Tuesday, July 07, 2009

2009 Tour de France Predictions; Micro Dose Autologous Blood Transfusions

OK, with the admission that I'm making my predictions after four stages have already been completed; that I take no account for the effect of crosswinds on the bunch; and that I assume Autologous Blood Transfusions done in "micro-dose" form will remain undetectable through the end of the 2009 Tour de France (didn't know about THAT, did you?), here are my top-5 in overall GC:
  1. Contador
  2. Armstrong
  3. Schleck (Andy)
  4. Vande Velde
  5. Leipheimer
  6. - 10. [in no particular order] Evans, Sastre, Rogers, an ex-Soviet (could be Russian, could be Czech), Kloden, and another ex-Soviet.
Points: Cavendish; KOM: bleh, who cares?

Misc:
  • One more past or current Rabo rider will be thrown off the Tour for doping, but not necessarily for doping that takes place during the race.
  • Cav will undergo a distinct lessening of his brashness thanks to the near-death experience he will have on one of the more challenging mountain stages, where he will crack spectacularly, his team will not wait for him en masse, and he will barely avoid being eliminated on time.
  • Christophe Moreau will buy a stage win.
  • David Millar will not win a stage.
  • Astana will implode and we will be treated to a spectacle like the LeMond vs. Hinault 1985 grudge match, complete with separate chefs cooking two dinners, one for Contador and his boy Sergio Paulinho, the other for the soon-to-not-be-racing-for-Astana-upon-the-return-of-Vino contingent.
Lastly, if you haven't read it yet, check out this piece in the Irish Times, "Even relentless fighter now sees cycling as a lost cause". Excerpt:

"...With that the conversation gets serious again. Just a few weeks ago Fignon revealed he has advanced pancreatic cancer. He’s the same age as LeMond. He won the Tour in 1983 and 1984. He may only have months to live. So he’s put out a book about his life, Nous √Čtions Jeunes et Insouciants – We Were Young and Carefree. In it Fignon admits to taking amphetamines and cortisone shots during his career. He twice failed a drugs test. No one can say for sure this contributed to his cancer.

LeMond’s face immediately saddens. “It makes you think about how short life is. I had dinner with him at last year’s Tour. I’ve always liked Fignon. People think we’re bitter enemies. But we’re not. We were team-mates. He was different to the other riders. He was a thinker.

“He’s thinks now that the drugs he took may be related. But I don’t think anything Fignon was on is related to cancer. I mean, he was on the baby aspirin. It was always a wink, or a joke, at dinner table. ‘Can’t wait ’till the Tour is over, and we don’t have to feel pain anymore’. The problem was the criterion races, which came after. They were all fixed, and kind of disgusting. But they were even more painful, because you’re racing flat out..."

2 comments:

  1. The ever classic 'criterion ' race.

    ReplyDelete
  2. wow! great predictions - especially w/ the david millar not winning a stage! i have to say that i thought he migh have held the field off w/ 10k to go, but that's why my prediction posts would suck! at 2k to go it was obvious YOU knew what you were talking/writing about. looking forward to cav cracking soon!

    ReplyDelete

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