Saturday, July 10, 2010

Tour de France Preview Stage 8, July 11th

Photo credit © Roberto Bettini

What a great ride by Sylvain Chavanel today. It was great to see him get to wear the jersey for the second time in this tour, especially considering how he lost it with his bad luck on stage 3.

Chris Horner (Team Radio Shack) said before today's stage 7 that there "was zero percent" that any of the overall favorites would show anything in the stage. He was right, as all the big hitters held their cards close to the chest. The profile of stage 8 requires that things will shake out a few of the pretenders.
The first mountaintop finish of this years tour will likely bring an attack by Contador 4km to 5km from the finish, if there is a group of 15-20 at the start of the final climb. If however, Team Radio Shack launches Kloden or Horner on the Col de la Ramaz or Les Gets it will force another team to chase with a chance to isolate Contador. It might be a good chance to see how strong Astana is.

I don't expect Wiggins, or Evans to attack as it is not their normal style, maybe Schleck. To that point, Evans is not necessarily afraid of Contador, given the gap he put on him in the Dauphine in June where Evans put 12 seconds into Alberto in the final 500 meters of another uphill finish. Lance in generally regarded to be in pretty good form, we'll see if he puts it into play tomorrow to try and get the 50 seconds he's down to el Pistolero. One thing is for sure, you'll see an all out effort before the first of two Tour rest days on Monday.


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