Tour 2007: Stage 15 – Pyrrhic Victory

Alexandre Vinokourov pulled off an impressive and improbably victory in todays Tour de France finishing alone and more than five and half minutes in front of the Yellow Jersey. It was a bold, gutsy stage win for the pre-race favorite, but a little too little and a little too late after cracking on the slopes of the Pyrenees yesterday and giving up nearly 29 minutes to the leaders.

Michael Rasmussen remains the Tour leader, after battling off attacks from Alberto Contador, the rider who sits in second, two minutes, 23 second back. Contador will continue to test Rasmussen on Wednesday, the final mountain stage, before attempting to wrest the Yellow Jersey off his back on Saturday in the final individual time trial. Tomorrow is a rest day before tackling the 136 mile stage from Orthez to Gourette, up the Col d’Aubisque. The stage is considered the most demanding of all stages this year.

The dark clouds over the sport of cycling grayed a little more today, as Pat McQuaid, President of the UCI, the governing body for International Cycling, commented that a Tour win by Rasmussen would be bad for the sport. His comments were in regards to the Danish rider skipping two scheduled drug tests earlier this year, casting a cloud of doubt as to how clean he is. Back to back Tour champions with suspicions of doping would certainly not help cycling premier event.

Kraig Becker

3 thoughts on “Tour 2007: Stage 15 – Pyrrhic Victory”

  1. IMO “Pyrrhic victory” may better refer to Rasmussen, should he win. The tide of opinion is so strongly against him that his career might have been better served if he hadn’t entered the race.

    Vino is just heroic.

  2. I won’t disagree with you Jay. The term Pyrrhic Victory seemed fitting for Vino yesterday, considering how far out of the race he was and what a great display of riding he put on yesterday. I’m just sad that he wasn’t able to put up more of a fight, in no small part due to things beyond his own control. That accident way back on the 5th stage has cost him dearly.

    As for Rasmussen, he certainly has a lot to answer for. I was a fan of his from previous tours, but considering recent news and reports, I’m kind of rooting for Contador at this point. And hoping he tests clean.

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