The decisive stage today; let's look at the outstanding questions: 1) Frantisek Rabon? Yeah it's early in the season but which part of his anatomy did he pull that TT from? And yeah, he's the TT champ of the Czech republic. But look at some of his other placings in the chrono events last year and you'll notice that what he did yesterday was.. surprising. Look again at that CQ list of his accomplishments last year and you'll also see that he's no great shakes on any mountain stage either.
But here he is, seemingly out of place even at this B race with a 19 second lead over his teammate Bert Grabsch who, while having a more storied career than Rabon, is not by any means a mountain goat. Yet here they are, mere seconds ahead of Dennis Menchov (25 seconds for Rabon, 6 seconds for Grabsch), staring down this:
That last of two cat one mountains crests just 22 km before the finish line. It's gonna take all the power that Columbia can muster to defend the leaders jersey today. Remember we've already seen Levi Leipheimer do more with less of a hill.
And it's not just Menchov that they have to watch for. Tom Danielson is only 49 seconds back. Stefano Garzelli, just 59 seconds back. Mikel Astarloza, 1:08 back. Those are just some of the bigger named goats and it remains to be seen if Dockx, Henderson, Siutsou, Lewis, and Possoni can provide adequate support in this Queen stage.
Cycling fans has the video feed info. They also have the link to the weather which looks promising with winds only 15 mph. If we are real lucky Brian May will be doing astronomical observations atop the last mountain!