I just got back from Washington where I was visiting my folks. This morning I had my first Missoula morning in three weeks without the Tour De France. This happens to me every season. The tour ends and the road season winds down. It could be the toughest time of year. I'm so used to waking up with a cup of coffee and watching versus until work starts. Once the stage is over I'm exchanging emails with with Pat, Bessetto, and Nacho about what should have happened. I miss all that excitement. In honor of my depressed state I'm going to reflect on the last three weeks of racing:
-Carlos Sastre and his Team CSC road a tactically superior race. The only better tactician besides Riis is Bruyneel (I'm reading his book right now "We might as well win" great book." Since Bruyneel wasn't there Riis destroyed any hope of someone else winning. CSC didn't waste energy and go for early wins (Valverde, Kirchen, Evans) they wasted as little energy as possible. Popovych is a world class rider.......where was he on the climbs. The one day he was away it looked like he was riding for himself.
-Freire winning the green jersey has been a long time coming. When he is healthy he's the best bike rider out of the sprinters. It was just a matter of time before he won the green. So, don't be surprised that he beat the Viking.
-Sastre won't repeat. With Contrador coming back next year, and A Schleck looking real strong I think Sastre timed his victory right. Contrador will win by 3 minutes next year.
-Garmin Chipolte is the real deal. Pate had killer TT performances and almost won an alpine stage?!?!? Who knew Pate could climb like that (he looked like death most of the time). VaneVelde is a new American hero and Frishkorn's journal has been great to follow. How about Vaughters slipping the F bomb in the team car?? There are real team, and it's hard not to like them.
-The Frenchman make their mark. Chavanel and Dessel are great riders but they will never win the tour. So instead they claimed amazing stage victories. That's the way to ride. I was never a huge fan of Chavanel but the way he rode this tour was great to watch. He attacked and was in the break 8 times!