck, Evans, and Menchov attack, attack, attack, and isolate these guys, Astana start to look a little more beatable.

Eeek - two more weeks!

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