Euskaltel head into the race's second rest day on a high. As you all probably know by now, Samu bested all his fellow GC candidates on the road to Plateau de Beille through a strong attack some four kilometres from the top. Granted, if Samu had been closer on GC a guy like Evans might have tried to follow him, but nonetheless he easily looked the strongest of the GC riders and now occupies a promising sixth overall. Being in front of Contador with the Pyrenees done and dusted with was not what I had expected, and with the form he's got Samu might just end up on the final podium. Izagirre and R Pérez were at their usual aggressive best as well to add colour to a stage that promised so much but in the end offered rather little in terms of action among the main contenders. Verdugo also showed strong form with his 19th place yesterday and is lying pretty in 26th overall.
Monday, July 18, 2011
Today's stage was all about taking it easy and getting through the day without any sort of troubles. Therefore I'm glad the guys opted not to join the break of the day and instead focused on helping out Samu. Urtasun, plagued by injuries and crashes so far in his maiden Tour, made it to the end inside the time limit, finishing dead last at 6:10. Tomorrow's day off comes at the perfect time for the versatile all-rounder who'll hope his wounds will heal in time for Tuesday's stage to Gap.