Wednesday, July 19, 2006
STAGE 16: FLOYD GOES SOUTH
CAN LANDIS RECOVER? Bad day at the office for Landis. Will he assess his losses and try to regroup for a comeback? What happens when one cracks on a big mountain stage like that? Can they recover? Can they recover for the next mountain stage? Does it take the heart out of them? I don't know. We'll certainly see on Thursday's Stage 17--the last mountain stage of the Tour de France.
LEIPHEIMER WATCH. Levi Leipheimer again attacked valiantly on the next to the last mountain. His effort succeeded in moving him up one place--from ninth to eighth. But one place today, one place tomorrow, one place the next day... Who knows?
YELLOW IS UP FOR GRABS. Is this a crazy Tour or what? The Yellow Jersey is like a hot potato this year. While it will be less interesting to Americans not having Landis in contention for a Yellow Jersey (10 points for the person who can show me how he can ride himself back into legitimate contention for a podium finish), it is no less dramatic than ever before. We all knew the Tour de France after Armstrong's retirement would be a crap shoot. Landis was making it look too easy. Well, we're looking at a field of no less than 8 contenders who can win this thing. Stay tuned.
CADENCE MATTERS. I noticed that Landis' cadence has been a slow grind all along, similar to that of Ullrich. It is quite different than Armstrong's fast-pedaling cadence for the mountains, where he would effectively leave his rivals in his dust. Chris Carmichael has repeatedly preached the important difference in energy supply and recovery for these two kinds of pedaling. Was this an issue?