Saturday, September 12, 2009

Not Bad For a Cricket

Did anyone else hear that strange noise around 10:30 am this morning? It seems the Cricket let out a sonic whoot today upon realizing that he'd pulled off the win in one of the toughest stages of this year's Vuelta. That's what years of pent up quietude sounds like when it finally gets released, apparently. 320 points for Team FGBC's youth movement. It's his second stage win of the race and the 5th time that the sweetest jersey in the world found itself upon the top podium step. By comparison, RRR's only win was yesterday with Gilles. There may have been some hollerin' overheard down in Durham too, as Chris O took second on today's stage. He picked up 250 points. That's the first podium appearance for the Bull City Cycling squad, I believe. And over in Lethbridge, Paddy celebrated his 230 point third place finish by simply uttering "Dude." Brad the Impaler did not get shutout today. He got 5 points. It was Cousin Adam who laid the goose egg.

As for the overall race, Halberto managed to extend his lead a little bit. It's up to 125 points now. The rest of the podium, however, has been given a new look. Olli and Paul are gone. Rachel has climbed back on. She sits in second place. And Chris A has found his way up there as well. He's just 10 points back of Rachel. Paul and Olli haven't gone far though. They sit just 20 and 30 points off the podium. Chris O, looking strong as of late, is the best of the rest.

In the real race, David Moncoutie soloed his way to a stage win out of the day's big breakaway. Zeke Mosquera jumped off the front and picked up a few seconds on the main contenders. Valverde took took third, just ahead of Gesink and Basso. The big loser today was Cadel Evans. He flatted on his way up the final climb and lost a bunch of time while waiting for a new bike. Instead of bouncing back strong when faced with adversity, he crumbled. He conceded still more time and all but dropped out of contention. Cadel, buddy. HTFU, you little baby. You're making Dallas look bad for giving you a second chance.

Also significant for the overall race is the spate of abandonments. 10 guys quit yesterday. And another 10 packed up and went home today. All told, there have been 38 abandonments so far. A lot of the big sprinters are gone by now (Farrar, Davis, Boonen, Freire, Chavanel, Shroder). But there are still a few fast finishers kicking around. The way things are shaping up, it might very well be that a few sprint victories during the final week is the difference maker in the overall race. Among the top teams, Rachel still has both her sprinters (Greipel and Bozic), while Paul has lost both of his. And everyone else is working with just one.

Full results here.


co2cycle said...

it's about time my guys stepped up. especially since horner's went home early. and is anyone else following Maaskant's quest for the lantern rouge? any points for that in the final GC?

The Dark Lord said...

With all the abandonments, the race for the lanterne rouge is actually kind of interesting. The gruppetto keeps getting smaller and smaller.