How about those Aussies? Sure, it’s mid-season in the Land Down Under while the Euros are still shaking the rust off their chains, but going into today’s stage, the GC leader was Australian, along with three of the four (or two of the three, depending on if you count the “prelude”) stage winners. And then today, you get two Aussies on an Aussie team going one-two, while that Australian GC leader (granted, while riding for a French ProTour team, and making excellent use of his teammates) held off an challenge from last years’ winner on the toughest stage of the race. Now I know riders tend to pull performances out of nowhere racing on their home turf, but that’s pretty impressive considering the pedigree of racer at JCTDU. I’m hoping next month’s Tour of California turns out so well for Americans. Maybe it might actually cheer this grump up.
If you really enjoyed yesterday’s TDU stage, you can find a sweet insider (back of the team car) report here. A good quote: “Matt Hayman will win this.” Actually, pretty much all of today’s other news comes from yesterday, like this sweet picture. That Barredo is a pretty cool customer. This news burst covers pretty much all the other relevant stories of the moment, such as the resurrection of the Peace Race, and Armstrong’s endorsement that Jan Ullrich will win next year’s tour at a stroll. I dunno, maybe Lance has been so far ahead since 2003 that he hasn’t been able to see the race unfolding behind him, but it hasn’t been Tex and Jan head and shoulders above the rest of the field in quite some time. Of course, the way Bob Roll has consistantly tipped Ivan Quaranta for victory over the past few years, I shouldn’t expect retired pros to be any better at predicting the future than Ms. Cleo.