OK, enough of the negative press stuff, back to the road where all is well...
FdJeux teammates Sebastian Joly and Philippe Gilbert took off from the peloton today at 44km and after joining Cedric Vasseur, then later dropping Vasseur and a tiring Joly, Gilbert soloed home to a six-minute victory over the main field. Gilbert, all 23 years of him, now owns the yellow jersey and a measure of pride after illness robbed him of his Het Volk-winning form this spring. Yet another victory for the U-27 Project, which later on will be focusing on winning the Tour, sorting out Israel and Palestine, and choosing a design for the new World Trade Center.
Links and thoughts on the flip:
- A few quick race reports: CN and VN do the big-media honors. Among the Blogs, it's TdFBlog covering all things Tour-related, as well as Cosmo piling on.
- The official Dolphin Crit site has been doing its own coverage, being sponsored by a media outlet and all, and post their summary of Gilbert's quiet ride.
- Tomorrow's ITT, all 43 km of it, features a challenging profile with few long flats and an elevation gain of a couple hundred meters. My outside hunch says this is a cupcake for Landis, but with the cream of the ITT peloton on hand and the uncertainty as to who's actually trying to win, the outcome is impossible to call. My hope is that GC riders will pick their spots to go hard, and the time triallers will be all in for Wednesday.
- I've made this plea before (Paris-Nice), but this race is an excellent place for French teams to be going all out. Gilbert and Joly showed up for FdJeux today, so maybe others have figured this out too. But for those teams who aren't really racing for the Tour overall, yet still want to show something to the home crowd, now is a great time to do so. Seriously, the overall at the Dauphine is only marginally contested; for the heads of state, this is practice. For god's sake, Euskaltel has a two-year winning streak here!