Monday, September 14, 2009

Again I Try, Just Need to Fly

He left some flesh on the pavement yesterday in his real race, the Provincial Crit. But he still did alright, finishing 4th. In the vicarious race, however, Mike was back to doing what he did so frequently in the early part of the season--kicking our collective asses. He picked up 250 points--via Cunego, Valverde, and Alan Perez--and his first win of the 2009 FGBC Vuelta Pool. Paul V was second with 230 points. KK and I tied for third. We both had 225 points.

In the overall race, Paul has pulled to within 30 points of Halberto. Chris A vacated the podium in order to make room for Paul. Rachel dropped down to third place. We're into the last week now, and it's all very close. The three teams on the podium are separated by just 105 points. And the gaps all the way through the top 20 remain very tight. So expect lots of jostling for position over the final week.

As for the real race, Chris O's buddy Ali thinks it's been a bit of a yawner. Ali, I hope you were watching yesterday. Because that was pretty exciting. The Little Prince attacked his breakaway companions and held on to win the stage. Young Danish talent Jakob Fuglsang also survived from the break. And the contenders went up a pretty vicious climb essentially throwing haymakers at each other in an attempt wrest the golden jersey from Valverde. Basso was leading the charge for a while, with the crybaby holding on tight to his wheel. It looked for a while like Valverde was about to have the bad day he usually has in a grand tour. He was fading fast with about 4 km to go. But in the end it was Basso and Evans who cracked. Valverde held on to finish 5th, and even added a little time on Gesink. But the big winner was Sammy Sanchez. He leapfrogged Basso and Evans and now sits in third overall. If he can pull off a final week like he did in 2007, he's still got a chance. I can't wait for him to launch one of his patented downhill attacks on Friday's stage 19. But Valverde is looking like he'll be tough to beat.

Full results here.

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