Saturday, July 16, 2005
TdF Stage 14: Lead Grows...at What Cost?
LANCE BETTERS T-MOBILE'S ATTACKS. The pace the T-Mobile team set on the lower slopes of Port de Pailheres was blistering. It left the Discovery Channel boys behind and Lance was fending for himself...again. Lance matched Ullrich, Vinokourov, and Kloden for a while. Then he kicked into high gear, shedding Vino and Kloden, and, in the final kilometer, Ullrich. Again, it was only the Italian Basso who stayed with Lance to the Pyrenees peak Ax-3 Domaines.
EXHAUSTED...AND FACING THE TOUGHEST STAGE TOMORROW. Armstrong looked and sounded exhausted after today's game of wits and will played out on the steepest climbs of the tour thus far. The only problem is, the riders are facing the most difficult stage of the Tour de France on Sunday. Stage 15 is the penultimate stage, with four Cat 1 climbs before a beyond category finish. Attrition on Sunday may be severe. Armstrong ended today with a larger lead over all his rivals. But one bad climb, one lapse, one bonk...and the 2-5 minute lead he has over the likes of Basso, Leipheimer, Landis, and Ullrich will evaporate...quickly.