The big news is obviously Vino coming back from the dead with a massive Time Trial effort. It was a great ride and since it happened so early he put all kinds of pressure on the 20 or so riders that followed him. I’ve been pretty bummed since he was injured, so it’s nice to see him stamp his mark on the race once again. With Astana finishing 1,3 and 4 it’s a reminder of just how strong they are.
Rasmussen really put in a good effort. I was pleased to see him handle the pressure and deliver a solid ride. I was certainly surprised to see him pass Valverde. One thing about him is the danger of him losing both Yellow and Polka dot. He’s obviously going to focus on winning a spot right now, so there’s a real danger of someone like Popovych or Soler coming along and stealing his thunder.
Speaking of Valverde, he’s so talented it’s easy to forget he’s never even made it to Paris. There are going to be bumps in his road until he’s got more experience in the race. Yesterday was one of those bumps.
Disco and Astana are both in excellent shape moving into the last week or the race. Who knows who’ll end up where, but both teams are in excellent position to place a rider (or two) on the podium. It’ll be interesting to see how they work tactically. Who works for who? Who attacks? I can’t wait.