Yay, cycling!

It’s that time of year again, so most of this weekend has been spent with the Tour de France. Woot! After the disappointment of trying to find decent tennis coverage, it’s a relief to find that I get rather excellent Tour coverage complete with my favourite commentators.

In fact, I got rather more coverage than my parents yesterday – the coverage started with the first guy out of the start house while my parents came in with around 40 riders yet to depart. Heh.

The first two days of racing have been excellent. Lance looked much stronger yesterday than I expected and I was happy with his 10th place. I hadn’t expected him to finish that high – he has been out for four years, after all.

Leipheimer also put in a solid performance, around about what I expect from him.

It was Contador that really surprised me. I knew that he’d worked on his time trial abilities, I knew that he was the Spanish time trial champion, but I still wasn’t expecting him to put in a ride like that. He flew up that climb! It bodes well for his performance over the next three weeks. The route could almost have been made for him. Nobody will be able to take much out of him on the time trials and he should gain a lot of time in the mountains. With the Ventoux on the penultimate stage (and you know that he’ll be gunning for that one – it’s legendary!) it’s going to be a fascinating race.

The only reason that I can see for him not winning is team divisions. With four potential leaders and two of them with extremely strong personalities, the team is either going to perform amazingly or implode. I’m really hoping that it doesn’t implode.

The surprise for me yesterday was Cadel Evans. I really did expect a better performance from him. Yet again, I really don’t see him winning the race no matter what he or the commentators say.

Cancellara was a very worthy winner of the stage and it was great to see him pull on yellow again. Hopefully he’ll hold it to the mountains, but the team time trial is going to be fascinating. Saxo-Bank, I know, is a fantastic team in the TTT and Bruyneel in the past has done amazing things with his teams. Armstrong has said a few times that it’s a very technical route. Right now, I don’t know which of them will win it although I suspect that it will be seconds rather than minutes between those teams.

Today’s stage was also brilliant. I love watching Cavendish win things 🙂 Perhaps he’s a little cocky, a little sure of himself, but who can deny that he’s the strongest sprinter out there? When he says that he’s the fasted thing on two wheels, he’s got good reason!

I think that the next three weeks are going to be fantastic 🙂

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