Lance Is Out: 14 Legitimate Contenders Remain

Posted: July 12, 2010 in It's All Important Stuff

Lance hits the deck twice on the lumpy path to Morzine-Avoriaz.  Everyone watching could see him staring at his bike entangled on the ground, and for just that fraction of a moment, he was quitting.  For most of us this moment of truth happens in pure anonymity.  Lance had France 2,3 & 4 marking his every moment.

Clearly he was hurt, had little reason to press on, except that the entire world would have been witness.

Maria Mazzillo faced a similar situation on the run up the final hill of The Triangle Triathlon this weekend.  She joked that my camera is what kept her from walking.  Maria is not a quitter. Lance is not a quitter and I am equally proud of both.

The world will long comment about Lance’s “bad day”, but I say it was one of his best days.  Shit happens, Lance truly prevailed, and he is turning his focus to putting Levi on the podium.  Maria will remember her most excellent day forever.  She took twelve minutes off of her time from last year.  Others won’t forget either.  Nicely done!

And the tour continues….

Contador is a favorite, but not THE favorite.  Andy Schleck was impressive on the Avoriaz.  He looked ready to pounce all day and did.  He smoked Contador to the line.   To be clear, I do not personally like Contador.  I admire him exactly as I do a handful of athletes in the area who irritate the hell out of me and whom I cannot beat.  I just so would love to kick his ass up Lystra or on the county line sprint.

Cadel Evans winds up in yellow, has a decent team, can climb and can time trial.  He can reach the podium, as can Andy Schleck.  Two intriguing guys to watch are Denis Menchov of Rabobank – only 1:10 back of Evans, and Ryder Hesjedal just 1 click behind Menchov.  Denis is riding quite anonymously and has stayed completely out of trouble, while Ryder has been on the attack daily.

My personal favorite is now Andy Schleck.  You have my full support.  Now go kick Contador’s ass.

1. EVANS Cadel 121 BMC RACING TEAM 37h 57′ 09″
2. SCHLECK Andy 11 TEAM SAXO BANK 37h 57′ 29″ + 00′ 20″
3. CONTADOR Alberto 1 ASTANA 37h 58′ 10″ + 01′ 01″
4. VAN DEN BROECK Jurgen 101 OMEGA PHARMA – LOTTO 37h 58′ 12″ + 01′ 03″
5. MENCHOV Denis 191 RABOBANK 37h 58′ 19″ + 01′ 10″
6. HESJEDAL Ryder 54 GARMIN – TRANSITIONS 37h 58′ 20″ + 01′ 11″
7. KREUZIGER Roman 44 LIQUIGAS-DOIMO 37h 58′ 54″ + 01′ 45″
8. LEIPHEIMER Levi 25 TEAM RADIOSHACK 37h 59′ 23″ + 02′ 14″
9. SANCHEZ Samuel 181 EUSKALTEL – EUSKADI 37h 59′ 24″ + 02′ 15″
10. ROGERS Michael 118 TEAM HTC – COLUMBIA 37h 59′ 40″ + 02′ 31″
11. GESINK Robert 195 RABOBANK 37h 59′ 46″ + 02′ 37″
12. SASTRE Carlos 91 CERVELO TEST TEAM 37h 59′ 49″ + 02′ 40″
13. BASSO Ivan 41 LIQUIGAS-DOIMO 37h 59′ 50″ + 02′ 41″
14. WIGGINS Bradley 31 SKY PRO CYCLING 37h 59′ 54″ + 02′ 45″
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