Who could have guessed: the man you looked invincible cracked, two riders allowed to escape earlier in the race would still be riding with the leaders, the two teams that lost their leaders on the eve of the race are still dominant? Amazing. This is why, after all the media, marketing, science, posturing, etc, we still get out there and race.
So Landis cracked, big time. And make no mistake about it, his team had nothing to do with it. The only way they could have helped him was if they were allowed to push. I don’t know what happened but it looked like a bonk . Once you bonk there’s not much you can do. Perhaps he didn’t take in the food or drink he needed, which is one of those things you never know until it hits you. Then it’s too late. Whatever the reason, a guy who could beat me pedaling with one leg was riding up the final climb slower than I would. Something went seriously wrong.
Hats off to Pereiro and Dessell. They may still crack but they’ve taken the gifts given to them earlier in the race and given them a serious run around the block. Pereiro, a decent time trialist, is now a threat to win the race. And AG2R, always a also ran team in the Tour, has now become a major player. It’s been so long for the French, they must be beside themselves.
And great team is, well, a great team. Caisse d’Epargne, CSC, and T-Mobile all lost their leaders and are still filling up the podium. You could have won some money betting on this last week, that’s for certain.
The favorite now has to be Kloden but, after today, who could possible predict anything? It’s a race on its head, wide open, and I can’t wait until tomorrow.
Viva le Tour!