Fabian Cancellara – I got that one right; and I said that Tyler Farrar would be right up there, as Meat Loaf would say; “two outta three ain’t bad!”
Tom Boonen in second was a surprise; it’s good to see him back.
I like Boonen, I don’t condone his cocaine use – he’s meant to be a roll model – but he’s young, full of fun and human.
When he quit the Tour, it was no surprise to us: we’d tried to get a few words with him, before the stage at Colmar. : He was dour and unsmiling – usually he’s a very easy man to talk to and it wasn’t hard to see that the “real” Tom Boonen wasn’t at le Tour.
He announced his return with a stage win at the Eneco Tour; I’d love to see him take the jersey, here.
Jens Mouris was fourth, he was a DFL team mate of Evan Oliphant’s back in 2007; last year he was with Mitsubishi and this year the new Dutch team Vacansoleil.
We first saw them at Het Volk – a well presented outfit; and the word is that they want to go all the way to Pro Tour.
Mouris is the classic pursuiter, tall, strong and classy – good to see a fresh name in among the stars.
Bennati in fifth was a surprise; his form hasn’t been the best this year and I lost a lot of respect for him after the abuse he gave ‘Nico’ Roche for not working in the break during the Ivanov Tour stage.
Roche was defending for team mate Nocentini and was simply doing his job. : I remember seeing a big feature in one of the mags about how pious ‘The Panther’ is – he must have spent a lot of time in the confession box after that stage.
Bennati and Boonen would have pulled out all the stops to keep in touch, thinking that a sprint win bonus today (Sunday) could net them the jersey.
It’s most likely to be between Boonen and Farrar, though.
Up and coming Roman Kreuziger was sixth but benefited from early dry roads.
Vino – seventh, that’s a ride at this level, coming off a two year ban; the UCI testers will be all over him like a rash.
Basso and Valverde eighth and ninth – a good one from Ivan, less so from Alejandro who’s meant to be a short chrono winner.
I’m up in Ullapool for a wee break and got my Vuelta results via text – SMS as we trendies say – by way of my “Markinch special envoy” Dave Chapman.
It’s a fun way to get the results; like listening to a football game on the radio, it’s often better than actually seeing it because you paint the pictures in your mind.
Well, that’s the Vuelta off and running – and my comeback underway, time for my pedal along the Loch.
I’m talking to Charly Wegelius tonight, always a good experience – I’ll let you know how it goes.
Via con Dios.