Saturday, July 22, 2006

Today's Tour Brief
Congratulations to Floyd Landis whose excellent time trial puts him in position to win this year's Tour. He finished one minute, ten seconds behind Serhiy Honchar (Ukraine riding for T-Mobile) while the other of the top three who were in touch of the lead don't seem to be able to beat Landis's time. Given that the final day is considered a victory lap into and in Paris, Landis should be on the podium in yellow at the end. It was a stirring Tour with great and dramatic stages. There were startling individual efforts and, unfortunately, no superb team riding as when the USPS team lead Lance as the "Blue Train." But perhaps next year the tema time trial will return.
One thing is now clear: Honchar is a time trial stud hoss. He took both TTs this year, though Landis did have to swap bikes in the first and then only finished a minute behind. I think Honchar will be an interesting rider to watch in the future. I also hope Levi Leipheimer (USA riding for Gerolsteiner) has a Tour win in him in the next couple of years. But I wouldn't put hard money on it.
This has been a hell of a year for Landis. He won the Amgen Tour of California, the Paris-Nice race and the Ford Tour de Georgia. May he have a full recovery from his hip replacmeent surgery and return to the podium in races to come.
I am remiss in not putting up a link to Landis's home page.

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