The start in Carrara, Italy Photo: © Roberto BettiniThis will go down as one of the all-time best days of racing in cycling. If you didn't see this stage, you will have to rent the dvd once it is released to understand what I am talking about.
This day of racing brought images of the early days of racing...back during World War I when the riders had to race on dirt roads and wear their innertubes around their shoulders. The only thing missing today was the tubes around the riders' shoulders. With commentary from Sean Kelly, he provided interesting advice on race tactics and shared his days of racing the tough one-day classic races.
Photo credit © Sirotti
With lots of carnage and mud, this was a true test of how tough a rider can be. With the pink jersey going down in a crash with about 30k to go, a group of 7 riders (including Vinokourov) attacked and build a descent gap. Cadel Evans was in a small group behind and then the Maglia Rosa jersey group. Evans, with his exceptional bike handling skills (former World Cup mountain bike racer), was able to pull back the lead group.
Photo by Graham Watson
With their jerseys and faces covered in mud, Evans, Vinokourov, Cunego and a few others were in the lead with 5k to go to the finish. With the final few K's of the race going thru a small village and a short section on cobbles, Evans lead the group taking some risks. On the final 100 meters, Evans (wearing the World Champion jersey) lead the group to the line. Would he go on to take the victory?
I don;t want to spoil the result for you, so you will have to watch the race for yourself.
A great way to view races is Steephill.tv
Stage 8 should make for another great day of racing considering it will be a mountain top finish, and that the GC is now wide open. You won't believe who is in the pink jersey right now.