Monday, July 20, 2009

Lance and the Tour

I just wanted to jot this down before tomorrow's stage.

I don't for one minute believe that Lance is finished and Alberto Contador's only way of missing a victory is a mechanical or crash. That's right. And yes, I listened to everything Lance said after yesterday's stage. But I'm not buying it yet.

I am also not calling Lance a liar, or discounting all the things that the experts- of which I am most assuredly not- have said about Contador.

Here's what I've seen. Contador has gotten his entire advantage basically on two stages in which he made viscous accelerations up short climbs. And he only put Lance in apparent difficult in the second case. The first time, Lance didn't ride him down because that would not have been the behaviour of a teammate. It is true that he appeared to be incapable of staying with Contador yesterday.

To make a believer out of me, the same thing is going to have to happen on a much longer climb where Contador doesn't have the advantage of sitting on his teammates for most of the stage before launching a late attack. And maybe that's what's coming- an Alberto strike early in the Col du Grand-Saint-Bernard climb.

But I don't think he's the rider most likely able to do it. I'm not 100% sure it's Lance either, but I know which one I'd pick if I had to...

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