Monday, July 15, 2013

What was I thinking?

With the foolishness of picking Cadel Evans and Tejay van Garderen as my GC contenders for this year's Luna Cycles Fantasy Tour de France now being readily apparent, I have been able to watch the Tour with a disconnected enthusiasm. To my own surprise, I have been rooting for Alberto Contador (now, clearly, no longer Albuterol Clentador) and Alejandro Valverde (of Operacion Puerto taint) to topple the predetermined destiny of Chris Froome. I don't have anything against Froome, but the dispassionate application of force by a drilled-to-roboticism team that simply rides the best riders into dust is too reminiscent of the USPS team tactics of the Armstrong era.

I am absolutely loving the emergence of Nairo Quintana as a climbing phenom. His closed mouth and smooth spin obscure the speed and power with which he climbs, but the catching and subsequent dropping of other pure climbers vividly tells the tale. He will have to add quick accelerations to his arsenal to cover the burst attacks of Froome and others to be an even bigger threat in the mountains, but that will come with training. He will need to work on time trialing to be a GC threat, but Froome has certainly shown that you can go from an unremarkable time trialist to a phenomenal one in the space of a year*.

Kudos to the fantasy cycling acumen of Quint Ervin who looks poised to take the Luna Cycles Fantasy Tour de France for the second year in a row. The podium boys are getting all warmed up for the photo op, Quint!

I'm not taking things lying down though. Owen and I are working on some top secret hidden engine technology that we think Cadel, Tejay and BMC may be interested in. It may be a very different Tour next year. Very different.

*Fun Fact: prior to 2011, Chris Froome had never cracked the top 10 in any World Tour individual time trial. In the first ITT of this Tour de France he finished only 12 seconds behind former World Time Trial Champion Tony Martin and distanced formidable GC contenders with time trialing chops by over a minute in 25km.
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