The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom. - Wm. Blake

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Landis back in yellow

OK, this post is almost 20 hours too late, but, as nothing stunning has occurred in the first 3 hours on the road today (an unbelievable number of attacks - the course starts out going straight up the hors categorie Col de Galibier, the highest mountain in this year's Tour), a little analysis is still viable.

From's summary of yesterday:
Landis attacked a number of times and Kloden was always able to follow. This group dropped Evans, Menchov, Leipheimer and Sastre early.
And from the redoubtable Samuel Abt in the Times:
Landis, who rides for Phonak, said Monday that he did not intend to win any of the mountain stages. He said he merely wanted to stay within striking distance of the overall lead and make his move in the time trial Saturday in the Tour’s penultimate stage.

But he was forced to alter his strategy Tuesday, when one of his top challengers, Andreas Klöden of Germany and the T-Mobile team, attacked with about three miles remaining. Landis had to follow in order to prevent Klöden from gaining considerable time. As a result of that push, Landis regained the overall lead.
So here's the deal: Floyd is no Lance. He's not as strong (of course), and he doesn't have the same strengths. So when Klöden made his move, Floyd didn't crush him the way Lance always crushed Jan, Ivan, or Pantani. But he followed him, took him at the line, and in so doing, dropped every other rider who could be considered a contender (including the surprising Menchov, whom Landis has identified as his primary rival at this point). Now, they're all still in the race, and Landis could bonk today or tomorrow (although tomorrow is not a mountaintop finish, and so it's unlikely for any contender to gain a lot of time there, because the peloton can regroup on the final descent). But the bottom line is that Landis has ridden quite well, and has been strategically sound. It's hard to believe he won't win it all.



Post a Comment

<< Home