Criterium du Dauphine.
June 15, Stage 8: Megève – Courchevel 130.5km
Who would have thought the leader board would be shuffled on the final short stage, that on paper was largely routine. Garmin had other ideas. Contador had no teammates and Froome had the after effects of his fall 2 days earlier. The break was a large group, apparently driven by Hesjedal (from what I saw) flat out effort, and 2 climbs to the end. I did miss the finish but the damage had already been done.
For some reason Porte and Lopez (Sky) break away briefly from the chase and Froome could not follow. Later on they tried to pace him (Contador had fled by then), and he was unable to accelerate or keep a high pace. The skill set (SBHH) was in place but perhaps it seemed flat, the point being that a number of different types of info/data are required to determine what his output is, and if we could place his performance side to side with his best, what would we see? Finally, what was the key injury that created this decline in performance? or a cumulative total in addition with the lower temperatures. Contador did what he could to bridge to the lead, and it’s remarkable that he still landed on the podium, though not in the top rung.
Overall, some really nice skill sets from all riders, Contador off saddle and a fantastic SBHH, weight shifting on the handlebars, for a good long run. Nibali didn’t quite look very sharp, and I saw a pair of riders near the break, both off saddle, the first handling the climb with the SBHH, the other a largely TPR skill set. The break appeared to splinter, and Contador was collecting the remains but not enough to close the gap to Talansky. I wish I had seen the initial break, and they had to be riding with a fire under their shorts. Great performances from that group.