Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The War of the Roses

Kneecap Problems, Indeed: All right, a quick post to comment as requested on why Andreas Kloden, in perfect position despite his gobsmacked tailbone to ambush a slightly-struggling Alexander Vinokorouv, not only didn't take the chance to do it Sunday, but actively dropped back to help the boy instead. Well, I for one am assuming it has more to do with the fact that Vino's Kazakh consortium signs off on his exhorbitant paycheck than any true sportsmanship or loyalty, but I'm also assuming that, should Vino show any weakness in the future, Kloden'll decide to bushwhack him anyway a la T-Mobile's spectacular backbiting of the Ullrich era and leave Vino in the hands of his lesser domestiques. What's more interesting, in my view, is that dog-loyal lieutenant Kasheschkin is now reported to be jumping ship, embracing GC ambitions of his own as the limping Vinokorouv--who, unlike with Kloden who was already a powerhouse in his own right, did make the boy a star--is left to wince his way up the mountains. Holy crap, Astana, I understand Kloden's got his reasons--like friendship with Jan Ullrich, a history of watching Vino soullessly attack his own leader, and a surfeit of podium finishes--to take out Vinokorouv, but you can't even control your domestiques? Enjoy the Pyrenees if you can Vino!

Loser Prediction of the Day: Iban, of course. Moreau would be nice, since he busted himself trying to shake up the GC the other day (no thanks to the overall contenders in the bunch who actually could've benefitted for jacking him!) And, in practical terms, I still think Levi Leipheimer's got to show some stones ahead of the Pyrenees to shake up his competitors given his uninspiring if solid enough performance in the Alps so far. But as I'm damned tired of watching the moto cameras humiliate poor Mayo every year since he took on Lance Armstrong then tanked under the pressure, allez allez Iban!

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