Surprising result

The alarm went off at 06:00 this morning. The spirit was willing, but the flesh was not. My beloved turned off the alarm and went back to sleep. I, on the other hand, never even heard it. We awoke two hours later, too late to attempt the concentration at Venanson. Instead, we decided on one of our favourite summer rides which takes in the perched village of Gourdon, home to the baker of my favourite pain d’epice.

Today was just as hot as the previous one but there was a cool, rather than warm, breeze which was deliciously refreshing on the run in to home. We had picked up the newspapers on the way back and, once home, I had a cold shower and slipped into something cool and flimsy. I fed my beloved and settled down to watch stage 14: 184.5km from Revel to Ax-3 Domaines. The showdown in the Pyrenees was about to begin.

I was expecting things to kick off on the Port de Pailheres. Astana took control on the ascent and their pace shattered the peloton while leaving the contenders together. The remnants of the day’s breakaway were still up the road and a number of riders, including Carlos Sastre, had set off in hot pursuit.

A rider who lives locally, Amael Moinard, was one of two riders still up ahead from that morning’s breakaway but he’d been distanced by the other, Christophe Riblon, probably better known for his exploits on the track. Riblon hung on to give the French their 4th stage win. Meanwhile, Alberto and Andy were eyeballing one another, but neither was prepared to concede. Sensing a stalemate, both Sammy Sanchez and Denis Menchov decided to profit from the stalemate.  They gained 13 seconds. Roll on tomorrow.

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2 thoughts on “Surprising result

  1. I think yesterday was probably too early for either Schleck or Contador to launch an all-out attack – my guess is they will save the fireworks for the Tourmalet. But it was a fascinating game of cat-and-mouse they played. I’m very impressed with Schleck’s tactical nous – he knows he needs to make up a bit of time, but he’s not going to be panicked into an unwise attack. Should keep things interesting over the next couple of days!

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    1. Yes, it’s do or die tomorrow on the Tourmalet. The question is whether Andy is prepared to gamble his 2nd place to try and gat back onto the top step. Given the time trial, he needs to gain atleast 1min 45secs on Contador.

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