Monday, April 22, 2024

Le Tour de France 2009 – First Rest Day


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‘Armstrong admits “there is tension at Astana’s table” – says The Guardian headline today in it’s coverage of the Le Tour de France 2009; I’d never have believed that!

I bought L’Équipe today – it was Friday’s, but what the heck?

The front page ignored the then yellow jersey, Cancellara, and concentrated on the favourites: Armstrong on the same second as Fabian; Contador at 00:19; A Schleck at 1:41; Sastre at 2:44 and Evans at 2:59.

Le Tour de France 2009
Bert goes “against the plan” according to LA.

It just goes to show – apart from Bert stretching his legs to gain time up Arcalis on Friday – how little happened over those three days in the Pyrenees.

Albeit we had good stage winners and exciting finales.

The gaps are now: Contador at 00:06 on Nocentini; Armstrong at 00:08; Schleck at 1:49; Sastre at 2:52 and Evans at 3:07.

Like Lance said before the start and Brian Smith said to me when I interviewed him for Pez the other day; “it’s all about that last week!”

Le Tour de France 2009
Charley knows the score.
Le Tour de France 2009
Friday’s edition.

I was fortunate enough to get a chat with Charly Wegelius tonight and he described the Pyrenees as “shadow boxing,” and endorsed that it is indeed, ‘all about the last week.’

I guess on the one hand that the organisers want to build suspense to the finale on the Ventoux; but if that means days of negative racing in the meantime, well…

Charly also said that this week has a lot of stages which according to the press and the stage guides are “sprinters stages” but which are actually very tough.

I remember at the Giro, on Sardinia, two years ago, Dave and I drove a “sprinters stage” – eventually won by McEwen.

The thing that amazed us was that there was a damned big mountain in the middle of the thing!

Anyway, time for bed – only three sleeps ’till Martin and I are at le Tour!