One rider who won’t be digging in too deep today is Davitamon Lotto’s Chris Horner. He is currently 28th overall, 15’09 back, and is willing to lose more time in order to chase his goal of a stage win.
“The time trial should be a fairly easy day for me. I am going to take it handy. Most likely I wouldn’t win the thing anyways and I am not going to move up on GC significantly. So there wouldn’t be any reason to go hard.
"I will lose a few more minutes and then go into Monday 16 – 18 minutes down, and try to make a win from there. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are my only chances, that is it!”
Horner went clear early on in a break on stage 12 but the group was hauled back, something he still has difficulty in understanding.
“I was robbed…it was terrible! I heard the Cofidis guys were just put on the front because they missed the break. They were being taught a lesson, or something. That is the most stupid thing I have ever heard in a three week stage race! It’s like, ‘let me see, let’s just go ahead and wreck everybody’. And then they all missed the move anyway!
“Also, what were the sprinters’ teams doing helping them to bring it back? I understand bringing it back, but you don’t bring it back 60 kilometres into the race when there is 140 or 150 kilometres in the stage. I thought I would have a shot at winning the stage and gaining ten minutes, thinking ‘this is perfect,’ but then that happened.”
He is generally perplexed by some of the decisions teams are taking in the race. “It’s weird, they are letting so many potential GC riders go up the road. Illes Balears [Caisse d’Epargne] are just getting so many guys up there! On stage 12 it just didn’t make any sense – even with Vinokourov’s team riding.
"If you are going to chase, why don’t you chase when it is at two minutes, just put two guys on the front and run them at 40, 45 kilometres per hour, instead of letting the move get 11 minutes and then chase it at 60? ‘Let’s kill them even harder’ – what philosophy is that? Okay, they didn’t gain a whole lot of time, but they have got another guy there who is near GC again.
"When we get to the mountain stages, just wait – you will see those guys go up the road again and then they will get five minutes. The next thing you know, they will be going for the lead.”