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KOM: Who Sees Spots In Front Of Their Eyes?

Le-tour_mediumI had a boring preamble here which I erased. Basically what Chris said below for the Yellow Jersey pertains: we have a long way to go in this competition and the first week merely laid out who's competing for this jersey. Probably. But at least the first week shows us who is interested in winning the thing and that's more then we knew in Monaco. What follows is not a list of cyclists who have KOM points from first to last but my take on who is likely to really compete for the prize by the time we get to Mt Ventoux.

1. (3) Egoi Martinez, Euskaltel 78 points ↑

Then: "Might he have a go here? Possible. You have to think he'll try for at least one mountain stage win and no one will think he's going for the overall. But it might depend on if his teammate Mikel Astarloza, Mr. Pointy Hair, is wanting help for his GC placing."

Now: Giving every appearance of seriously wanting to wear the spots in Paris. He and his team put in a serious three day effort in the Pyrenees to claim the jersey. As for Astarloza, the team seems to be taking the sensible position that while they would like him in the top 10 or 15 they aren't gonna put their whole team behind the effort, allowing Egoi here to keep pushing for the KOM prize.

Can he do it? Good chance. He's not the best climber here but he's perhaps the most tenacious. Plus he smartly started his push in the easier Pyrenees-well before the GC guys muck things up. He just needs to keep with the game plan: gets some points whenever possible. Stage 13, the other radio-free day to Colmar with it's assorted small climbs is a stage he should target as well as stage 15 to Verbier. Both should be up his alley.

2. (-) Franco Pellizotti 55 points ↑

Then: Crickets! No love for Save Ferris!

Pop quiz! In the police station scene with Charlie Sheen, which hand did Jennifer Grey ball up into a fist?

Now: Nailed stage 9 pretty easily shooting him up to 3rd place in the KOM standings.

Can he do it? If he wants it, yes. But there are two questions with Jennifer Grey: a) The first is, as I just wrote, does he want it? Maybe he just wanted to ride hard over Tourmalet as opposed to slogging along in the pack. But his losing so much time in the previous day suggests that he might try to snag this prize. b) The second question revolves around how much he might be called on to help Nibali and Kreuziger move up the GC standings. I am thinking that he has enough standing on his team that he won't be a slave to domestique duties.

So if he's serious that sets up an interesting contrast between him and Martinez. Jen Grey is definitely the better climber thus more likely able to nab big chunks of KOM points in a single day while Martinez needs to constantly nibble around the fringes and try to shadow Pellizotti whenever possible.

3. (2) Pierrick Fedrigo, BBOX 49 points ↓

Then: Expect to see the Dauphine KOM winner reveal himself in the Pyrenees, maybe not on stage 7 but on stage 8 or 9.

Now: Stage 9: check. Looks like he's got the lead on Moncoutie again.

Can he do it? Certainly. Why not? Oh yeah: the two guys above him. I wonder if in his pre-race calculations he didn't take into account Egoi and focused too much on Moncoutie. Still he's gonna make a strong push.

4. (-) Christophe Kern, Cofidis 59 points ↑

Then: Chirp chirp.

Now: Stage 7 was nice. He scored some points on stage 8 too to make his candidacy viable.

Can he do it? In his favor: he was 2nd to Moncoutie last year in the KOM competition at the Vuelta so he's not a babe here. Going against him: In that Vuelta he scored well on the easier climbs in the Pyrenees but was waaaaaay back on the Angliru and Invierno meaning that he won't be around in the tougher climbs in the Alps. So he pretty much must make his play this week in Colmar and Verbier. Then there's his new teammate (see below).

5. (1) David Moncoutie, Cofidis 31 points ↓

Then: "...and we saw him rounding into form by winning that difficult stage 7 of the Dauphine Libere."

Now: Just like in the Dauphine, he's started slow leaving him in a cadel-sized hole.

Can he do it? Possibly. He needs a strong push now. Plus he's got his teammate Kern ahead of him in the standings. Controversy! Why talk about Astana and Bert and Lance when you have Cofidis and David and Christophe? Ha. One thing in his favor is that Moncoutie can drive home a win in the Alps.

6. (-) Brice Feillu, Agritubel 49 points ↑

Then: Isn't he a sprinter?

Now: Tied for 3rd due to his stage 7 win.

Can he do it? Doubtful. But he's showing that he's not a one stage wonder what with his 17th place on stage 8 and 15th on stage 9. The kid's on form so give him some credit.

7. The Others:

Christophe Riblon, Thomas Voeckler, Tony Martin, Sandy Casar, Mikel Astarloza, Garate, etc. All of these guys: too early to tell.