By Brecht Decaluwé in Loudenville - Le Louron
During the stage to Loudenville the Discovery Channel team showed that they are keen to take time back on yellow jersey Michael Rasmussen before the ultimate time trial. The American team doesn't seem to be confident that Contador can make up the time of 2'23" between the two riders, and launched a series of relentless attacks on the yellow jersey to try and shake Rasmussen's hold.
While Levi Leipheimer didn't offer himself up there was another team-mate in what was left of the peloton. Yaroslav Popovych attacked on the Col de Peyresourde in what seemed to be an attempt to disturb the Rabobank teamwork. Cyclingnews asked the Ukrainian if that was his goal when he attacked. "Yes, I spoke with Contador that I would try to make Rasmussen's team work," Popovych said.
In the end his attack didn't result in a panic reaction as Boogerd and Menchov maintained their own pace. A few minutes later 'Popo' was caught back by the yellow jersey group that immediately dropped the former Giro d'Italia podium finisher. "It was a good day for us and we will try to do it again. I think the team did a great job," Popovych explained.
Last year the absence of Lance Armstrong left the team from Johan Bruyneel without a real leader. As a result the team wasn't performing well in a whole. This year everybody in the team seems to be back in fighting spirits. "Last year was a really strange year for the team without Lance but now's another thing," Popovych confirmed that the Disco-train is back on the rails.