Thursday, July 22, 2010
Stage 12: Minus 10
JR and AC, with AV (or his legs, anyway) following at plus four.
Bourg-de-Peage-->Mende, 210.5k/131 miles, same distance as Des Moines to Cedar Rapids
This stage was important to the overall leader competition, because Alberto Contador finished strong, gaining a full ten seconds on first-place Andy Schleck (LUX, Saxo Bank). And in the end, I saw something interesting about the finish: Contador working with Joaquim Rodriguez (ESP, Team Katusha). Alberto and Joaquim each took turns breaking the wind, with Alberto giving Joaquim the stage win in return for his efforts.
By overlapping wheels at the end, Alberto and Joaquim got the same time, a full ten seconds before Andy could get there. It's not often you see people from different teams working together, at least near the end of a stage. This was a good example.
Alexander Vinokourov (KAZ, Astana) wasn't too happy at coming in at plus four seconds. He had wanted the stage win for himself; however he also knew that his teammate Alberto needed time over Andy, so I don't think he was too pissed about being passed.