What we learned from the 96th Tour de France:
And then there is his dramatically improved time trialing. Contador won the race of truth around Lake Annecy in Stage 18 (although runner-up
As Armstrong said of his teammate/rival: "He can climb, he can time trial, but he's gotta leave the tactics to the director."
Until it mattered most, with his podium spot in the balance Saturday the sinister Mont Ventoux, Armstrong lost time to the leaders on this Tour's most daunting climbs. He was slower than we remember in the so called Race of Truth, finishing 10th and 16th in the individual time trials.
But he raced smart. By sneaking into a Stage 3 breakaway while his rivals were snoozing in the bunch; by soloing away from fellow podium threat
He hasn't changed
And then there's Columbia. Between
While covering the race, I ran into
To subject riders to less rain, and take them higher into the stunning Sierra Nevada mountains, the Tour of California has moved from February to May, a ballsy move that conflicts with the Giro d'Italia. As Messick reasons, however, "For this sport to be truly global, there need to be important races outside of western Europe. And we think ours should be one of them."
In addition to tweaking his training and equipment, Armstrong spoke last week about making adjustments to his racing schedule. In other words, no Giro for Lance this year. He'll be riding the Tour of California. Which explains the spring in Messick's step.