Critical Section

TDF stage 17 / climb! / battle royale on the Tourmalet ends in draw; Schleck wins but Contador keeps yellow

Thursday,  07/22/10  10:11 PM

TDF stage 17 profileToday featured the ultimate mountain battle - three amazing climbs culminating in a mountaintop finish on the HC Col du Tourmalet - and Andy Schleck and Alberto Contador fought to a draw, with Schleck winning the stage (by about a wheel) and Contador keeping the yellow jersey.

Andy Schleck attacks, Alberto Contador follows...After the usual break took off - doomed, as everyone knew, because the GC contenders would fight it out on the final climb - the peloton settled in and cruised over the first couple of Cat 1 climbs, descended into the valley, and then the hostilities began.  Schleck's Saxobank team put down the hammer, and ground down the peloton to a small group of elite riders.  At that point Schleck attacked, and only Contador could stay with him.  They rode as hard as two guys can ride all the way up the steep climb, each attacking the other, and neither gave an inch.  In the end Schleck won, but you could see Contador could have sprinted for the line, but choose not to...  he kept his yellow jersey (by 8s), and most observers believe he'll open the gap substantially in Saturday's time trial.  It was great to watch.

... and they tie at the top, with Schleck barely winning the stage, and Contador keeping his yellow jerseyMeanwhile Sammy Sanchez survived a nasty crash early in the day to recover and keep third position, opening his slim lead over Denis Menchov slightly.  Big winners on the day included Chris Horner and Ryder Hesjedal, losers included Levi Leipheimer and team Casse d'Epargne, who lost ground to Radio Shack in the team competition.  (Lance hung tough on that final climb, as did Andreas Kloden, giving the Shack a good top three for the day.)

A cool side note: after the break formed Carlos Sastre attacked, and he stayed out most of the day until he was caught midway up the final climb.  Good for him; it didn't work, but it was great to see him try it.

And so ... tomorrow we have a pure sprint stage, and then it is Saturday's time trial which will decide the winner.  The green jersey also lies in the balance with points available tomorrow and Sunday.  And chapeau to Anthony Charteau who has won the polka dot jersey as King of the Mountains...

[ Tour de France 2010: all postsindex ]

this date in:
About Me

Greatest Hits
Correlation vs. Causality
The Tyranny of Email
Unnatural Selection
On Blame
Try, or Try Not
Books and Wine
Emergent Properties
God and Beauty
Moving Mount Fuji
The Nest
Rock 'n Roll
IQ and Populations
Are You a Bright?
Adding Value
The Joy of Craftsmanship
The Emperor's New Code
Toy Story
The Return of the King
Religion vs IQ
In the Wet
solving bongard problems
visiting Titan
unintelligent design
the nuclear option
estimating in meatspace
second gear
On the Persistence of Bad Design...
Texas chili cookoff
almost famous design and stochastic debugging
may I take your order?
universal healthcare
triple double
New Yorker covers
Death Rider! (da da dum)
how did I get here (Mt.Whitney)?
the Law of Significance
Holiday Inn
Daniel Jacoby's photographs
the first bird
Gödel Escher Bach: Birthday Cantatatata
Father's Day (in pictures)
your cat for my car
Jobsnotes of note
world population map
no joy in Baker
vote smart
exact nonsense
introducing eyesFinder
to space
where are the desktop apps?
still the first bird
electoral fail
progress ratches
2020 explained