Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Stage 4 Team Time Trial (or Astana's Smack Down)

I don't think that the outcome of this stage was ever in doubt, Astana came out loaded for bear and basically destroyed the rest of the peleton. At the beginning of the stage Lance was in second place 0:40 off the yellow jersey and at the end of the stage Lance was in second place in a virtual tie with Cancellara for the Maillot Jaune. Kudos to Garmin-Slipstream and Saxo Bank as well for a good ride in the TTT. Garmin shed 4 riders and crossed with the minimum 5 in second place 0:18 behind Astana, Saxo Bank (with Fabian Cancellara pulling the last 10km basically alone) came in third 0:40 behind.

I love the TTT because of what happened today, the riders with the strongest teams are the ones on top of the standings. Conversely the riders with garbage teams (aka Silence Lotto, Cervelo Test and Rabobank) are for all practical intents and purposes done. Barring some insane attack in the mountains that Astana can't cover (and I can't imagine a scenario where that would happen).

Tomorrow should be a day for the escape artists unless Cav decides he wants another stage win.

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