Dare We Guess? Ok. So last night was on paper the stage that everyone expected — a breakaway that was difficult to get into, but stayed away once established. And yet it was hardly a predictable result, with a shake-up of the GC, another win to Garmin and Thor, and a request from the Schlecks that every stage please be an uphill time trial, or at worst an uphill two man teams time trial.
Contador is far from gone, Cadel is looking very good, the Schlecks are not on top of their game (their riding game that is — they can complain with the best of them…)
So tonight is the final stage that most agree will be a victory for someone from the breakaway, with the following two stages being a big hitter slugfest, followed by a time trial, and lastly Cav’s 20th win (sigh). It is undoubtedly a harder stage than last night, but it ends with a similar looking final 15km of a steep ascent followed by precipitous descent.
Seeing how hapless Andy Schleck and IvanBasso were on the descent last night, one can only presume that Cadel, Sammy Sanchez and Contador will again attempt to turn the screws, so stay up to see some fireworks!
The only way I can think of for Andy to counter this is to send Fabian up the road, and have him unclipped and waiting at the top of the final climb to drag Andy to the finish at warp speed (Fabian Cancellara is an amazingly gifted descender).
Tips for the day? An increasingly desperate French riding peloton to cover every possible break to final put some lads up the road.
Tears From Luxembourg
And Andy Schleck to lose even more time on the descent, and to complain even more loudly about it not being fair that other guysare better at something than he is.