Wednesday, July 18, 2007

More Tour crap

As I was watching the Tour coverage this morning the commentators kept saying that they felt that there were 9 people who were in a position to win the race at this point, and my prediction from yesterday was similar except I said 8, because I was, somewhat ironically, eliminating the person who currently has the race lead. Mostly because I remember Rasmussen’s time trial in 2005 (pretty sure that was when it was) one of the most disastrous performances in the 94 years the race has been around. Hinault (5 time winner back in the 80s) thinks that Rasmussen would have to get a lead of around 10 minutes to have any chance of holding off the others in the time trial, and based on the fact that he couldn’t match Contador, or even Evans on the Galibier I don’t see that happening.

So basically what I’m getting at is the time trials are going to be a big part of determining who wins the race. This morning the commentators broke the top group of 9 into strong time trialists, average time trialists and poor time trialists. The poor group included Rasmussen, Sastre and Mayo. The average group included Contador, Moreau and Valverde. The strong group was Evans, Leipheimer and Kloden. I broadly agree with this assessment, but I thought it might be interesting to look at the prologue results and see what they might reveal, in order of their current standings:

Rasmussen – 166th (out of 189 in the prologue)
Valverde – 32nd
Mayo – 109th
Evans – 17th
Contador – 15th
Moreau – 56th
Sastre – 92nd
Kloden – 2nd
Leipheimer – 26th

As you can see my man Contador was only beaten by one other person (though Evans was really close). So I’m inclined the think he’s going to do fairly well. Now I realize that a prologue TT is not the same as a long TT, but I think the numbers from the prologue are at least as good a predictor as what people did in previous years. Also after running these numbers and seeing how well he did in the Alps, I really like Evans’ chances. And furthermore based on these numbers I’m going to cut some more people from my list of possible winners. I’m cutting Moreau, Mayo and Sastre (they could still end up on the podium, they’re just not going to take it all). Which leaves us with a short list of five people: Valverde, Evans, Contador, Kloden and Leipheimer. Just wait, the winner will be one of those five.

I know I told you I’d be giving out tidbits of information about my new endeavor, and mostly I’ve just talked cycling. But I promise there will be a big long entry tomorrow about how I arrived at this fateful place.

Cycling vicariously


Anonymous Ed said...

I saw the now-famous "Dog Video." It didn't look that bad for the dog, from what I could see -- most of the force seemed to have been taken by the bike collapsing before it hit the dog.

5:05 PM  

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