July 14, 2006
Popovych outsmarts the sprinters
When Johan Bruyneel threw in the towel for Discovery Channel's overall hopes yesterday, he said the team would concentrate on stage wins.
That's exactly what they did today, getting George Hincapie and then Yaroslav Popovych into breaks, and Popovych cracked two top-rank sprinters to take the stage.
Riding along with Lampre's Allesandro Ballan and Rabobank's Oscar Freire, Popovych attacked 4 times, dropping Credit Agricole's Christophe Le Mevel but not the two danger men. Ballan and Freire reeled him in every time, but more slowly after each attack, and when Popovych launched a 5th attack, the two sprinters watched him go.
Popovych moves back up into the top 10 overall.
1) Yaroslav Popovych, Discovery Channel, Ukraine
2) Alessandro Ballan, Lampre, Italy, at :27
3) Oscar Freire, Rabobank, Spain, at :29
4) Christophe Le Mevel, Credit Agricole, France, at :35
5) Tom Boonen, QuickStep, Belgium, at 4:25
6) Robbie McEwen, Davitamon-Lotto, Australia, at 4:25
7) Francisco Ventoso, Saunier Duval, at 4:25
8) Erik Zabel, Milram, Germany, at 4:25
9) Daniele Bennati, Lampre, Italy, at 4:25
10) Thor Hushovd, Credit Agricole, at 4:25
1) Floyd Landis, Phonak, USA,
2) Cyril Dessel, AG2R, France, at :08
3) Denis Menchov, Rabobank, Russia, at 1:01
4) Cadel Evans, Davitamon-Lotto, Australia, at 1:17
5) Carlos Sastre, CSC, Spain, at 1:52
6) Andreas Klöden, T-Mobile, Germany, at 2:29
7) Michael Rogers, T-Mobile, Australia, at 3:22
8) Juan Miguel Mercado, Agritubel, Spain, at 3:33
9) Christophe Moreau, AG2R, France, at 3:44
10) Yaroslav Popovych, Discovery Channel, Ukraine, at 4:15
I'm not sure Popeye "outsmarted" them so much as "beat the crap out of" them. Certainly, when Freire crossed the line, I'd describe him as more "physically demolished" than "intellectually perplexed".
Posted by: Cosmo at Jul 14, 2006 4:13:09 PM
There seems to be a mindset that says, "OK, now Floyd and Phonak will do what those other guys did last year (and the year before, etc.)."
I wish no ill will on Floyd - the guy deserves nothing but yellow - AND I hope that someone or some team challenges to see if Floyd and team can hold up.
Can they support him through the mountain stages or will he be on his own (and can be do that day after day against all comers).
And then what if the post-mountain stages are a free-for-all.
I hope someone tries to seriously disrupt this "status quo."
Posted by: Rex at Jul 14, 2006 7:54:52 PM
Cosmo, Amen to that, but I was thinking about Freire and Ballan, riding side by side, talking about what to do next, while they were letting a strong guy get up the road with 2.5 kilometers to the line.
Dumb, dumb, dumb.
It may be that Freire was totally toasted, but Ballan, at least, had something left for the sprint. For 2nd.
Posted by: Frank at Jul 14, 2006 9:10:41 PM
You have to check out this hilarious blog of 2 people who have just started riding cross country. Apparently these two have just met on the internet and only met the day before they began the ride. One quote from the blog was "60 miles, 9 hours and 156 ounces of Gatorade later since we left Manhattan, we arrived at Cold Spring!!...going through town, I perfected my victory pose (both hands off the handlebars above my head in the V shape). It was as if I had just won the Tour de France or something"
This is the real thing.
The two blogs are www.velowander.blogspot.com and www.crosscountrymules.googlepages.com
Posted by: Max at Jul 14, 2006 10:02:45 PM
How's Popovych as a climber? Does he stand a chance to do anything exciting in the Alps - like, maybe pick up a couple more minutes or another stage win?
Posted by: Jarrett at Jul 15, 2006 3:43:04 AM
This is the overall standings, sastre is in 5th
1 Landis, USA, PHO 53:57:30
2 Dessel, FRA, A2R +00:08
3 Mensjov, RUS, RAB +01:01
4 Evans, AUS, DVL +01:17
5 Sastre, ESP, CSC +01:52
6 Klöden, GER, TMO +02:29
7 Rogers, AUS, TMO +03:22
8 Mercado, ESP, AGR +03:33
9 Moreau, FRA, A2R +03:44
10 Popovitsj, UKR, DSC +04:15
Posted by: Morten at Jul 15, 2006 5:03:56 AM
Thanks, Morten, that explains the 9 riders in my Top 10!
Posted by: Frank at Jul 15, 2006 7:21:50 AM