Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Mild disappointments, spectacular performances, and more Astana drama

Spoiler alert: read this after watching Tuesday's stage if you want to remain in the dark.

It's been a week for the old guys!!!

I dig it! I'm not a golfer, but you had to live in a hole to miss the buzz about 59-year old Tom Watson's run at the British Open. He went to a playoff with Stewart Cink after leading all weekend in a show that saw Tiger Woods miss the cut. Watson lost, but he electrified golf with his performance.

In our world, Lance Armstrong proved mortal when he failed to follow a move by teammate Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck on Sunday. He conceded leadership of the team to Contador, "clearly the strongest" and committed to working for the team. At 37 and after 3 years off, just keeping a high place in the Tour standings is amazing.
It looked like more of the same today when Saxobank made a move, taking the Schlecks, Contador, Kloden and a surprising Brad Wiggins to split the field of leaders. It looked like Lance was going to lose more time, then.......
Damn! He does still have some legs, as Lance rocketed across a 20 second gap, dropping Christian Vande Velde, Carlos Sastre, Kim Kirchen among others and then passing Frank Schleck to rejoin the yellow jersey group in a show of power that looked like the Lance of old times, not old age. The leaders all came together on the descent, with the exception of Cadel Evans, who again lost big time, but Armstrong proved that he is still a force.


Strong man and good guy, Jens Voigt, took a terrible high-speed fall on the final descent. Still no report, but his condition is described as "serious" in initial reports.


Johan Bruyneel announced that he will leave Astana after this season due to the return of troubled rider Alexander Vinokourov. Rumors have Contador going to a new spanish team. Lance and Johan will have some options. Look for another new team announcement.

Got to go. Just a lunchtime update!!! This Tour still has plenty of pop!!

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