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On Parade in Madrid

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The peloton comes home one last time, and will enjoy a relaxing spin for the fans around the Spanish capital. Ostensibly there is nothing at stake, really, although if I were Thor Hushovd I would keep an eye on Vinokourov, lest he gallop away to win the points jersey. Seriously, would you put it past Vino? Neither would I.

What most certainly is interesting is the Podium Cafe Virtual Directeur Sportif competition, coming down to one last dramatic day, with the top three spots rotating every five minutes. NoUniballers obviously enjoys the advantage, and Brooklyn Chewing Gum are a climbers outfit, but I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Chase Group make a run at closing that final gap. As usual, there are four riders who appear on both squads, so the race will come down to:

Chase Group:
Carlos Sastre, Iñigo Cuesta, Egoi Martinez, Michael Barry, Pedro Horrillo

vs.

NoUniballers:
Janez Brajkovic, José Angel Gómez Marchante, Iñigo Landaluze, Haimar Zubeldia, Danilo Napolitano

Now, it's not clear that any of the Chase Group will get a result Sunday, but it is safe to say nobody on the NoUnis will. Napolitano is history, and the other four are pure climbers. So all Shnabors can do is hope Chase Group are equally irrelevant today.

As you know, I'm out west, where these stupid adjusted weekend start times are completely unacceptable, so I am counting on the community here to closely handicap this incredible (if virtual) battle!