The first individual time trial. And what a day! Full of personal ups and downs. I was out of town and really busy, so this will be a short one.
Heart ache for Bobby Julrich, the leader of CSC since Basso was suspended – he crashed on a corner and was taken to
hospital with a suspected broken wrist. His Tour is over. I guess CSC will have to rely on Sastre to carry their flag.
Disappointment for most of the “big men”, especially the big Americans, who did badly on the day – Levi Leipheimer way, way, way down, Zabriske not showing his normal TT prowess, Hincapie down about 25th or so.
The two stars of the day where Sergei Gonchar who blistered around the course and won by over a minute, and Floyd Landis who was the best of the rest finishing second on the day and making it look more and more certain that he’s going to be on the podium in Paris.
Landis was told by UCI to change the position of his aero bars just before the start. I’m not sure if that was a factor, but his handle bars broke soon after out on the course and he had to change bikes, losing a good 15-20 seconds. What a machine to have a distraction like that, have to ride in a different position than what you practiced, and still end up second on the day!
T-Mobile is defying everybody who thought that the loss of Ullrich would kill them – they’ve got several people up near the top of the GC now, including Kloden who has finished second overall before. If he’s recovered the form he was showing that year (and hasn’t shown since), he could be back on the podium this year.
Discovery seems to have forgotten how to TT without Lance there, with their 3 top men all 2+ minutes down.
Another sprinters day tomorrow. Boonen worked too hard today, TTing more like a yellow jersey owner than a green jersey hopeful, so I expect Robbie McEwan or Thor Hushovd to win tomorrow.