Dave's Dogmatic Dribbles
Tour de France - Stage 18.
Tour de France - Stage 18
Before we get started, I have an additional comment about yesterday?s finish...There?s no doubt in my mind that Armstrong will be the next Petacchi/Cipollini! I hear he?s already got an offer from Fassa Bortolo. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>
Janek Tombak of Cofidis didn?t make it to the start line this morning. Let?s hope he still has all his fingers. Four other racers didn?t show.
There are some attacks and counters going on and six racers establish themselves and gain up to <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /?> on the field. At one point, Simeoni leaves the peloton to join the six escapees. Lance decides to counter Simeoni and the six leaders grow to eight. After a bit, Simeoni and Lance slip back to the peloton. This certainly was a bit strange but Lance does everything for a reason. The two of them might be seeing each other again in the off season (probably at a court hearing). They aren?t the best of friends.
After that amusing episode, it?s a leisurely stage today. The gap hovers around the safety zone of . Everyone seems to be saving their energy for tomorrow?s TT. And of course, we all know that Jan saves himself for the last week of the Tour. But wait, it IS the last week of the Tour!
What is this? Someone has caught the sleepy peloton off guard and launched a HUGE attack! He?s going so fast we can?t make out who it is. He says something to Armstrong as he blows by. He?s trying to get Jan to go with him but then remembers Jan always waits until the last week of the Tour to make his move. He realizes he must go on his own.
We now have an identity on this stupid... I mean courageous racer. It is Super Dave Osborne of Team Has Been! Who would have thought someone so far down in GC would have done this. A quick check shows Super Dave is Hors Category in GC (so far down, he?s off the scoring list). He?s opened a 1 second gap and the peloton can?t react quickly enough! Oh my goodness, Lance, Jan, and Ivan are being crushed! There won?t be a 6th straight for Armstrong. The peloton has been decimated and is in chaos. No one wants to chase. You do it, no you do it, I?m tired. Bob Roll doesn?t even know what to do with his hands!
Ooops, sorry about that folks, the excitement of this stage caught me daydreaming. Back to the real race.
Joly makes a move at the sprint line and keeps going. He?s countered by Mercado and Acosta and they take the lead. Mercado is being stubborn and Acosta has to do most of the work. Juan Mercado wins and Acosta is not happy. Here comes the peloton back. There are no changes in GC for the contenders.
I almost bonked reporting this stage. Time for a beer and Clif Bar. Hopefully I can recover for tomorrow!