Wednesday, July 14, 2010
TEAM RADIOSHACK -- BIDDING TO WIN BATTLES WITHIN THE TOUR
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.