Monday, February 16, 2009

Tour of California 2009 Stage 2: The Young And The Restless

Still waiting to hear on Andy Jacques-Maynes, hoping it's nothing serious. [Thankfully not serious, according to this.]

The pictures weren't always pretty, but we had pictures! It kind of kills one's day, but it sure is fun to watch a race from absolute start to finish. To see all the fits and starts and then the break of the day get away. To go through all of the ups and downs, in terrain and weather and speed and excitement. Good stuff.

Steve Cozza said his legs were good on the Garmin-Slipstream website this morning, and he made good on his declaration by being one of the first to break away. Soon joined of course by Tom Peterson, he of the missed Prologue start due to a flat. All that was behind him today, though, as he held on to Levi Leipheimer when no one else could and got the stage win for his efforts.

Perfectly legitimate win, good for him and for Garmin. Peterson was in the original break, slogging away all day while Leipheimer was safely tucked in the peloton. Considering how everyone else fell away, it looked like Peterson would have won it even if Levi hadn't come along. Jonathan Vaughters called it himself hours before the finish, on a Twitter he's likely to print out and frame. And when Levi went, nothing else Peterson could do but sit on. Tom Danielson and Dave Zabriskie are right up there in the standings, Peterson couldn't pull Levi away from them. And on the line, two things - if you want the win, you have to go for it, and, Peterson took a few seconds in time bonuses away from Levi, again helping out Danielson and Zabriskie. Hey, it's not like this race hasn't come down to seconds before.

That's why I was surprised Levi seemed to let up well before the line, I would have thought he would crank it all the way in. In the end, he only gained 20 seconds on his remaining rivals. Worth the attack, that could be the margin of victory in the end, but still, he could have had a few more. We've seen Levi do so many of these mad man attacks, to very mixed results, I'm happy it worked out for him today. It's a source of humor to some, but if this is the slice of the cycling world he wants for himself, why not? Aside from that questionable ruling the first time around, he's earned his place here. He wants it more than anyone and is willing to go out and get it. So I smiled as he kissed his jersey so emotionally, and gave another fiery-eyed interview to Bobke after a well-fought stage. I believe him when he said he went for it to stay warm, I thought all those guys were crazy for stripping down so much, even if it was close to the end!

Lord only knows who'll get most courageous rider today. [Okay, finally one that makes sense - Ben Jacques-Maynes. I don't know if it was for helping design the course, but riding on after your twin brother passes you in an ambulance works for me.]

Production assistant tip of the day: he's taking a leak, Phil and Paul, not forming an echelon.

No comments: