Wednesday, September 10, 2008

TOM Stage 3

When asked last night team physiologist Dr. Lim said, “Pate is ready.” Danny Pate, Steven Cozza, Tom Danielson, David Zabriskie, and Christian Vande Velde were all ready finishing in the top twenty. Of course, Mr. Vande Velde took the stage by 21 seconds over Mick Rogers of Columbia. Cozza’s efforts put him in the best young riders’ jersey with a 3 second lead over Roman Kreuziger of Liquigas.

Jonathan Vaughters mentioned during the press conference that the team tactics would shift to protect Vande Velde’s yellow jersey. Vaughters offered, “Tyler [Farrar] had his shot on the first two stages.” Now the rest of the team will ride to support the yellow jersey.

Columbia will look for additional opportunities in the next couple of stages for wins, but stage four holds its own challenge with approximately 6000 feet of climbing up and down Missouri’s punchy little rollers. Stage 4 has three opportunities for KOM points and Dominique Rollin (Toyota-United) and Frank Pipp ( Health Net) may be out in the hunt for points. Rollin retained the KOM jersey sponsored by Michelob but things may heat up over the next two stages.

Now for those of you looking for the peloton’s reaction to Lance’s return to cycling it can be summed-up as: nonplussed. Lance has some logistical issues to tackle before he can gallop into the peloton again -- getting on a team invited to the Tour de France. Not-withstanding his return will validate the efforts of riders like Vande Velde but only if Lance attains the same form he has shown in his last seven tour wins. The tour has never had two tour winners on the same team in the same tour, and it is unlikely this pattern will be broken. After sitting on his hands during this year’s tour, would Contador carry water bottles for Lance?

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