Wednesday, July 21, 2010
In this Rouleur Derby Report:
1. OMG, Jens
2. Final propositions
3. What's next
1. OMG, JENS
First things first. Most of you have already read it, but you owe it to yourselves to read it again: Jens Voigt talks about another horrific crash ... and how he had to ride down the mountain on a child's bike with toe clips.
What would Jens do? This. The true stuff of legend.
And this great interview:
2. FINAL PROPOSITIONS
Today may be a rest day, but that's only if you're RIDING the Tour de France. We, my friends, are not, so today's a day to pore over VAM estimates, read the tea leaves and ward off bad karma by apologizing to any rivals whose stomachs we may have filled with anger.
Tomorrow is the last big climbing stage, finishing on the famed Tourmalet. We have two propositions for this one. One is to pick the top finisher from 14 favorites. The other is a showdown between Alberto Contador and his BFF Andy Schleck.
Being a rest day, we have another chance to pick the final GC winner. There's quite a bit of clarity this time, but who will it be? Can Schleck gain enough time tomorrow to give him a cushion in the time trial?
Saturday will be our final contested stage, a 52km time trial. Fabian Cancellara is the obvious favorite, but the podium contenders will have significant motivation, too. My army of bookies has created a list of 15 favorites: Who among them will have the best time? (Again, "best time" means "the fastest time," not "the most fun.")
And finally, who will win Sunday's Stage 20, the ceremonial gallop down the Avenue des Champs-Élysées? Book has been made for 10 options, plus "Other."
Thanks to a long-shot pick on Sunday's Stage 14, BrianW has a stout lead in the Tour standings. But there are still 25 propositions to settle by Sunday evening, including the original GC pick, which carries a 50 percent bonus, so he's not out of the woods yet.
3. WHAT'S NEXT
The Tour de France may finish Sunday, but Rouleur Derby rolls on. The national criterium championships are right around the corner, I'll make book on the Tour of Utah, and the Vuelta will get the same attention as the Giro and Tour.
In October we will have the world championships and the final classic, the Giro di Lombardia. At that time will inaugurate the Rouleur Derby Grand Champion. I haven't selected a prize yet, but rest assured there will be a nice prize -- that for legal reasons I won't be giving out.
Have fun, play well, tell a friend,