Assembly-Line Racing

Astana on the front

I haven’t seen a Tour de France stage as uninteresting as today’s stage to Arcalis since, well, since 2005.  What was special about 2005?  The Bruyneel/Armstrong team.  Different teammates and different color jerseys, but what we got was the same uninteresting racing we endured for the 7 years between 1999 and 2005.

One of the most anticipated stages of the race ended up being one of the most anti-climactic days of racing of the season (or two).  The Astana team simply went to the front of the bunch and burned through their Tour-winner-caliber domestiques who rode in an assembly-line to set such a high pace that no riders (except Cadel Evens, interestingly enough) were willing or able to attack.

That is, until Contador motored off the front to serve up some un-authorized carnage.  The only problem with that was the team didn’t tell him to attack – he just did.  I’m guessing there will be some strong words from Bruyneel and Mr. Armstrong at dinner tonight.


There were no instructions from the car (to attack).  We wanted to try to maintain our collective strength and wait for the attacks to come. Those attacks didn’t come.


It wasn’t really to the plan, I didn’t expect him to go with the plan, so that was no surprise.  It was windy, so it was hard to go alone. Like I said, I wasn’t surprised.

To the rest of the contenders: sleeping, gents?  The last time I checked, there are not a lot of mountains and mountain-top finishes in this race, so where, exactly, are you planning to make up time?  The Flux-Capacitor doesn’t actually exist, so I’m afraid that option is out.

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One Reply to “Assembly-Line Racing”

  1. Zero comments? That’s not right.

    A few years later – interesting to see how things have gone from Armstrong, Bruyneel, and Contador in that time…

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