Dave's Dogmatic Dribbles
2006 Tour de France - Stage 17
I'm not sure what to think or how to feel. I want an American to win. It?s impossible to ride perfect stages for three weeks. There will be good days and bad days. On bad days, you have to rely on your team. It's ironic that Phonak has a full team but where are they? Team Phonak is weak with the exception of Axel. There is no time to sick back and rest. Floyd is obviously outstanding in the time trial but he needs to return time today. Ok, enough of the obvious, back to racing.
Eleven racers form a break on the flat before the climbing begins at around 50km. Phonak isn't there. It must be rest day. Just as I say that, the climbing begins and Phonak takes over in the peloton. The gap is coming down and Phonak looks determined. Landis breaks clear of the peloton and isn't looking back. He is fighting for more than just the jersey. He is fighting for redemption. He may not have lead from the start, but will it be another Schleck and Rasmussen ride?
Floyd's time expands to take yellow on the road. The peloton is trying to respond. It's gonna be a nail biter! Will Floyd crack again? Sinkewitz is shadowing Floyd and makes no attempt to prevent Landis from getting time bonuses. Floyd is fixated. He's not looking for help nor asking for it. The levelling of the course before the last climb is a double edge sword. Floyd can rest but the peloton can shorten the gap. Everything remains a speculation. You get a feeling Floyd will do it. Wait, what's that snap, crackle, pop I hear? Never mind, it's just the peloton breaking apart!
Floyd is on his way going solo and wins the stage.
We have witnessed drama and passion. Floyd rode his TT today. Unfortunately, Sastre's second place finish left him short of the yellow jersey. Moreau's ride was exceptional. I'm taking the rubber band man jersey from Voeckler and giving it to Landis. Today was one big bounce! How's that for panache! I'm sure the French will agree!
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