Stage 15 – Contador goes fast up hills

Statement of the obvious: shit happens fast in a bike race. You can keep up when all you’re doing is watching and shouting at the telly, it’s entirely different when you’re trying to form coherent, publishable sentences for live text commentary.

One minute the big names are all together on the climb to Verbier and I’m trying to figure out who will be first to go. The next Wee Bert Contador looks across at the group, gives it a withering “any fucking danger either of you can get on with your big attack?” look and disappears up the road so fast I could have sworn the others were brake-testing each other.

Wind back a moment to “big names”. There’s Armstrong, both Schlecks and Bradley Wiggins. You and me both. I’ve lost five kilos and I’m not even getting up the stairs any quicker. He’s absolutely on fire.

It’s the only explanation: he is actually on fire and the flames can only be doused once he crosses the line. Who in their right mind forgoes cake and pie for glory?

Oh yeah: Brad attacked and rode away from them at some point on the climb. And when Frank Schleck went up the road on some sort of dumb hero ride to try and save his brother, it was Brad who went with him and Vincenzo “Nibbler” Nibali.

It’s endearing of Frank to cast himself as Jean to Andy’s Louison Bobet, but somehow I doubt he’ll ever write a thesis on Hemmingway or a book as beautiful as “Tomorrow, We Ride”.

Raced last Tuesday for first time in ages, was pretty average, have failed to train since then due to work schedule (not even had a day off), so tomorrow night, barring a headwind on the back straight, I’m tempted to try and tear it up a bit, just for the fun of it.

After all, if there’s one thing stage 15 reminded me it’s that attacking all out is fun.



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