Friday, July 08, 2005

The Agony!

courtesy AFP

Pictured above is Christophe Mengin. He almost won stage 6 of the Tour yesterday. He didn't, because he crashed in the very last turn before the finish while leading the race after a long, brilliant breakaway effort.

Several dozen riders followed him to the pavement in that corner.

Two riders made it through just behind poor Mengin, one by the name of Lorenzo Bernucci (Fassa Bortolo) who scored a very surprise stage victory and his first ever win as a pro. The second rider is of much more importance, for it was Vinokourov. He launched an amazing attack off the front of the peloton just before the final treacherous turn, and only Bernucci was able to hang on to his wheel. When Mengin crashed, Vino almost went down, and Bernucci used the moment to move ahead and take the win.

Vino, though finishing second, showed what tremendous power he has---and showed that his desire to attack has not diminished. His style of attacking is so great to watch. He jumped off the front of the peloton, then slowed a bit, then jumped hard again, fully dropping all those who tried to follow the first attack. In seconds he was away and streaking toward Mengin. Had it not been for the crash in the corner, Vino would have taken the win, easily.

I can't wait for the mountains.