Monday, July 13, 2009

A Summary of the Pyranees

In lieu of doing an individual recap and break down of Stages 8 and 9 since nothing of real note happened I am just going to do a recap of the Pyranees in general. Stages 8 and 9 were very similar in that they featured huge climbs that were so far from the finish that they didn't cause any of the GC contenders to get any closer or drop any farther behind. Give credit to Cadel Evans for attacking early on Stage 8 (I can't believe I actually just typed that) even though it was shut down pretty quickly. On Stage 9 a large group went off the front early and were chased down by none other than Lance Armstrong himself, after that though the "right" break composed of 13 riders were able to get away and eventually the stage was won by Fedrigo of BBox in a 2 man sprint with Pellizotti of Liquigas. At the end of both stages there were no changes in the GC.

If I were giving grades for route design the Pyranees would get a D at best. The one stage that did feature a mountain top finish (Arcalis) wasn't all that hard of a climb as evidenced by the large number of riders still around at the end. Stages 8 and 9 featured some gnarly climbs, but they were so far away from the finish that they had no tactical significance at all. When you have an 80 man bunch sprint for 3rd at the end of a mountain stage then you know that it wasn't that hard of a day (by Tour standards).

Rest day on Monday and then a few transitional stages get us to the Alps.

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