Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Staying Put

Phonak reported yesterday that Floyd has decided to stay with the team for another year. This is an interesting move, as he most certainly had some good offers from some other top teams. A few of his teammates took advantage of the opportunity to leave, leaving them with fewer big names. But this could end up being a good thing, as they suffered a bit this year from having too many potential leaders.

Though Floyd is long gone, as are 56 other riders, there is still a pretty exciting race going on in Spain. As expected, Roberto Heras lost his early lead to Denis Menchov in the early time trial. Then Menchov was able to stick on Heras' wheel in the subsequent mountain stages--assisted no doubt by a nasty crash that left Heras with 14 stiches in his left knee. But that all changed in a dramatic way on Sunday, as Heras blew the race apart. He attacked on the 2nd last climb, over 50 km from the finish and ended up taking 5 minutes from Menchov. He now holds a comfortable lead and should be able to hold on for his 4th Vuelta victory despite the remaining time trial on Saturday. Michael Barry is one of four Discovery riders still in the race. Despite riding with a cracked rib, he's having a strong race, currently sitting in 50th place while largely riding in support of Tom Danielson (8th).

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