July 23, 2004
Vande Velde: I am beat now
Christian Vande Velde gets my vote for the most entertaining race diarist (2nd to Gilberto Simoni's adventures in Itanglish for Bicycling).
He gives a great idea of what it's like to be one of the guys in the peloton, and man he's ready to get out of the Alps.
Lance and the Postal crew hit the race with their usual wrecking ball again and left the field in rubble behind. I looked up at the bottom of the Forclaz, they had nine guys up there! We had two: Igor and me. Roberto went home this morning, as he hasn't really been feeling himself in the mountains.
He also offers a look at one member of US Postal who has seemed nearly invisible: Pavel Padrnos. Looks like Padrnos is doing yeoman's work during the early, pre-television sections of the stage:
U.S. Postal's Pavel Padrnos, or "the Butcher" as Robbie Ventura nicknamed him pulled the entire way up the Madeleine. It was quite impressive. He is a great climber as well as being a machine on the flats. He is probably the strongest guy in the peloton to win the fewest races. He looks intimidating but he's actually a mellow and easygoing guy.
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Honest to god, I don't know where these guys, not to mention the OLN and Paceline.com peeps, find the time and energy to file these written reports every day. My hat's off to them, 'cause they're great to get!
Posted by: lancefan at Jul 23, 2004 8:51:54 PM