We have the ultimate game of musical chairs about to start. Three chairs and 6 players. Sunday both whittled down the number of contenders and compacted those with a chance. Forty nine seconds separate the top six players with less than a week to go.
Three stages are left that will sort out who stands on the podium and what step they will occupy. Cadel Evans still holds most of the cards with a long (53km) time trial on Saturday. Look for CSC and maybe Gerolsteiner to try to remove some of those cards by putting serious time into Evans on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Is having two riders in the top 6 a blessing or a curse? With Schleck in Yellow, Sastre needs to plan his attempt to hurt evans carefully. Frank Schleck can’t be collateral damage. Is Riis ready to put all his cards on Schleck and ask Sastre to put his Tour hopes on the shelf?
Denis Menchov is the only one who is not forced to be too agressive over the next two days. he is 30 seconds behind Cadel and probably would like a little time but not the big chunks the others need. Look for him to continue to take advantage of the labor of others.
Can Kohl and Vande Velde stay in this rarefied air? Why not, they have lasted this long. Here is hoping for no bad days.