Thursday, July 20, 2006

Oh, Floyd!

After a brave early ride up the HC Galibier and Croix de la Fer, and without any teammates around him, poor Floyd tanked horribly by the Toussuire and was chewed up and spit out by the other shocked if cannily opportunistic GC contenders to the tune of 8 odd minutes back. He wasn't hungry; he wasn't sick; he just plain didn't feel good, and Phonak's weaknesses were in high evidence as they were utterly powerless to help (save for Axel Merckx, who despite bearing perhaps the heaviest inherited burden of anyone in the peloton is one gracious hardworking guy). A lousier day couldn't have happened to a finer rider. I hate to say it, but I think this may be it for Floyd for Grand Tour contention, and I'm abandoning my hopes for Zabriskie in the tt to root for Floyd to take this stage (or perhaps, dare I wish it, the last in the mountains?) instead. He gets his hip replaced. He needs time to recuperate out of the peloton, then to recuperate in the peloton, then maybe he's 32 before he gets back to form and at the start of the tail end of prime years for Tour supremacy. I just can't stand it. Forza, Floyd--prove my worst fears wrong today and in the year(s) to come! Big love to Oscar Pereiro for being a gentleman about getting the jersey back this way, and to Sastre for being the only one able to attack anywhere within range of the new polka-dot jersey --I would love to see either of them in yellow or on the podium in Paris--and good karma to Rabobank for letting twiggy mountain goat Rasumussen off the leash after his stellar work for Menchov the last couple of days when the latter clearly didn't quite have the legs. By the way, I may actually pass out with shock (though due admiration) if Dessel ends up on the podium, and I imagine the French would as well--who even saw this guy coming?

And can Floyd please not get any crap for his decision to give the maillot jaune back to Pereiro, and for giving him the almost-30 minutes in the first place? He was right, and it's not why he's losing the Tour. Phonak needed the rest, and that it didn't do them any damn good in the end anyway when it counted doesn't change that. Plus with Floyd so badly in the tank, all Pereiro needed to do was barely hold on--even Oscar's naysayers couldn't have expected less of him.

While we're at it, come on, Levi. It's nice to see you back at last.

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