Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Even though Lance Armstrong is no longer a contender to win this Tour de France, don't think for a minute Team RadioShack will concede anything until the race is over.  Sergio Paulinho's Stage 10 victory indicates RadioShack is very much interested in stage wins and Paulinho's victory will spur the team on.

RadioShack are also embroiled with the Caisse-d'Espargne team in the Best Team competition.  This contest measures the total times of all team members against other teams.  In other words, who has the fastest overall team--top to bottom?  Currently, RadioShack trail Caisse-d'Espargne by only 31 seconds.  Pride's at stake and RadioShack has bragged it brought the strongest team to the Tour.  We'll see.

And don't think for a second that Lance Armstrong and Team Director Johann Bruyneel won't do everything possible to get Levi Leipheimer at least a third-place podium finish in Paris.  Leipheimer (from Montana) is in currently 6th place overall--3 minutes and 59 seconds behind race leader Andy Schleck.  Leipheimer is a well-balanced cyclist, a proven team leader and champion of many multiple-stage races.  He is able to stay with Schleck and Contador in the mountains.  He will likely ride the Stage 19 time trial better than any of the top 5-placed cyclists.  Getting to 3rd place is readily within reach.  He needs a break, however, to erase the existing time gap to Schleck and Contador.  Team strategy in the Pyrenees can make the difference.  I anticipate seeing that.

I also anticipate seeing Lance Armstrong try to win a stage in the Pyrenees during this, his last, Tour de France. He's won many a stage in the Pyrenees over the years.  I hope he will do so one more time.  And, in the process, I can imagine him coming alongside Contador and challenging him to a duel to the top of Tourlemet.  Wouldn't that be epic?  Up and coming champ vs outgoing champ.  I'm voting for that scenario.

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