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TdF'06: Post-ITT Stock Watch

Not that I've completely transposed the Virtual DS competition for the Tour itself, although my ascendant position would leave me well justified, but more on that in another post. But I've been thinking of a way to assess the state of the Tour de France following today's interesting results. It occurs to me that the riders' stocks went this way and that, and the stock market itself is a good analogy for, you know, taking stock. Not only that, but we can go beyond fuzzy analogies, by using the hard numbers from the VirDS competition. Shall we...?

BTW, the format is, rider name, original point value, a small writeup and a final recommendation.

Robbie McEwen (38): Rode easily today, unlike his chief competitor. If you could still get him for 38, the recommendation would be a strong BUY. At least, for now, we recommend HOLDING.

George Hincapie (25): When you're a GC contender nicknamed "big George," it's safe to assume your pathway to victory is the Indurain route: stomp the ITT and hang on in the mountains. George dropped 2.42 today, good for third place... on his team. SELL SELL SELL!!!

Vlad Karpets (8): 12th place today is probably about what you'd expect. He's a second- or third-tier GC threat who can definitely time trial. Given how many people have lost their way, Karpets meeting expectations smells like victory... and he was ridiculously undervalued at the start. STRONG BUY.

David Zabriskie (8): Didn't win today, and really, what else is there for him to do at the Tour? Answer: win the other ITT in two weeks' time. Assuming his stock dropped, the rec here is DON'T BUY, but if you have him, HOLD for later.

Yaroslav Popovych (13): Finished behind Hincapie today. His prospects in the mountains are slightly less mysterious and more positive than Hincapie's. Slightly. SELL!

Levi Leipheimer (25): The top finisher from last year among those still remaining, which carries certain expectations... none of which will now be met. Here's an idea: Levi can climb, right? Well, why not make a play for the maillot pois? I mean, who had a better Tour last year, Rasmussen (7th, KOM champ) or Mancebo (4th, nearly anonymous, at least until he became notorious)? Purists might say the latter, but I bet a sponsor wouldn't. Levi could also restore some honor to the jersey itself, which would be nice to see. Anyway, if you're holding this stock, don't bother to sell, it's too late. HOLD for some stage win attempts.

Serhiy Honchar (3): If you bought at 3, you just hit the jackpot. SELL SELL SELL!!! This stock has peaked, and how.

Floyd Landis (20): The odds-on favorite to win the Tour now, although absolutely nothing is sealed. There are plenty of climbers in striking distance, and Floyd didn't pad his numbers too much today. But he held up his end of things, even with the race referees hassling him about two hours after they should have. STRONG BUY!

Carlos Sastre (20): He was overpriced to begin with, but not anymore. Sitting at 2:27 back on GC, Sastre benefited from the bizarre events that have left him Team CSC's protected rider. Since he can actually climb, he may be around for a while. Should he have been priced the same as Landis? Nope. Should he now? Hm... BUY.

Cadel Evans (18): Speaking of guys who can actually climb... he was supposed to just hold on today, not climb over the stagnant frames of his time trialing GC rivals. Sitting pretty at 8th overall, and a threat to fly away from Landis in the hills. BUY BUY BUY!!!

Tom Boonen (43): A nonperforming stock and if you figured it out in time you should've SOLD... but in a real market it'd be too late. Carried himself with dignity today, but he also burned more matches than McEwen, which will probably show up tomorrow in the last 300 meters. HOLD, it's bound to rise eventually.

Christophe Moreau (13): Nice enough ride today, and he'll have a few more nice enough rides. Might even take off in search of the KOM points. SELL! He's probably peaked.

Mick Rogers (23): Time trial specialist, having a decent enough first week. Utterly peaked. SELL!

Andreas Kloden (25): Top three of the most intriguing guys left. 8th on a time trial... might be able to match the climbers, if he's the Kloden of 2004. No way of knowing. HOLD... why the hell not?