Monday, July 19, 2010

STAGE 15: CONTADOR'S TRUE COLORS

Now we know what kind of a man Alberto Contador is.

The kind who throws race etiquette to the wind to get a little advantage.

The kind who attacks the Yellow Jersey wearer as soon as he sees he has a chain coming off on the biggest climb of the day.

The kind who would rather take the low road to be the race leader by seconds than one admired for becoming champion fair and square.

If Contador holds on to win this year's Tour de France, we will always remember him not as the deserving champion he might have been, but as the small man who took advantage of his rival's momentary misforturne to wrest the Yellow Jersey.

So, kudos to France's Thomas Voekler (pictured in a photo by Graham Watson), who scampered away from all cyclists on the last and highest category climb after being part of a day-long 10-man breakaway.  Again, it's another stage win for France.  The French are enjoying an unprecedented revival of stage winners (particularly in the mountains) this year.

And raspberries to Contador.

Andy Schleck of Luxembourg, who started the day in the Yellow Jersey and 31 seconds ahead of Contador, is now 8 seconds behind the Spaniard.  But, more importantly, as a result of Contador's glory-grab, Schleck has instantly become the overwhelming favorite of more fans everywhere.  He will have that morale-boost with him has he continues this contest to the finish.

Schleck has vowed to take his revenge in the mountains ahead.  I hope he succeeds.

2 comments:

Gary said...

Totally agree, Although I'm having a hard time pulling for Schleck. He said after today's stage "I wouldn't have raced that way" when he did just that with every one else the day Lance crashed just before the big climb early in the Alps.

There is no class in the tour this year.

bikehiker said...

You've got a point. Seems like some high-level competitors smell blood and go in for the kill. The same ones will plead their case to try to live to vanquish their rival another day. No doubts some of that is going on. However, for whatever it's worth, when Lance crashed, he was not the race leader and so rivals did not feel compelled to wait. Yellow Jersey has quite a bit more respect, typically.

Whatever, this just makes the upcoming stages all the more interesting, don't you think?