July 27, 2008
The yellowjersey either lifts you or breaks you. For Sastre, he turned in a strong performance on Saturday. Today’s performance made clear the Strategy of team CSC on Wednesday when Sastre attacked his own teammate of L’Alpe. Sastre had the better chance to to time trial to victory than Frank Schleck. I was asking myself if Schleck was that tired or did he drop back to provide a target for Sastre once Menchov and Kohl knocked him off the podium. Probably not since once he was in Sastre’s sights, he didn’t stay there too long.
I’ll have to disagree with Paul Sherwen that Sastre rode an unbelievable time trial. While it was strong, Sastre placed where he normally places. I think it was Cadel who showed either the effects of defending his jersey in the mountains or the weight of yellow. Cadel should have put in a top 5 performance. His performance should have been on par with Christian Vande Velde which would have put him within 5 seconds of yellow. At that point, things would have gotten very interesting.
I’ll lean towards the latter reason, yellow weighing heavily. Take a look at Cadel losing his temper in a post stage interview.
July 24, 2008
I may not remember to pick up milk on my way home from work but I am the partner of choice in Trivia games. And cycling trivia is my favorite category. So, when looking at today’s stage finish in St. Etienne, I flashed back to the Time Trial in St. Etienne back in 2005. I remember that vividly since my wife and I were in Paris on that day and we watched the time trial with a small group that included Dave Zabriskie. Remember, Dave Z. crashed out of that tour on the Team Time Trial.
My first memory was the horrific time trial ridden by Mickel Rasmussen that year. It was like seeing a bad accident on the side of the road. I was hard to watch but even harder to not watch.
Then I thought about Saturday’s TT. How did our protagonists do that day. Take a look.
1 Lance Armstrong (USA) Discovery Channel (46.4 km/h) 1.11.46
2 Jan Ullrich (Ger) T-Mobile Team 0.23
3 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) T-Mobile Team 1.16
4 Bobby Julich (USA) Team CSC 1.33
5 Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC 1.54
6 Floyd Landis (USA) Phonak Hearing Systems 2.02
7 Cadel Evans (Aus) Davitamon-Lotto 2.06
8 George Hincapie (USA) Discovery Channel 2.25
9 Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Illes Balears-Caisse d'Epargne 2.51
10 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Illes Balears-Caisse d'Epargne 3.05
11 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Discovery Channel 3.09
12 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC 3.10
It seems that Cadel finished 1 minute 4 seconds ahead of Sastre. Given that he is currently 1 minute 34 behind, what does that say.
I know, the profile is completely different the 2005 course was much hillier thus playing to Sastre’s strengths.
Compared to 2008.
For you Evans fans, there are a hundred reasons why this means nothing. For Sastre fans, there are probably a hundred reasons this means everything. For me, this means one thing. It’s going to be fun to watch.