This morning, three riders laid everything on the line to take the yellow jersey. Levi Leiphiemer pushed himself to the limit to catch the man in front of him, Cadel Evans. Actually, he pushed himself beyond the limit as he began to crack in the final 5 kilometers thus stopping his ability to take time on the Austrailian.
Cadel was forced to fight a war on two fronts. First, he set his sight on taking back 1:50 on the Climber Alberto Contador. Having to fight Contodor on the young Spaniard’s terrain all week, he must have felt good to turn the tables on Alberto and fight the final battle on vans home turf. The problem was, he didn’t count on the assault from third place Leipheimer. Stalking your prey while being stalked is not my idea of fun. In the end, Cadel used his last bit of energy to evade capture by Leipheimer by 9 seconds.
Then there was Contador. Riding out of his element, he had 1:50 to give away. On the plus side, he lost only 1:04 to Evans in the first time trial. On the down side, this was relatively flat and played more to Evan’s advantage. Contador gave away time at every check point to Evans but was able to avoid riding beyond his limit, cracking mentally then physically. He gave time then defended a scant lead in the final few kilometers in what turned out to be a very exciting finale.
While Alberto Contador will be given the honor of wearing the yellow jersey on the podium tomorrow evening, I do believe each of these men deserved to win the Tour. Currently the top three are only separated by approximately half a minute after three weeks of riding.
The last day is just ceremonial right? They don’t actually race. Or do they?