Thursday, July 16, 2009

Back to the Tour

I like sprinters. They tend to be trash-talkin' little tough guys like Robbie McEwen and the heir-apparent, Mark Cavendish. These guys make a living by hanging onto the peloton for 120 miles and then going to town when the fight breaks out in the last kilometer. The GC guys like Lance and Alberto just get the hell out of the way when the sprinters' trains get rolling in order to avoid the head-bumps, elbow jabs, shoulder slams and 40MPH crashes on the run-in. Two of my favorite quotes (paraphrased by me, I'm sure )from these guys come from interviews prior to or at last year's Tour:

To McEwen: "As a sprinter, who would you be looking out for in this Year's tour."

Robbie to world: " I've won more than anybody else, Mate. I'd be looking out for me."

To Cavendish at age 23: "Some people are saying that you're the next Robbie McEwen. What do you say to that?"

Cav to world: "I'd say that I'm the first Mark Cavendish."
and so he is.

I've never seen anybody just that much faster than everybody else in my relatively short time as an observer of such things.
He's got a reputation as a cocky little bastard, so take a look at the shy, but funny kid in this video with Lance and George Hincapie:

Cav did win the stage Lance was egging him on about.

Friday's stage could be one that produces some shake-ups. No huge climbs, but some Cat 1 that could see some GC contenders eliminated. As is often been said of this race, this stage may not decide the winner, but it make decide some losers.

The riders and teams won the radio argument. Tomorrow's ban has been lifted.

Bring on the mountain stages.

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