A day for Garmin, cleavage, and intra-peloton homoeroticism
I cannot resist talking about yesterday's winners of stages in both the Giro and the Tour of Cali. By now, everyone interested knows that they were both Garmin riders, and both Americans: Tyler Farrar and Dave Zabriskie. Whereas Farrar's convincing finish has proven who the sprinting strongman is in this year's Giro, the real accomplishment of the day was from his lead out man, Julian Dean who navigated the dicey corners and narrow streets in expert fashion.
Between Vino and Cadel contesting some of the recent sprint finishes alongside the more conventional fast men, and now Farrar considering remaining in the Giro for its duration to try to keep the red points jersey, this year's installment of Italy's grand tour is proving to be a return to some truly classic road racing.
And here in the states, I could not help but cheer on DZ in winning the stage from San Francisco into Santa Cruz. Luckily, I watched the end of this stage online....because word is that Versus cut away from coverage with 1.5 km left to go. Nice. Despite almost blowing it at the line with what first appeared to be a premature fist pump and ended up as some weird outstretched tiger claw gesture, The Nuts-man edged out Mick Rogers by the slimmest of margins proving that the time trial champion also knows how to win a stage the old fashion way which I don't think he's done since stage 11 of the 2004 Vuelta a Espana.
How did Garmin director Vaughters respond on Twitter?
What surprised me most regarding the stage was how Andy Schleck faded badly on the Bonny Doon climb, not only being dropped by the Leipheimer/Rogers/Zabriskie attack, but also by the Armstrong/Hesjedal chase group. Some suspected that Schleck would be the one to most hotly contest the climb leading into Santa Cruz and be the individual to give Levi the hardest competition. I decided to nose about the internet a bit to try to ascertain if anything happened that may have affected the Saxo Bank climber's performance....and what I found was a photo taken moments before the start of the stage that is quite revealing in more ways than one.
This photo requires some closer inspection....Note how Schleck and teammate Jacob Fugslang are notably distracted by a fan in the moments before the start of the stage whilst Zabriskie is seen maintaing focus and riding right on by.....could this have made the difference? Hmmmmmmm
At the end of the stage, DZ sat exhausted on the winner's podium for his post-race interview, while Mark Cavendish chose that very moment to strike a school-girl pose and bat his lashes at Thomas Rabou who inexplicably began to suddenly shit his chamois.
I don't know how this race could get any more entertaining - but I cannot wait to find out.