Mr September does it again.
Philippe Gilbert (Omega Drugo-Lotto) proved once again that he is The Man in month number nine. The Belgian said it was a good stage from him “on paper” and by golly it was on asphalt, too.
Blasting into Toledo, Gilbert just plain accelerated away from the field and only Tyler Farrar had enough leg to even consider joining. Half a chapeau to Farrar for trying but Gilbert took an easy win. One of these days some genius at Omega will convince Gilbert that April is really September and then he’ll win Paris-Roubaix.
The sexually abstaining and massively pent up Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) managed to snatch third and was barely able to control himself when two podium girls dropped their tops for the Italian. Coach Paolo Bettini was able to shield Pozzato from temptation and led him away for several cold showers.
Numbskull Ezequiel Mosquera (Xacobeo Galicia) inexplicably lost contact with the red jersey of Nibali and that cost him another 12 seconds. He now has 50 seconds to make up on the World Ball climb. But it’s the Helta Skelta Vuelta so anything is possible.
His manager Alvaro Pino admits to publicly insulting the Spaniard to motivate him. However Pino must have assumed that since this wasn’t a time trial or mountain finish, the insults were unnecessary. Wrongo Alvaro. Mr. Mosquera will be getting two earfulls at the dinner table tonight and probably another Pino lashing in the press. Shark laughing.
Fabian Cancellara abandoned the Vuelta today because he was exhausted from riding for Saxo Bank while trying to decide who to ride for next year. A DND for Spartacus — Did Not Decide. Just remember that BMC is not the answer and you don’t want to work for Andy Rihs, he looks like a gangster. Besides, what’s the big diff: Riis, Rihs, Ribs, Rhubarb?
Americano Update: Tom Danielson solid as a rock from Boulder, Colorado in 8th place overall. The entire Garmin team is riding with their fingers crossed, hoping doesn’t suddenly fade with some mysterious illness.
Schleck report: The sober one is still in 5th but getting damn thirsty for a cerveza or two. Pozzato is sexually frustrated; Frank really needs to know a few back. But he’s a professional and 100% committed to not fall off the wagon into the autobus. Or something like that.
Radio Shack follow-up. After the entire squad was thrown out of the Vuelta two days ago for non-performance, Johan Bruyneel announced today that Chechu Rubiera would ride the final Bola del Mundo climb and nobody is going to stop him. He will also wear on of those black Livestrong 28 jerseys or his old Postal kit — to be decided.