Monday, July 19, 2010

stain on the yellow jersey?

I'll admit I was pulling for Lance to win one more Tour de France this year. Score one for the old guy? But I kind of expected Alberto Contador to win again, because he's so good, and so young. I like watching him climb, the way he dances on his pedals to keep his speed up. But after today I'm finding it hard to root for him.
I was watching live, even though I was recording the stage, as Andy Schleck started to accelerate up the last few kilometers of the climb. His chain came off and it took him two tries, and several seconds to get it back on and get going again. Alberto and others saw his mechanical difficulty put him in a "spot of bother" as Phil Liggett would say. The group seemed to not just continue on, but to attack, to take advantage of Schleck's bad luck.

By the end of the stage with it's fast, dangerous descent, Contador had erased the 30-some second lead that Schleck had started the day with, and was in the yellow jersey by 8 seconds. Phil and Paul disagreed as to whether Contador should have attacked, or waited until Schleck was back in the group.
I remember Jan Ulrich slowing the lead group to wait for Lance after a bag caught on Lance's handlebar as he rode by, sending him to the ground, hard. I thought it was a great example of sportsmanship, wanting to win on talent, determination, and heart, rather than someone's misfortune. I was disappointed to see Contador choose the path he did. And the fans around the podium were split as Contador donned the yellow jersey, half cheering and half booing.

I'm pulling for an Andy Schleck miracle.

All photos from the Tour de France website.


  1. I agree -- Contador should have waited. Go Andy!

  2. And I remember when Lance waited when Jan Ulrich went down on a rain-soaked corner. That's true class. Alberto is a great bike racer, but he doesn't have class. I'm rooting for Scleck also.

  3. I totally agree. You could see Contador actually attacked when he saw the chain come off. I never liked Contador. He seems slimy. I have been an Andy fan for a few years; have always had such respect for him since he was such a strong team rider and not just for Frank. I am 100% rooting for Andy. I heard the boos when Contador was on the podium and you could see the confusion in his face. Like duh? You broke some rules, Alberto-the person in the yellow jersey is always the person to respect the most in the Tour. Yes, the yellow has been stained.

  4. I have never really followed the TdF, including this one, but I don't get it. It's a race, no? Any time anyone has a delay, does the entire peleton wait for them?