The first stage of the Dauphine Libere was exactly the kind of flat stage I
like best - a long successful breakaway. One can just imagine the four escapees
nervously checking the time near the end - would it hold? And the equally
nervous peloton, racing to catch up - had they left it too late, would not only
the stage but the whole race be decided? And best of all, it was won by an
outsider, an underdog, an unknown. Equal rights for everyone! I like it when a
new name pops up to take a victory, instead of every time a Hincapie or
Armstrong or Vinokurov.
And that was one reason I enjoyed the 19th stage of the Giro so much. Sure,
there were controversial moments, but the underdog, the little guy - quite
literally! - won the stage. I had secretly been hoping that he or Di Luca or
someone else would break away and take not only the stage, but also the pink
jersey. Not that I have anything against Savoldelli or Simoni, but because, in
my heart, I always root for the underdog.
Who's going to be the underdog at the Tour de France and who will be the top
dog? Well, let's see, Jan Ullrich had a fifth and a second in races this last
weekend, and Lance finished way back in fifth place at the Dauphine Libere
prologue, so that all proves - absolutely nothing...