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

Friday, July 13, 2007

...And he's back up.

Well, despite that nasty-looking road rash pictured here (courtesy of Bicycling), Vino rode today - gingerly, at the back of the back, but with the peloton all day nonetheless. Same for Klöden, whose coccyx is apparently "fissured," not broken. But I think he has to be treated as a presumptive DNS (Did Not Start) every day until Paris.

A fair amount of commentary was made today that Astana - believed coming in to be one of the stronger teams - looked terrible trying, and failing, to run Vino back up to the peloton. There's no denying that - as I think I said, Vino ended up alone, having blown apart his own team. But I think that people may have inflated expectations from Postal/Discovery's years of domination. The first few years of Lance's wins, USPostal was not the race-ruling express train they later became. Plenty of talent, but a lot of what Lance achieved in those years was from his own strength - chasing down climbers on impossible mountains and leaving them in his wake. It was after his success that Postal, then Discovery, had so much talent, so much experience, and, frankly, such an aura that they could exert their will on the other 180 riders without breaking a sweat. Astana shouldn't be measured against that, especially not on a day when both of their leaders have nasty falls.

All that said, if Klöden's done, then Team Astana is mortally wounded, and only a heroic performance by Vino can win it.



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