It used to be that only cycling outlets provided racing coverage and the reporters knew what they were talking about. Not anymore. This is an excerpt from a story published in the Washington Post. I can’t believe how screwed up this is. My comments in blue.
Contador shows Armstrong his strength
By Julien Pretot
Reuters Friday, July 10, 2009; 2:03 PM
ARCALIS, Andorra (Reuters) - Alberto Contador stamped his authority on the Tour de France when he left Lance Armstrong trailing in his wake following a bold, morale-sapping attack in the final ascent of the seventh stage Friday.
Contador beat the group of favorites to the line by 21 seconds. Stamped his authority? Really?
Lance was “trailing in his wake” only because he adhered to team cycling principles. You don’t tow rival riders up to your own teammate (even when said teammate attacks you). You make other riders do the work, and if they do close the gap, you counter-attack.
Bold move? A bold move is when you attack two or three climbs from the finish—the stuff that Merckx and Hinault did. Contador attacked TWO KILOMETERS from the finish. Big deal.
Morale-sapping? Hardly. He angered everyone on Astana today.
Spaniard Contador made his move with some two kilometres remaining in the 10.6-km climb to Arcalis and seven-times champion Armstrong could not keep up the pace.
Unknown at this point. Again, Lance rode with team tactics in mind.
"There was no plan but when I saw that (Cadel) Evans, (Andy) Schleck and the rest were not trying anything, I felt there was an opportunity and I took it because I had good legs," Contador told reporters.
Sure, it was a brilliant move in a back-stabbing sort of way. Even if Lance isn’t capable of winning the Tour, Contador took the opportunity of wearing the Yellow Jersey away from him by jumping him in the standings. Yep, that’s teamwork, baby!
France's Brice Feillu snatched a solo victory in the 224-km stage from Barcelona ahead of compatriot Christophe Kern and German Johannes Froehlinger.
Contador is now second in the overall standings, six seconds adrift of Italy's Rinaldo Nocentini, who took the yellow jersey from Swiss Fabian Cancellara after being part of a nine-man breakaway.
Armstrong, who started the day level on time with Cancellara, is third, two seconds behind his Astana team mate and rival.
"There was no real plan, it (the attack) was not really expected but not surprising," Armstrong, back on the saddle after 3-1/2 years in retirement, told reporters.
Translation: “Nothing that little bitch does surprises me.”
"I feel quite good but it was not a steep climb."
However, the Texan would not concede defeat to Contador, whose performance showed he can now demand to be Astana's sole leader.
Totally. A dominant 21-second beatdown on the stage and a two-second overall lead makes it painfully obvious who’s in charge of Astana.
"Like I always said, there is still a long way to go," Armstrong said, although he left the door ajar to Contador, adding: "Like I said all along, I have to think about the team.
Translation: “Sometimes people ride over cliffs. If that were to happen, man, the team would be happy.”
"Overall I feel pretty good, I'm not as knackered as I thought I would be. Things did not quite go according to the plan set earlier today but it was a fine day overall."
Translation: “I’m in WAY better condition than I thought. That little punk-ass attacked me, but I could have stayed with him.”