|Golden Hams of the Day|
Ham-Gazers of the Day
- Alessandro "Stallion" Petacchi and his mighty Fassa Bortolo leadout men. Zzzzzzzzzz…. Huh? Wha? Oh, yeah, Petacchi smoked everyone in another sprint today to set, like, all these records and stuff. He makes it look waaaay too easy, this guy. People compare him to Cipollini, but Mario never won this many grand tour stages in one season (Petacchi is at twelve, and counting). In the sprints Petacchi is now in a league of his own, and he looks to stay there for the next few years. Amazing. Oh, and he's wearing the Points Jersey now, in case you're wondering.
- Angel "the Judge" Edo (Milaneza-MSS). He was the only one even close to Petacchi after that crash near the final kilometer. That means he did an outstanding job of fighting for position. He couldn't come around Petacchi in the sprint, but hey, who has been able to do that this season? "Judge" Edo's 2nd place is a great result for the steel pasta-men of Milaneza-MSS. He's still my darkhorse choice for the Points Jersey.
- Igor Astorloa (Saeco), Karsten Kroon (Rabobank), Mariano Piccoli (Lampre), and David Navas (Colchon Relax-Fuenlabrada). These guys held off a hard charging field for a very long time. The wind was ripping the peloton to shreds, but these guys just kept on hammering away. They were eventually caught, but it took the collective efforts of several teams to finally nail them back. If they hadn't been ganged up on so dramatically, it might have been a different story today.
- David Millar (Cofidis), Aitor Gonzalez (Fassa Bortolo), and Angel Casero (Bianchi). These men just stayed in the bunch, kept out of trouble, and saved their legs for the big showdown tomorrow. If Millar can get some clean knickers and a front derailleur out of his team, he should be the favorite to win tomorrow's long individual time trial. Gonzalez and Casero have struggled on the climbs, but tomorrow they should finally give their fans something to cheer about.
Crazy Jane's Museo Especial del Jamón:
Los Jamones Deliciosos
Did someone say Alessandro Petacchi? Uh, yeah. I think someone did. Locutus sounds a little bored, but personally, I'm not complaining, since more victories for Petacchi means more episodes like this...
...where Mr. Rocket Pants mixes it up in the sprints for a thrilling crescendo of sporting intensity, and then gets photographed in a sea of tube tops looking all satisfied and relaxed. Frankly, I'm all for it.
A lot of girls might feel that the whole notion of podium girls in tube tops is an affront to their feminist sensibilities, but Crazy Jane is not among them. I love that when a guy wins a bike race, they line up a couple of pretty girls to kiss him; but more than that, this reporter would like to remind you that where there are podium girls, podium boys and their teammates can't be far behind, and they're the delicioso main course, really, aren't they?
Today's escapados had some real charm as well, with blue-eyed Dutch treat Karsten Kroon and handsome Latin toughguy Igor Astarloa giving it their best shot. The sprint was delicioso as well, with Eric Zabel up in the action as always, and it looks like that dapper little package, Fast Freddy Rodriguez, is looking for glory, too, with a 6th place finish in Zaragoza. (Go, Freddy!)
It was a quiet day for the heads of state, with all the big boys and their little mountain climbing compadres with GC hopes finishing in the pack today. Tomorrow's long ITT will be a major shake out, as the peloton dons their skinsuits to do battle against the clock. Perhaps some of those bigger boys will have a chance to use their firepower to claw back into contention, and hopefully, the mountain pixies will find the strength to hold them off and head into the mountains ready give us a fireworks show of their own. Anything can happen in a bike race...
Another beautiful day in the Vuelta, coming up!
Note: The Museo de Jamon Report will be a combined report for the next couple of days with Crazy Jane's Los Jamones Deliciosos Report. This weekend, the Museo de Jamones Report will likely go on hiatus until next Monday, as we will be hanging with our homies Alexandre, Gilberto, Stefano, and Lance in San Francisco. Look for a special edition Hams Report from San Francisco this weekend on the San Rafael Cycling Classic and the T-Mobile International.