Monday, July 18, 2011

Tour stage 14 & 15 round-up

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.

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.


Stephen said...

I thought he was in trouble with 10k to go as he was drifting around and drinking and seemed to be eating everything he had left in his pockets....obviously he was just fueling up for his attack! Maybe if he had gone a little sooner he may have got the win but I guess I'm just being greedy...

He said before the start that he felt the Alps would suit him better so it's great to see such a strong showing in the Pyrenees, a good day this week could easily see him on the podium.

The Schlecks need to have a re-think, I can't see thier tactics working at the moment. I don't think you will break Contador or Evans by just surging for 100m and then sitting up. If they want to win then they - and Basso - need to gamble and risk everything with a long, sustained effort. At the moment it looks like Contador and Evans are going to gamble on the TT so its up to the others to make a move.

If the hesitancy and calculation of the others lets Samu in then all the better!

azanca02 said...

And after two great showings the only 2 hard mountain stages no one is talking about Samu as a contender for the podium. It is still all talk about Contador and the Schlek's. With a little bit of Evans and Basso thrown in. The last time I checked Samu has finished better than all of them on the last two big mountain stages.

Magnus said...

Yeah, it's quite amazing how he's always overlooked. But, though annoying, it might not be a bad thing.


web site counter
ISP Internet Providers