Carhaix to Cap Fréhel (102 miles)
Le. Tour. De. France.
Getting some exciting now, you betcha.
As I’ve said right along, my understanding of professional cycle racing is based on watching Le Tour (albeit since Greg LeMond), which is kind of like basing your perceptions of Baseball on the World Series or Throwball on the Super Bowl. I only know what I read in the funny papers.
During the off season it’s been all Lance, all the time, with the merest mention of Contador’s actual positive doping tests and the implicit assumption that he was going to win in a walk. Since I deal strictly in schadenfreude it’s been an agreeable experience so far.
To the extent that rivals were mentioned before Passage du Gois La Barre-de-Monts it was about 90% Schleck (who only finished 39 Seconds behind) with Leipheimer and Horner thrown in not because they are good but because the sporting press is just as lazy and mendacious as their political counterparts and twice as jingoistic (U.S.A! U.S.A.!).
In fact I’m pretty sure the only reason Hushovd shows up on the radar at all is that his namesake is a crossdressing wedding crasher (you could look it up).
Anyway this is all by way of explanation why I’ve taken Hushovd’s overall chances more seriously than some even though he is basically a sprinter. I’m ignorant and easily influenced.
Yesterday actually was some exciting with many of the name contenders including Contador making a big push for position if not a Stage win at the end. It was really the first chance for climbers to make their mark.
Also in the first group were Evans (the winner by half a wheel), Gilbert (whom I’ll have to take more seriously), and Hushovd (who gets to wear the maillot jaune again today).
They all got the same time. Slightly behind were Horner and Leipheimer (who says we’re old?) and Andy Schleck who’s making his brother look good. In terms of the overall General Classification standings nobody moved up except in rank because of Hushovd’s presence in the zero deficit group. Contador remains 1:42 behind, Cadel Evans is the real deal and remains a slight Second out of first.
Today’s stage includes the category 4 climb at Cote Gurunhuel which will give us an early indicator of how the day will go. After that it’s a descending series of bumps which does not make it easy by any means. Three more race days until serious elevation changes and a week to the Pyrenees where Contador is expecting to put it away.
Coverage starts at 7:30 am on Vs.