Yeah, not a good day whichever way you spin it. We all want a cleaned up sport but the end result and consequences are unknown. I mean what good does giving the titles away do when so many of those guys behind have questionable pasts themselves. It's just moving the buck, are they going to face the same thing too? There's the obvious contentious issue that LA passed so many tests and the evidence is witnesses, who now that LA has dropped his appeal won't be heard, although there is a possibility the inofrmation will come out anyway. There's the UCI who have tried to protect LA when they are in charge of the sport, what message does that send? There's the point that new riders will see what can happen and think twice about this in future, but the issue is not going away anytime soon. This doesn't solve anything, just leaves a grey area where there is no answer and we are left on a limb. This one will run on regardless.
Anyway, another poor day for Sky leading out Swift, Degenkolb and team looking awesome. Bit worried about Froome etc. doing more work when we have a major stage tomorrow. Still they (mostly, Uran apart) were at the front and stayed out of trouble. Hoping they don't continue to put so much into these sprints, especially when they aren't getting the rewards.
“I’d give myself a pass. I was very pleased with Ezcaray, and if I lost a bit of time yesterday it was maybe partly because of dehydration and partly because it was such a steep, explosive finish. I’m a bit a ring-rusty, so I can be pleased.”
“I haven’t reached my best form yet. I’ve no idea if those cramps I had are a sign of worse times to come, I’ll just have to stay focused.”
He knows tomorrow's stage very well cause he's done the climb many times and he lives in Andorra (Actually, Unipublic got to know this climb from Purito through the mediation of a journalist who is friend of him). The beginning is easy with a wide road and some descending sections. The end is harder with a narrower road and ramps of 15%-20%. He wants to keep the red jersey but is not obsessed with stage wins as in 2010. He sees his three rivals as different riders. Contador kills his opponents changing the pace. Valverde is more like Purito, keeping his energies for a final kick and Froome is hammering from the start of the climb with a high constant pace.
This is the third mountain stage. The peloton will have to get through 174 kilometres to reach the finish line, in yet another unprecedented location, at the Collado de la Gallina in Andorra. The final kilometres will be very tough as the 2nd category climb at the Comella will be followed almost immediately by the final 1st category climb. The Collado de la Gallina is made up of more than seven kilometres, four of which have an inclination of over 9%. This may well be a game changer for many of the riders, where differences in the general classification will become very obvious. No one will have a chance to let their guard down or simply have a bad day in a stage littered with both very challenging descents and steep climbs.