Looking like an overzealous actor at a casting call for "The Mummy Returns", Alexander Vinokourov toed the line and finished with the bunch today. I don't have high hopes for him starting tomorrow, but dammit, I want to see this guy recover and light up the tour. I've been accused of some BMC partisanship, but that is not the case. Vino' is the most exciting rider to contest the grand tours. I want to see him make good on all of the crazy, attacking, Kazakh promise that he has shown in year's past. I want him to exact retribution for his undeserved exclusion from last year's tour. I want to see a guy who doesn't follow conventional wisdom or tactics. I want to see a rider who serves up old school beat downs with the ferocity of Bernard Hinault. I want to see a rider who is willing to lay it all on the line in a gamble between heroism and foolhardiness. Vino' is the rider who can deliver this and it truly breaks my heart to see such a cruel blow dealt to the man.
Astana still have the Kloden card to play. His previously feared broken ass has turned out to be just a fractured ass. Hopefully, this will mean a speedy recovery and subsequent aggression.
Alright, so everybody and their brother jumped on the bandwagon for defending CSC. Boo hoo. Sure, Discovery (nee US Postal) did similar work in defense of Sir Armstrong's bid for the maillot jaune. Notably the infamous '99 Passage du Bois debacle that saw Armstrong put a huge time gap between himself and eventual 2nd place finisher Alex "I need a seeing eye domestique" Zulle. But let's put it in perspective: take away the huge time gap gained during the Passage du Bois pileup and Alex Zulle is the winner of the '99 TdF. Sure, rubbin' is racin', but don't you want to see a winner who earns it through legs and not through luck? I mean, who makes the better '06 TdF champion: Landis with the incredible audacity of the stage 17 solo attack or Oscar Pereiro who benefited from a bit of maillot jaune largesse?
Tomorrow will see the first true anger of this tour and maybe that will settle my unease...