Froome lands final shot
Who knew that Oleg Tinkov’s dream battle between his man Alberto Contador and Sky’s Chris Froome would actually happen in the Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista del Sol instead of the Giro.
Tinkov didn’t even have to fork over any of his cash to pay for all the excitement and the chance to see the best against the best, mano a mano, superstar smacking superstar.
Contador landed the first two blows, beating Froome by 8 seconds in the 8.2km course around the town of Coria del Rio. Then two days later he punched Froome again, winning solo and chalking up another 19 seconds over his arch rival on the Hazallanas climb.
His Russian boss must have been thrilled with such a dramatic battle and the fact that he didn’t have to pay anything extra for it.
After the bang-bang losses, team Sky went to the media to shape the story for their man Froome — Contador ahead of the South African because he’s racing the Giro d’Italia while Froome is on a slower build toward July and the Tour.
Only Froome refused to follow the script and pulled a full-on Breaking Bad move like meth cooker Walter White in season 5. His impressive victory atop the Alto de Allanadas gave him the leaders’ jersey by a mere one second.
It wouldn’t haven’t surprised Twisted Spoke too much if he had gotten off his Pinarello and walked over to Contador and said “You know who I am. Say my name,” just like Mr White did with the drug cartel kingpin. And when the drug boss says the name, While responds — “you’re goddamn right.”
The tables turned fast in Andalucia. One minute Contador had his psychological blows and the next he had to be asking himself how Froome has the same amount of form.
That had to be every so mildly disturbing to El Pistolero. He’s got two grand tours in front of him and received a rude reminder that Froome is already capable of beating him. Sure, one mountain, in February, but that was a definite wake up call.
The thing about psychological blows is, make sure you get in the last one.