Rasmussen the climber
Cancellara and Rasmussen (one of my personal favorites) have done a great job defending the yellow jersey thus far in the Tour. Tomorrows 33.5 mile individual time trial will likely seperate the real contenders from those who’ve hung close until this point. I’d love to see Rasmussen hang on, but there’s just no way. He’ll sag back out of the top 10 probably. He’s just not a good time trialist. He looks best in polka dots anyway.
Valverde, Cadel Evans, Kloden, Contador, and Leipheimer should emerge as the real contenders tomorrow. Mayo is a pure climber and fits into the same category as Rasmussen when it comes to time trialing. He’ll have to push it to stay close to the contenders before heading back into the mountains. Sastre is a middle of the pack time trialist; that’s not good enough. Moreau can time trial, but he just lost too much time yesterday.
Can Vino pull a miracle comeback? No. It’ll be interesting to see just how far back he can get though.
Here are the Figurehead’s bold predictions for the podium in Paris:
1. Andreas Kloden – Kloden is a stud time trialist and he can climb. A rejuvenated Vino will help Kloden through the Pyrenees.
2. Levi Leipheimer – Levi is an improved time trialist and is a climbing machine. He and Kloden might actually race into Paris for this year’s title.
3. Alberto Contador – The young Contador will likely sacrifice his own glory this year for his team leader Leipheimer. If something goes wrong for Levi, Contador can challenge for the title.