Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Getting a good kicking.

A couple of days ago we all stood agog, as AC (that's Alberto Contador not AC from Operation Puerto) took the yellow jersey in Paris-Nice beating one of the worlds greatest ever pursuiters on a pan flat 9km course. Wow, we all thought, is there any stopping him? And of course we all thought no there isn't. So big rounds of applause to Rabbo and Quick Step who dished out what can only be described as 'a good kicking' to our boy AC (that's Alberto Contador not AC from Operation Puerto) on yesterdays stage 3.

Just as every thing was getting a little dull and doubtless as the sprinters were licking their lips, or what ever it is sprinters lick, the men on Orange, Blue and White decided they'd liven things up a little. The resulting carnage was a joy to behold. Quick Step, not wishing to be outdone, decided to join in, partly I suspect, on the grounds that they were putting Chavaenel in the picture for the overall and partly cos you should never miss an opportunity to give a climber a good kicking, especially on the flat when it's raining.

The resulting carnage highlighted two things, one - top team work, planning and great response to a race situation from Rabo and QS and two, Astana? What was all that about? You have a race leader who finds himself near the back of the race and when the inevitable hammer drops has no team to help him. Now swap AC (that's Alberto Contador not AC from Operation Puerto) for Lancey boy and can you imagine that happening? No, neither can I. If Lancey boy was in yellow there would only be one place for him, sitting with his team mates in the first half dozen riders, keeping a watchful eye on the action and responding as required. Tactically perfect, A+ text book stuff is what Lancey would give you, meanwhile AC (that's Alberto Contador not AC from Operation Puerto) give you the sort of work that would merit an E- and a detention. And as for his teammates? Had they all stopped for a piss? Had they all thought they were riding a two day race and failed to turn up? God alone knows, but one thing is for certain, that is there was a fair amount of pointing, shouting and crying at the Astana team hotel.


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