Last week, CSC team manager Bjarne Riis pointed the bat at the fence and threw down a challenge to the rest of the peloton, stating that CSC would attack in the Alps. CSC finished strong yesterday and had a great showing off the front, but they never really attacked. In fact, the constant, steady pace played more to the strengths of Cadel Evans. He sat in and appeared to ride along at a comfortable effort. While CSC failed to drop Evans (and Kohl), the tempo broke Vandevelda, Menchov, and Valverde. Unless CSC’s strategy changes today, Evans will be the favorite going into Stage 20, the individual TT. But, Riis and CSC will certainly light the dynamite on one of the three mountain passes–first the Col du Galibier, a.k.a. the Sacred Monster, followed by the Croix de Fer and the final climb up the Alpe d’Huez.
An interest fact: only Lance Armstrong and Fausto Coppi have won an Alpe d’Huez stage and gone onto win the Tour the same year.