Tuesday, July 17, 2007

TdF - Arm Chair Director Sportif

Ok, after last year's Tour I vowed to not watch this year and could care less about the French, but I have to admit it's been a pretty exciting race so far. Think the French aren't biased though? Did anyone not notice the amount of drafting Vino was doing off the team car to try and get back in the peleton on Stage 5, all worthy of a full disqualification from the race but amazingly it went unnoticed by the Commissaires, yet Levi takes one pull from the car after a mechanical on a decent and gets a time penalty? Fucking French.

Based on the way the race has gone I think a couple of teams need to change their strategies for hopes of salvaging a victory or at least a podium finish.

Discovery Channel - DUMP Levi. He has suffered like a dog the entire race and no one who truly intends on winning le Tour would go on record as saying they're not on their best but can still "ride themselves into form" before the end. Hate to tell you Levi, but the Pyrennes are harder than the Alps and you're no Lance so trying to play the peleton like Lance did just isn't going to work for you. Alberto Contador has proven himself since the start of the season as a rider to be reckoned with in the pro peleton and is further placing his stamp on that by riding all over the main contenders in the Alps. If they stick with Levi, I think Disco is missing at a minimum a podium opportunity in Contador. If he can gain enough time in the Pyrennes, he can afford to lose some time to Kloden and Cadel Evans in the TTs and possibly win the Tour.

Astana - Vino needs to man up and hand over the reins to Kloden or the Astana DS needs to do it for him. Yeah, it really blows he crashed but so did Kloden and most of the Astana team. He's now over 8 minutes down and not looking good on the climbs. Kloden is still in contention even after having to sacrifice his overall position so far to help Vino.

Unless these two teams make some changes, I think we'll be seeing Cadel Evans in yellow in Paris. Which is fine with me, I've followed Evans since he was racing mountain bikes and always thought he was a very talented rider. It's taken him a while but he's finally found the form and confidence it takes on the road to win a Grand Tour, good for him.

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