Vino, the sports most eligible free-agent next season, gets every team manager from here to Giancarlo Ferretti even hornier to have him on the roster for next season with an astounding last lap break ‘n fake, chasing Bradley McGee, feigning exhaustion, and then blasting past the Aussie for the win. Every team manager that is, except Johan Bruyneel, who respects Vino’s abilities, but doesn’t think he can win the Tour de France. Might the revered strategist be eating his words next July? I can hardly wait to see.
All this just days after Lance finally clocked in a stage win, taking the final TT easily, but not overpoweringly. Bobby Julich put in a good ride to take 4th on the stage after three weeks of racing – could a stab at Vuelta from the Coloradan be the next trick up Bjarne Riis’ sleeve? Speaking of Denmark, anyone know how to spell “meltdown” in Danish? R-a-s-m-u-s-s-e-n. The Dansk just seem to have awful luck in final Tour TTs. Who could forget Riis’ temper tantrum/discus throw that sent $6,000 of Pinarello sailing into a French cornfield in 1997?
The Green Jersey battle was kind of a disappointment. Hushovd’s cause was advanced dramatically by the number of people who rumbled home ahead of the field. At any rate, he only needed to place in the top 8 or so to hold his lead, with the intermediate sprints having been either gobbled up by Vino or cancelled by the Tour management. Ah well. I’ll tabulate the final points of the Tour game sometime tomorrow.