While I can’t say I’m happy that Sastre won, in hindsight he was the most deserving winner. He and his CSC team really controlled the race and winning the stage and the Tour on Alpe d’Huez makes his a truly classy victory.
I am happy to see the three time world champion Oscar Freire, win the Green Jersey points competition. Freire is a fun rider to watch throughout the year so seeing him get such a great result on the world’s biggest stage was a real treat.
The best thing I can say about Cadel Evans, in light of his performance is that he’s got some heart. Pulling himself up off the ground and fighting as hard as he did in the mountains was pretty gritty. Even with all of that, he reacted reasonably well to the attacks launched at him in the mountains but in the Tour it’s very difficult to win merely countering moves. As Sastre proved, at some point, the true race leader has to take control. Evans never did that. I don’t know. Maybe he believed his own press or something, but it seemed like he just assumed he would pull it all out in the final time trial. It was a reasonable strategy I guess, but obviously he didn’t hold up his end of the bargain. Sastre did.
The rider I’m most bummed about is Menchov. I feel like he was just a couple of breaks away from being on the podium.
On the flip side of that I’m ecstatic for Christian VandeVelde and the rest of the Garmin Chipotle team. Finishing fifth when no one (including me) really pegged him for a finish that high is a great result and is a phenomenal introduction for the team to the world.
Speaking of introductions to the world, Team Columbia had an incredible first race under the new sponsor’s banner. Cav was obviously the revelation of the Tour but the team as a whole showed why they’ve been so successful this year, showing up to race day in and day out.
Is it really another 49 weeks until it all starts up again? At least I’ve got Sastre vs. Contador in the Vuelta to look forward to in the fall 🙂