We're approaching the mid-point of our final grand tour of the year, and it's always fun to find different ways to summarize what's going on. Today I haul out the old interactive post. Sure, everyone's getting a little worn down by the season (meself included), and sure, this feature isn't any more interactive than the letters to the editor section of the NY Times. But it's a grand tour, and anyway I need your help. Come up with a Simpsons line that best describes the Vuelta experience of the top ten riders. I'll get it started.
Stijn Devolder: "I made a fortune in software... and lost it at the track. Och!"
"Oh, everything looks bad if you remember it."
Groundskeeper Willie sums up Stijn Devolder's last two days, where he ascended to the greatest heights, about a millisecond before plumbing the sport's emotional depths. A number of us here spent April criticizing Devolder for his blistering attacks with 75km left in this classic or that -- justly, once he blew up with 15km to go. Now it seems as though he's adapted that strategy to a grand tour format. Nice going.
Oscar Pereiro: "Oh, why do the good ones always die so young!?"
OK, he's not exactly the Mr. Burns of the peloton, but the enigmatic Pereiro exceeded even the lowest expectations by dropping out today, and looking pretty free of regrets. He may yet be crowned the 2006 Tour de France champion in the next couple weeks, but with little on his resume either before or since that race which befits such a title.
Denis Menchov: " "
Vladimir Efimkin: " "
Cadel Evans: Australian with Spoon: "You call that a knife?" [the man pulls out a spoon]
Australian with Spoon: "THIS is a knife!"
Bart: [confused] That's not a knife, that's a spoon.
Australian with Spoon: Alright, alright you win. I see you've played knifey-spoony before."
Carlos Sastre: "I'm normally not a praying man, but if you're up there, please save me Superman."
Ezequiel Mosquera: ""
Samuel Sánchez: ""
Vladimir Karpets: "Ay me estomago"
Maxime Monfort: "These unfortunate people here will be instantly killed. This circle, which I am sad to say we are in, will experience a slower, considerably more painful death."
I know you know what to do here. Submit entries in the comments and I'll move them up into the body of the post. Have at it!