Tour de France Stage 6 – 7 – 8

The good:

  • Boonen wins! Belgium rejoices.
  • How much fun was it to watch Linus Gerdemann take the yellow jersey with that exciting stage win? You’ve got to love a young guy blowing the doors off of the competition like that, even if it’s only for one day.
  • Alberto Contador sure made my choice of him ending up in the white jersey in Paris look pretty good (of course, at the same time Robbie McEwen was busy finishing outside of the time limit, so my choice for the Green Jersey looks not-so-good.) How long until he wins the Vuelta?
  • How about this after the first two mountain stages: 25) Chris Horner, Predictor-Lotto, USA, at 6:29 back. Yes, yes.
  • Speaking of “making me look I know what I’m talking about,” Rasmussen went out on another of his patented breakaways today and put his stamp, not only on the polka dot jersey race, but on the tour itself. What a climber he is. I love watching him go out on these rides.
  • Any question about Kloden riding for Vino evaporated yesterday, I think. Broken tail bone and all he tore himself inside out to get Vino back up to the Valverde/Contador/Moreau group.
  • A week in and the race is basically still wide open. Two wild weeks to go.

The less good

  • He never looked like he was in difficulty, but it was still disappointing to see Levi let Valverde get a minute or so on him today. I can understand just marking Astana, but Valverde is an extremely dangerous rider and I hated to see him go up the road.
  • I really like Bob Roll and al Trautwig, but Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwin are leaps and bounds better at actually calling the race. They’re so good at setting the stage and putting everything in perspective tactically. They’re a real treat.
  • He’s still got a shot, since he’s done a great job at limiting his losses, but damn if it doesn’t piss me off to see Vino struggle like he has because of the dumb luck of slipping a chain ring.

The Bad

  • Speaking of injuries… Rogers going out like that sucks. that’s pretty much the only way you can characterize it.
  • Same goes for Stuart O’Grady. Hopefully it’s nothing too serious. We need to see him up and running again at full speed next year for the spring classics.
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