What a great day! That was the Alps at their best.
Today was the kind of stage that Phil and Paul talk about making a "selection" in the race. It's where you cannot hide. Where you get to see who really has it and whose just been riding wheels until now. Contador was fantastic. Lance was amazing. Bradley Wiggins is on fire and even the Schleck brothers were impressive.
CVV held his own for a while there. He actually seems to be riding better now that he's working for Wiggins and I'm not surprised. I've always felt that CVV had incredible skill but that, like a George Hincape or a Jens Voigt, he was always more comfortable in the supporting role and just didn't have the killer insticnt necessary to lead a team. It's not to say that he's less, it's just a different strength.
I saw things heating up in the comment section re the boy wonder, Contador. I have to say that the kid impresses me. Like many others I had hoped to see Lance come back and light up the road but Contador has worked incredibly hard to get where he is today - harder than Lance has for the past three years - and he deserves everything he's getting right now. He's a better rider than Armstrong in 2009 and his "arrogance" or "cockiness" or whatever you want to call it is the same thing that we love when we see it in Lance or Cavo or any of the other stars. He's the best bike rider in the world today, period and good for him.
Poor Jens. I didn't see the crash as my satellite conked out for a bit during the stage. Sounds like he's alive but maybe not doing great? I haven't checked for an update yet.
And I, like many others, sat at my computer and cried this morning as I read the post over at Fat Cyclist. Don't you think there should be a universal rule about horrible things happening to wonderful people? Matt, you have done so much good by being so involved with Fatty's cause, you should be so proud.