Postscript to Stage 3

7 Jul

Watching Saxo Bank today was like watching the old U.S. Postal and Discovery teams.  Those teams always took control of the race.  They controlled the pace regardless of the stage because if you control the pace you control the race.

To keep your rider in the lead or in contention for the lead you have to keep the pace high enough that it keeps other teams from attacking.  If you noticed today Saxo Bank took control of the group over the cobblestones, drove the pace hard and by doing so they kept all the other contenders from attacking, keeping them in the reacting and chasing mode.

Unless something really huge happens it’s unlikely that Lance can make up the time lost today (resulting from a flat) to Contador, Schleck and Evans.  Lance has always had good luck at the Tour (and luck does factor in) but yesterday was bad luck at the worst time.  If it had been any other stage he would have either had a bike change or a wheel change pronto.  He just couldn’t recover the time lost even though he did well to get back to the extent he did.
I am a fan of bike racing and the Tour de France more than I’m a fan of any one cyclist.  Although in one way I would have liked to have seen Lance succeed in his bid for an 8th championship, but there are other riders I would like to see win too.  Lance’s troubles do not diminish the Tour in any way for me and I hope they don’t for any of you either.  I see the doping problem much the same way.  I don’t like it that some of the riders dope, but the race is bigger than any one rider or 10 riders – it doesn’t lessen the magnificence of the Tour de France.  It’s disappointing, even heartbreaking thinking of Landis in 2006, but the race is bigger than any of that.  At least cycling attempts to catch riders that cheat, most sports do not.  Getting off soapbox now… gotta go watch the Tour.

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No Responses to “Postscript to Stage 3”

  1. Tri Girl July 7, 2010 at 11:43 pm #

    I agree- just watching the amazing feat of these men is awe inspiring. I’m a fan of the race- not just one man. Can you imagine riding a hard century every day for 3 weeks? It blows my mind.
    I just love seeing Lance hang with the young kids. He’s almost twice the age of many of the riders- and holding his own.
    It’s been exciting so far- and we’re only a few days in.
    Yesterday’s stage was very exciting and I was on the edge of my seat the whole time.

  2. Susan July 8, 2010 at 1:55 am #

    Lance didn’t look good today, maybe too much wine last night or just fatigue. I’m sure what happened yesterday is obviously weighing on him but I think the pressures here back home have to be stressful too. Wonder if he’s regretting riding the Tour this year.

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