Pushed off the Road en la Vuelta...

Just because there hasn't been any mention around here about the Vuelta a Espana does not mean I haven't been paying attention. Indeed there have been some nice fast sprint finishes, as well as some fantastic attacking climbing stages, contested during the first week. At the end of today's stage (don't worry, no spoiler) Sean Kelly and David Harmon were engaged in their back and forth about the lead-out trains - questioning the Orica-Green Edge tactics, noting that Vacansoliel-DCM needed to do something to counter the dominance of the other two Dutch teams, Rabobank and Argos-Shimano, and then, the usual Sky push to control the tempo and protect Chris Froome. 



Well, at the end, say within the final 2km but before the final 1km, a rider pulled off the front and, in the process of being passed up by the charging peloton was basically run off the road. Sean's remark about it was to the effect that sometimes that's the thanks you get. You're up there busting your gut, draining yourself of any ounce of energy you may have left, and when you pull off to the side just before completely imploding, you get run onto the verge for your troubles. Do your duty and take your lumps. No respect. Of course, as authoritative a person as Kelly may be, Harmon was not quite convinced that the King had ever been in such a position during his career. It is a tricky time, the end of a long race; everyone is tired, nerves are worn, your attention becomes limited to the wheel in front of you. If you have been pulling the train along, you just want to finish that task, get off the point and out of the way, before what you have been towing becomes an out-of-your-control runaway. I don't know who it was shown the side door and given a quick exit out, but it seems like they should make a Miller Time commercial in your honor. The Vuelta is warming up and it is going to get hot up ahead.

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