Stage 10 prediction

I'm going to run with my horse Valverde, especially given Cadel Evan's fall today. They've both had falls this week, but footage of Evan's post-race yesterday make his seem worse. Valverde has to win this Tour in the mountains, while Cadel Evans will probably pursue his "strong TT + follow wheels uphill" strategy. Valverde needs to gain at least 3 minutes on Evans (1 minute for Stage 4 and 2 for Stage 20) before going into stage 20's time trial and this is his first chance.

Caisse d'Epargne has been running strong all week and, whether or not they're burning too many matches, I think they're going to sense blood in the water. They just have to break Popovych and they'll have Evans isolated. We can bet that the CSC trio of Schlecks+Sastre will also come out to play on this mountain stage as well as Euskatel's Sanchez. It should be good TV.

This is one of the the decisive stages of this year's Tour (stage 17's Alpe d'Huez finish is another) and there's a rest day on Tuesday to recuperate. The Tour organizers have done their best to keep the overall standings close to allow lead changes, but honestly that's bored me a little. I want to see the real players duke it out, instead of the "let Ricco have his fun" conservativeness of Stage 9.

related articles: Tour de France 2008
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