Well, this marks the last day in the mountains for the 2012 Tour de France…I think I can finally see the lights of Paris over the horizon. I’m telling you, getting to these above the tree line stratosphere finish towns has gotten a lot harder since everybody has Google maps because everyone knows where every small side street is to park their cars so there’s never any way to get in or out easy-breezy anymore.
So it looks like Movistar finally did something in the Tour. It’s been a rough ride for all those Spanish guys, but especially Movistar because that’s a big budget team and to come out of the Tour with zilch can be a painful process. I mean you could say it was expected that on this last day someone from Spain would do something and I think every Spaniard in the race was out there working today to help make it happen. The Spanish teams will definitely cooperate knowing that the home audience will tune in allowing them all to benefit. The Spanish were desperate and sometimes that sense of desperation is what you need to overwhelm the fatigue your feeling after three weeks of racing.
I think Froome did the right thing again today by staying with Wiggins. Even if he had gone off on his own, Valverde would’ve smoked him in a sprint, so staying with his captain was good for team morale and the last thing you want after having such a good race is to come off looking selfish.
I was happy to see the old man Chris Horner come in so well in 9th. How crazy is that, here’s a guy who wasn’t even supposed to be in the race and he comes out of the mountains as the top guy in the team. Wow, the RadioShack team is in such disarray now it will be interesting to see what the future brings.
However, as for Frank Schleck, I mean dude, really?! I am stunned at how disingenuous he is being...poisoned!? Really?! How can he say he was poisoned if his B sample comes back positive? Frank, c’mon, you’re either poisoned or not. Somebody even went so far as to say maybe he was sprayed by somebody. That’s insane…you can’t be detected as having taking an oral diuretic by someone spraying it on you! I’m guessing he just figured he needed to lose some extra weight to be even lighter than a feather for the climbs, but really, how much more weight would a guy like Frank Schleck have to lose? I bet his shadow weighs more that he does! Look, no matter where it came from, a Pro rider today has to be responsible for everything that goes in their body. I don’t think it was there as a masking agent. To me the whole incident is more benign than it is nefarious. It was a random test and I’d guess that he was probably using the stuff to lose weight before the Tour and the test just picked up some trace elements.
As for stage 18, everyone figures it will be a sprint stage. I think Orica-GreenEdge will either get a guy in the break of work to bring it back. Saturday is all about Wiggo. With Fabian and Tony Martin gone, anyone would be foolhardy to put their money on anyone else.