Velogal's Blog

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Jan Ulrich stormed around the Individual Time Trial course of the final stage of the Tour de Suisse to take the stage win and the leader’s jersey. It was wet and windy, but he never lost focus or drive - he arrived at the finish line with a fierce never-say-die look on his face. He’s sending out the message for the Tour de France - I’m going for it for sure! He looked very trim and in great shape. On the podium, Jan tipped his cap to the roar of the crowd, and tossed his yellow bouquet out to them. The cameras cut away to end the program before we could see champagne being opened... If they did.

Poor Koldo Gil - lost the ITT by 1.14 seconds to Jan, and lost the leader’s jersey by .24 to come in second GC. The TV cameras were pointed between the two Saunier Duval soigneurs, who were waiting at the finish line: the perfect spot to zoom right in on Gil’s face as he rode up to them. It was such a poignant moment - I felt so sorry for him. He looked at the guys with a hopeful grin and said something like, “Did I do it, did I do it?” His face crumpled into despair when he was told no.... He looked to be in tears and he put his head down on the handlebars of his bike. He had given 150% trying to hold on to the GC lead on that slippery road - he was exhausted. His hope for a Tour de Suisse win was washed away on that wet road by the powerful Jan Ulrich.

Janez Brajkovic of Discovery Channel came in an excellent fourth in the ITT at .47, and at an excellent fifth overall - 2:34 back.

No, I didn’t shoot the US Deaf Cycling Championships last night - I was wrong - it starts on Monday night. Their practice runs on the Hellyer Velodrome track were yesterday afternoon and I missed them. Duh...


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