I'm up, it's almost as lovely in Lausanne as it is in Seattle, and I don't have to race before 10:30 today. What better to do than stare at the internet?
- Hoste first, Julich second... Hoste? Maybe he was in a hurry to start his vacation.
- Moos starts, lying 9th at 1:11, the Phonak standard-bearer. Brian Smith answered my question about Phonak under pressure here. Apparently Phonak have cornered the Swiss market on hearing aides already. Also, they report having gotten drunk playing Cosmo's drinking game, which they found here.
Continued on the flip:
- Kashechkin starts, lying 7th. Business end of the race is getting started. Francisco Mancebo wobbles on his bike ... from the front it's like watching a Komodo dragon run.
- For the record, Anthony and Brian gave Podium Cafe credit for the drinking game, since they found it here, but I immediately emailed them back asking them to redirect full credit to Cosmo. I swear, Cosmo!
- The course is a real beaut... cobbles, big grades, very few straightaways... and even the straightaways get redirected to give them a little wiggle. Doesn't hurt to have Lake Geneva, or Lausanne or whatever it is in the background. Brian's favorite for the overall, Jorg Jaksche, takes off.
- Cadel Evans takes off, to the sound of Anthony running down his recent time trial failures. Worth noting that it's a climber's ITT... but the two guys ahead of him are also climbers. Calling this a two-man race is about right. Speaking of the two men, Valverde is down the ramp. He's 1km into his ride before the guys get done listing his wins.
- Anthony is having the microphone ride of his life, info just pouring out today; Brian too. Apparently in recent ITTs Valverde has taken about one second per km out of Contador. Nothing but one of those yellow-jersey inspirations will save him, it seems. This much can be said: The U27 Project is looking good for the podium today.
- Horner is lagging at 0:42, not on a good day. You wonder how much people try on a day like today, if they don't have a shot at the stage win. Day off tomorrow, and the Giro looming for many. Part of the reason GC guys tend to contest the final ITTs is because they're the only ones with real motivation. And you can't suffer w/o a good reason to do so.
- Oscar Sevilla to the line. C.TV pointed out how he's no longer baby-faced. A year or two at T-Mobile will do that to you. Hoste, Julich, Honchar, Moreau, and Jurgen VanDenBroucke still top the leaderboard. Contador flying so far!
- Jaksche cranks out his 54x11, which normal people reserve for sprinting... downhill. No time split yet.
- Horner finishes, yields a spot on GC to Dario Cioni. Hoste came in at 26:48, so we won't be waiting long for the action. That said, we could use those splits, goddamit! And yes, I haven't had coffee yet. Moos comes in a bit tardy, Cioni has moved up two spots so far today (7th-ish??).
- Valverde does a 180 roundabout, then pours it on. Meanwhile Cadel Evans looks like he's out for a training spin. Kashechkin just misses Julich's time, gets third and puts the pressure on the leaders!
- Evans' split is second overall!! Very interesting... And the splits are at 19 minutes, just 6-7 minutes short of the line.
- Valverde is 39 seconds behind Cadel Evans!! Huge dvelopments, Cadel Evans is having an amazing day...
- Contador has lost 25 seconds at the split, and Evans was 24 seconds back!!! What a nailbiter, stay tuned...
- Jaksche comes in at 27:08, top five so far but suddenly the real race is behind him. Evans comes to the line... He'll destroy the top time here... 26:19!! 22 seconds better than Hoste!
- Contador has 2km left, not looking great... Evans has just shocked the race... Contador needs to come in 26:43 or better.
- Final climb now, nobody's watching Valverde, he's cooked. Contador shifts, hammers, flying here. 1km to go!
- Valverde comes in at 27:21, cooked...
- Contador is the last one left, he's climbing steadily in aero position, needs to beat 26:43.86, to be precise. into the final approach... and the time has passed with 200 meters to go, and he's lost! It's a battle for second and he's got it, 27:10.04, comfortably ahead of Valverde.
- Evans upstages the entire U27 Project! What a ride, what a day. I guess when we saw him moseying along he wasn't slow, just very smooth and comfortable. Evans hasn't shown form like this in the ITTs before, but he's obviously been working on his form, and Davitamon have a real threat for a high placing in July.
Well, that's it for today. Another win here for Davitamon, their third stage win and now the overall too. Alan Peiper is talking to Cycling TV right now acknowledging how much Boonen ruined their April, but he's cautiously optimistic now. Evans had been having vertebrae issues but they've been sorted out. Davitamon will no doubt have a chiropractor on staff in July. Nice to see their turnaround continuing, they're a classier outfit than you'd have known if you just watched the Classics.
Update [2006-4-30 12:4:6 by chris]: According to the Outdated Life Network, the Tour de Georgia is about to get underway in less than five hours!!