Monday, July 18, 2011

Samu eyeing polkadots

Okay, the headline is a bit misleading. He didn't really say he'd aim for the polkadots, but he didn't discard it either. Maybe it's just my wishful thinking. Speaking to reporters in Orange at the second rest-day in the Tour, Samu said the new system of awarding more points at summit finishes rewards the guys at the very front of the race and not necessarily guys going gung-ho in breaks as has been the case quite often in the past. "It's definitely an objective that's within reach", he said matter-of-factly. "It's motivating, but I won't go into any breaks as there's no chance they would let me go. I won't have the same freedom I enjoyed in the Pyrenees. But I'll do my best to stay ahead of the Belgian (Vanendert) on the summit finishes to score some points." Speaking of the GC, Samu admitted winning the race outright is "complicated", and he lists maillot jaune Voeckler as a genuine contender. "He's a candidate for the win at this moment. He says he isn't, but from what I saw on the Plateau de Beille he most definitely is. Along with Evans, who's the best time trialist on paper, he stands the best chance of winning this race". As I've said so many times in the past I'd love to see Samu go for the climbers jersey. Vanendert has been impressive, fantastic even, make no mistake, but over the course of three weeks I'd say Samu would win a head-to-head battle between the two on nine out of ten occasions. Samu has the tendency to get better and better as three-week races progresses, and I can't really see Vanendert staying with Samu on the remaining days in the mountains. The jersey is up for grabs and there will probably never be a better chance to get it.


Stephen said...

Podium (1-2-3) is the big prize but I guess that the polka dot is a pretty good compensation if he were to miss out.

4th and the climbers jersey would be a whole lot better than simply being 4th or 5th.

Kristof said...

It's quite weird that someone who never has won anything climbs faster then Samu. Don't know what I have to think from that whole Lotto team, however if Vanendert keeps riding like this, it won't be easy to beat him. Hope the big climbs won't be cancelled as they say, caused by the extremely bad weather.


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