TdF Stage 4, ITT Cholet to Cholet

It may be early but the 2008 TdF is already proving to be exciting. Yesterday, tour contender Denis Menchov lost 45 seconds after getting caught sleeping at the back of the pack, or as Johan Bruynel calls it, “cracks appearing in certain riders’ facades.” Then, today, he came out blazing, finishing just 34 seconds off the lead to finish sixth. Even though he didn’t make up all the ground lost yesterday, he certainly made a point that he’s here to ride for the win.

While Cadel Evans didn’t win the stage, he definitely struck a blow to Valverde and the other contenders. Evans finished forth, just 27 seconds behind the winner, Stefan Shumacher. More importantly, he opened a 1:07 gap on Valverde, who finished 23 at 1:37.

Of special note was the ride by Kirchen, who finished second at 18 seconds behind Shumacher. Some have picked him as the long-shot winner and, if his form holds up over the coming 3 weeks, that prediction may prove to be a good one!

But, it goes without mention that today’s winner is already in the throes of drug controversy! I think this is a weak attempt by the press to dig up any dirt considering ASO’s strong desire to run a clean race. Hopefully this event won’t affect the race.

This will prove to be a thrilling tour! I’m still with my man Evans for the win.

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