Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tour de France - Stages 9 & 10 / Charles Coin Memorial

Tour de France

McEwen x Cavandish, Giro 2008

I am glad they have a rest day, not that I went to bed at 8 pm last night. Somehow, I stayed up late, eyes glued to the box and hoping they showed something tour. How disappointed I was...

Anyway, "they" need a rest after the Pyrenees. I just sit here, trying, unsuccessfully, to "borrow" a couple of pictures to illustrate Ricardo Ricco's great performance and superior ability to go up the mountains on Stage 9. Also, to descend like "The Falco" and time trial to the line at Bagnères de Bigorre for his second Tour Stage win. That was huge!!! Sure, there wasn't much of a chase as Team CSC (Ha!)wasn't interested on catching the youngster.

The stars: Ricco, Ricco, Ricco and The Cobra.

Then, comes Stage 10. Great race again, a break away and a solo attack on the Tourmalet by "even younger" and now 5,000 euros richer Remy Di Gregorio. Don't forget Cancellara, a 80 kg timetrialist going up the mountain like a 65 kg climber (I do think he was told to wait and help Jens "the animal" Voigt).

Voigt and Cancellara get together and smash it. Di Gregorio turns right and attacks in one of the toughest climbs in Europe getting caught shortly after by a very "light" groupetto. At this stage, Valverde and Cunego were miles back. Voigt keeps going like a wild boar launching Frank Schleck up the mountain with the Saunier Duval duo on his wheel. He is now against Piepoli and Cobo on a 8 km climb... He did well not to blow up completely, I reckon, choosing to go for the Yellow Jersey and not the stage.

Further back, Cadel is loosing time but plays cool and gets Menchov to work with him. Clever in the short term, he wears the yellow by 1 second and for the first time in his life. It brings tears to his eyes... In the long term, I am not sure. To defend that jersey now will take a huge effort, at least until the penultimate day on the 59 km ITT where he can shine.

The question: is he going to get a yellow Ridley too?

The stars on that stage: Vande Velde, Di Gregorio, Saunier Duval climbers and Frank Schleck.

I hope Cadel Evans can win a stage, it would be good for his morale and he would be seeing as a true winner by his peer, not just as a rider sitting in and counting the seconds.

And, lets not forget McEwen. The guy is about to throw a tantrum at any time. If he doesn't win in Paris we will see that Ridley flying over the barriers. That brings me to USA/UK hero and good boy now, David Millar. Is he still in the race?

Bring back the Time Bonus!
The Charles Coin Memorial
That's my next race. No, I am not prepared for it so I don't expect anything great in terms of results. I will use the 104 km event as a hard training ride and work my guts out to help a mate. Having said that, I might surprise myself with my fresh legs and do a crazy attack and stay away. The good thing, I have been looking forward to this race and now it is just days away.
Charles Coin Memorial


Chris said...

Both stages were fantastic. I think Ricco probably bridges up and wins Stage 10 if the leaders aren't his teammates.

After cracking, Valverde probably can't win the overall. Millar cracked on the first HC climb in stage 10.

All great racing.

Shane said...

damn you Ricco.

Hey Alberto, do you know if the Charles Coin will be a combined Masters A and elite B again this year? Would be good to see how I go against that lot.

AMRcyclist said...

Hi Shane,
Not sure but they might split this year.
You would go well, no doubt!
Might not race, sick!

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