What a time trial that was.
Lance Armstrong won with 23″ down to Jan Ullrich. I had hoped Ullrich could win, he's by far the most elegant of those two, but Armstrong really is in a class of his own. As usual there was a jump from 1st and 2nd spot down to the rest of about a minute, then came Vinokurov, Julich (well done!) and Ivan Basso to round out the top 5. Basso held on to his 2nd place, Ullrich managed to gain 3rd spot overall in CG.
I'd really like to see Team CSC win next years tour, I like their team philosophy. Go and see Tómas Gislasons fine movie about the team, it is very good if you're just a little interested in cycling. CSC is my favourite team, and Basso is my favourite rider. (And I never thought I'd stoop to fandom in anything in sports…)
The big looser was Michael Rasmussen who crashed early on in a roundabout getting badly bruised. He quickly got on the bike again but stopped a while later wanting a new rear wheel, but the mechanic running to help him hadn't brought a spare wheel as he should, but helped him take the wheel of, then ran back to the car to get a new wheel but returned for some reason with a spare bike that Rasmussen then mounted and got on his way again. One more crash and a bike change more and Rasmussen crosses the line 11′33″ slower than Armstrong, having been passed by both Ivan Basso and Armstrong who started 3 and 6 minutes later respectively.
It was painful to see the chainreaction of bad things that started with Rasmussens first crash, he was nervous and so was his crew in the car, and they all really fucked up royally. He could probably have held on to 4th spot on a good day, but lost so much time he's now in 7th in CG with no chance of improving on that with only the Champs-Élysées stage left.
After the prologue Rasmussen said
It's not a real bike race. about
time trialing. It's impossible to do well at it with that sort of attitude,
he must change that if he want a place on the podium next year. I would
like to see a real climber there.
Anyway, he really is this years king of the mountains, he can wear his polka dot jersey with pride.
This entry written to the soothing sounds of Saint Etiennes “Tiger Bay” album.