Saturday, July 03, 2010
A week ago Lance Armstrong twittered that this is his last TDF: he has four kids and five on the way, so he needs to spend time with them, he said.
We've heard that before. But even if you believe him, that will make this one of the most memorable TDF's in history.
It's the 97th time that this race will be offered across France, and it's a long way from what it was back in the day when there was no huge caravan of support vehicles in the back of the riders, and no big caravan in front full of marketing goodies. For fans, nothing matches the Tour in terms of spectacle, with a full hour worth of pre-peleton trucks and other vehicles dressed in bright colors, honking their horns and throwing goodies out to the crowds.
Today's spectacle of a Tour is glorious and fun, there is no doubt about it, and characters like Armstrong and Contador who played up an internecine battle last year made it something fascinating to watch. This year will be no different, especially with the two on separate teams.
Today's time trial features two small climbs and a number of wide avenues. Currently at 1:05 pm New york time, Tony Martin of HTC-Columbia is the first place finisher with David Millar of Britan behind him by 10 seconds.
So if he's feeling good today, and if his team, Astana is up to defending the Yellow Jersey from the inception of the tour, it's possible Contador could take the win. But strategically it could be a mistake for him to do so, since the team may feel it's necessary to protect the Yellow for the next 20 days.
Andy Schleck who was second overall in the 2009 Tour could also do well in this stage. Tyler Farrar who was one of the favorites for this stage is currently in fifth position.
We haven't said anything about Armstrong yet: it's hard to say where he will place in this prologue, but for strategic reasons, he'll want to be in the top 10 so he can establish a close enough time to the general classication points as they begin.