Stage 17 Overview, Picks and Comment

July 23, 2008

Today’s Alpe d’Huez stage is a mere 210KM. Think about that.

In 2004 I drove up Alpe d’Huez in a rental car. The car was suicidal by the time we finished the 20+ switchbacks.

It’s daunting, it’s dangerous, it will crack the pack.

I have NOT looked at any dispatches yet today and I KNOW the stage is about over. But I’ll start giving recaps in a minute up to the base of the Alpe d’Huez. Then the rest of me posts will be after 9PM so as not to spoil your enjoyment of the race.

Oh, just in case you were wondering, Alpe d’Huez is only ONE of THREE hors category climbs in today’s Stage 17.

It runs from Embrun to Alpe d’Huez and there’s a catagory 3 climb right at the beginning.

My thoughts?

A peloton that’s blasted to bits. Hincapie wins the stage. We lose nine riders just on the stage itself. The top ten riders will be separated by five minutes, but the gap to the top man will be 4 minutes PLUS. It will end up being Denis Menchov who breaks away with Hincapie and takes 2nd.

Wild predictions? Sure. But since I haven’t been right yet, I might as well throw in some fun. Enjoy.