My hope against hope that Vino' was playing possum just a little bit was shown to be false. The man is human after all and I don't know if he can put in the herculean effort needed to put himself to rights in this year's tour. The one thing that is for sure is that he is going to have to be forcibly pried from the bike to give up. I don't so much think that it is pride or hubris, but determination to see the thing through that is keeping him going.
The good news for Astanais that Kloden seems to have had his tether cut and is free to make his own race now. He looked pretty comfortable today and could prove to be a threat in the Pyrenees. Cadel Evans came to the fore today and rode like a man who has confidence in himself. He actually went on the offensive, something I have never seen him do. Contador put in a spectacular attack with a huge, mind-boggling acceleration. All of that is well and good, but the bloom comes off the rose a bit when you can't make such an attack stick and even with the aid of Popo', they were unable to stay clear. Alejandro Valverde is losing massive street cred with the Luna tifosi. Is insistence on riding wheels and attacking out of the group at the end to pick up little time bonuses is the style of a man trying to recapture the halcyon moment when he was touted as the next "big thing". His feeble attacks today were quickly and succinctly nullified and he was left to go for the snatch and grab time bonus at the line.
Levi Leipheimer hopefully has a card to show in the Pyrenees because so far he is not riding like a man that has "it". Better make that a whole deck of cards...
Lastly, Linus Gerdemann better share his safety blanket with his teammates as the run of bad luck continues for his T-Mobile squad. Today, Marcus Burghardt nailed a yellow lab that had wandered onto the course. I got this email from Chris in Tally about it:
From: Chris in Tally
Re: The Yellow Lab incident
Yo. Click on the arrows and check out the Marcus Burghardt-Yellow Lab
collision. That's one solid effing dog.
link to Guardian Photos
There's still a lot of days left in this free for all!