Gonzalez de Galdeano warns of Contador backlash
Cyclingnews caught up with Euskaltel-Euskadi manager Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano ahead of the final week of the Tour, and the Basque warned that the Schleck brothers might well live to regret not putting serious time into Alberto Contador when he appeared to struggle in the Pyrenees.
"I think Contador is the strongest," Gonzalez de Galdeano said in Montpellier. "They say that he is not very strong but he is still 6th in the general. I think now that if I was Leopard, I would be very worried. I think he's stronger now."
Although Euskaltel's Samuel Sanchez impressed in the Pyrenees, Gonzalez de Galdeano downplayed talk of a repeat performance in the Alps, and insisted that a podium finish will be the summit of his rider's ambition in this Tour. "I think now we will aim for the podium, but we know that with Cadel Evans, Schleck and Contador it will be difficult."
Evans, your country needs you!
Should Cadel Evans be on top of the podium in Paris, it could well result in a reward for his compatriots back home.
Federal Member for Chifley Ed Husic told Cyclingnews that he will "push for a national holiday" if Evans is successful.
The suggestion brings back memories of former Prime Minister, Bob Hawke who on national television following Australia’s 1983 America’s Cup victory said: "Any boss who sacks anyone for not turning up today is a bum."
Given the final stage of this year's Tour rolls into the early hours of Monday morning, we think Husic's pitch may be a success.
Either you have it or you don't
Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Cannondale) has said that the hypotheticals being calculated by various race directors and journalists are overcomplicating what is a pretty simple thing.
"It’ll come down to whoever has the legs. It’s not brain surgery," Basso said of the way he believes the Tour will transpire in the days ahead.
"I know what to expect - and I know it’s going to hurt. The mental side can make a difference, but at the end of the day you need to have the legs. It’s been a really hard Tour; the course, the weather, the crashes.
"Personally, after Plateau de Beille I think I’m getting better, but we’ll just have to see what happens in the Alps."
Dutch teams do some inking
The two Dutch teams at the Tour have been busy securing the services of their riders for the coming years. Juan Manuel Garate has re-upped with Rabobank through 2013, and Rob Ruijgh has done the same with Vacansoleil.
Garate has already had to abandon the race, after breaking a bone in his arm in a stage five crash. Rabobank was still eager to retain the 35-year-old's services despite what they call his “advanced age for a professional cyclist.
Ruijgh, being only 24, won't have to worry about that for a while. Vacansoleil general manager Daan Luijkx said Monday that he had extended the contract for an additonal year. Ruijgh is going into the final week of the Tour as the highest-ranked Dutch rider, at 21st.
Best of the rest day tweets:
Fabian Cancellara - 30min then the restday is OVER... The last part of #Tdf2011 is coming...had a good relaxt day.rasy ride,good lunch,long massage,dinner.
Alberto Contador - Finishing the rest day,we need it.Eat different,sleep a lot and training a little.Now celebrate 28 birthday of Dani Navarro = Crack
Geraint Thomas - Lovely second rest day, but all I've thought about is a big lamb Sunday roast!! (Welsh lamb i must add!!)
Stuart O'Grady - My rest day started a nice breaky by our maestro chef Nikki. Small ride, lunch with my family and the rest of the day playing daddy! Perfect
Manuel Quinziato - Rest day is going great! In a beautiful & relaxing country Hotel! Now "Live from the basement" (Radiohead) on air! What else?
Levi Leipheimer - Summary of my day: slept 12hrs, rode 1hr, ate a billion calories, finished watching "Breaking Bad" and now getting massage. #tdf part trois
Roman Kreuziger - That's rest day;sleep long,rode easy bike w/t @AstanaTeam and relax in bed...be4 us 6stage to Paris,is not so much,but will be pretty hard!!
Richie Porte - Rest days go too quick! Slept 2hrs this arvo, probably won't sleep at all tonight. Bring on Paris!
Jens Voigt - just got told that the thor hushovd i follow is a fake one!what the heck?who and why would one pretend to be somebody else?get your own life