Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Le Tour - Stage 9

Thankfully Cyclingfans.com updated the link to Eurosport's live audio coverage so I was able to listen to the tour AND get some work done this morning.

Huge win for Barloworld with Soler attacking and staying away despite Contador and Popovych doing their best to bring him back. Contador was impressive as well just taking off from the group of favorites on the Col Du Galibier.

For Vino however a different story. He couldn't respond to an attack by Valverde on the final climb and ended up finishing 2:30 minutes back from a group containing most of the GC contenders. Unfortunately that attack also dropped my pick for the stage Moreau, though he did fight his way back in the end (at least I was right that Rasmussen would keep his hold on the yellow jersey and most likely will for the next couple of days at least). Then Valverde attacked again at the end to finish 2nd over Cadel Evans who also looked very strong today.

For those wanting another American winner, I have to say I haven't been impressed by Levi at all. Maybe it is some grand strategy to slowly let the other contenders wear themselves out before he attacks in the Pyrenees, which would make it seem like Discovery can't come up with a new strategy post-Lace, or maybe he just can't do it. He was dropped by Valverde's final attack on the finishing climb but he is in the top ten so it remains to be seen.

For tomorrow I think Popovych could do it if he didn't kill himself today, otherwise maybe Schumacher, Chavanal or even Millar.

General Classification
1 Michael Rasmussen (Den) Rabobank 43.52.48
2 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 2.35
3 Iban Mayo Diez (Spa) Saunier Duval - Prodir 2.39
4 Cadel Evans (Aus) Predictor - Lotto 2.41
5 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 3.08
6 Christophe Moreau (Fra) AG2r Prévoyance 3.18
7 Carlos Sastre Candil (Spa) Team CSC 3.39
8 Andreas Klöden (Ger) Astana 3.50
9 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 3.53
10 Kim Kirchen (Lux) T-Mobile Team 5.06

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