Sunday, July 26, 2009
Stage 20: Ultimate Penultimate
Garate (ESP, Rabobank) and Martin (GER, HTC-Columbia) nearing the 1km mark.
First off, let me cheer the widespread use of the word "penultimate" in the telecast. The announcers and even some of the riders used it freely, and they knew what it meant.
That said, as exciting at this stage was (and a big thanks to Chrysler, for making the last hour commercial-free), it didn't change the overall standings of the Tour de France. Andy Schleck couldn't shake Contador, and Frank Schleck couldn't gain on Lance. So, the podium in Paris remained the same.
However, Andy made in interesting, blasting ahead at unpredictable intervals...
Andy, trying to drag Frank up to third place.
Also, the two British announcers couldn't help cheering for one of their own, Bradley Wiggins. With regards to Wiggins, I heard them say: "[he's]riding with sheer courage", "Stay there!","Come on, Bradley!"
Come on, Bradley!
I guess it was nice, that he managed to keep his fourth place position. All in all though, kudos really have to go to Tony Martin and Manuel Garate. Even though Martin was 55 minutes behind the lead, and Garate was 97 minutes behind, they still competed against each other for the stage win.
In the end, Garate had the legs. Martin's young though; he has many tours left ahead of him.
Maybe Rabobank will continue their sponsorship now?
Anyway, now I can watch the finish...in Paris!