Cadel can still do it
He's not ideally placed, but is still in with a fighting chance, and the aboc dinner was great!
Firstly, I'd like like to thank everyone that came to the aboc dinner earlier this week, we had a record attendance (29 in total) to hear a fantastic talk from Stu 'V-Train' Vaughan, as he showed us his 'Cycling Journey' from 125kg couch potato to world masters pursuit champion in 4 years, by way of marathon running, cross-country ski-ing and triathalon, before Stu finally settled on bike racing as his sport. In particular, I'd like to thank Bev who did a heap of the organising for the dinner which made my job a lot easier, and Dino for taking some photos for me.
I've had a lot of positive feedback for the dinner and Stu's talk, so thankyou V-Train for taking the time to tell us your tale. It'll be a hard one to follow.
And to le Tour. Wow .. CSC did what everyone expected, ah-la Lance Armstong in the past, but with a two-pronged attack in the end, with Carlos Sastre launching up l'Alp de'Huez at the very start of it, and gaining a lot of time on Cadel (and everyone else). Cadel bogged down in a flurry of false attacks and stutters driven mainly by Valverde (being paid by CSC?) and Andy Schleck which conspired to keep the chase group's pace low (attack and recover is always slower than a tempo effort up a climb). Sastre remarked afterwards that he knew it's faster to climb at his own pace than it is to attack and surge etc, it was unfortunate to see Evans get caught up in that, maybe he'd have been better just riding his own tempo up the climb and if he towed the rest up and they attacked him at the end, it wouldn't have mattered, he needed to limit his losses to Sastre more than he needed a stage win. The fact that Menchov managed to get back into the bunch just by riding tempo shows that it's sometimes better to get dropped by a surge and just ride your own pace than it is to go over threshold. Ullrich used to do that, he'd get dropped by surges, but would catch back because the surging riders would, once they settled, drop to a lower speed than Ullrich's tempo.
The final time trial on Saturday night will be a nailbiter.