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Rest Day Open Thread

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Sentiment over at twitter is of the hallelujiah variety, put best (once again) by Tejay Van Garderen. [And the prize for best use of Lebowski on a grand tour rest day goes to...]

After 9 days of racing I think we deserve some Shomer fucking Shabis.

Hey, does anyone ever twitter about how a grand tour is easy? What does it mean when Carlos Sastre says that the "mid-mountain stages make this a hard Vuelta"? Was last year an easy Vuelta? If so, did anyone twitter to this effect? I get that some Vueltas are harder than others. This is about language: "hard" and "easy" are relative terms that should pretty much offset each other 50-50, but in cycling the ratio is more like 90-10.

Denis Menchov is telling the media the Vuelta starts Wednesday, with the stage to Andorra. It's true that the race hasn't begun much in earnest (as far as I could tell from my undisclosed location), and history is full of guys chunking 3.29 to their rivals in week 1 only to come back and storm the competition in the latter stages. The problem for Menchov is that he hasn't much history of coming from so far back. In his three grand tour wins Menchov has positioned himself to strike early, seizing control and holding on. In the 2005 Vuelta, Menchov was the only race leader besides Bradley McGee, once you cross out Roberto Heras (meaning Menchov was thought to be either first or second at the time). In 2007 Menchov was in command from stage 9, which he gifted to Leo Piepoli in exchange for the leader's tunic that he never came close to relinquishing. And in the Centenary Giro, Menchov grabbed the lead in the stage 12 time trial (before which very little occurred) and defended with aplomb. So is he ready to play the comeback kid this week? Not bloody likely, unless a lot of other guys start folding.

Christian VandeVelde twittered rather chirpily about his form today. At 56 minutes down he's not talking about making a move in Spain, but he is thinking about heading to Australia. Team Garmin's "loss" (if you can call having VDV as a domestique a loss) is Team USA's gain.

Got any other rest day hijinks to share?