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July 7, 2009
Hutarovich has reliquished the Lanterne Rouge and has given up the red jersey to Alan Perez Lezaun. Hutarovich made the second split in those vicious crosswinds and came in a respectable 44th. Those crosswinds smashed the peloton to three major pieces and blew away a few stragglers at the end coming in at 1’s and 2’s. Gotta love those crosswinds!
Alan Perez Lezaun of Euskaltel-Euskadi and Dimitry Muravyev of Astana were part of that collateral damage and rolled in together 13’49” down which buried both of them at the tail end of the GC. Lezaun now firmly holds on to the Lanterne Rouge at 16’24” down.
Lezaun hasn’t won a race since before 2005. His best result that I can dig up is a 2nd place in Stage 6 of the 2008 Giro d’Italia. The rest of his results are quite dismal for a pro bike racer and frankly I think he’s quite lucky to be riding a race like the TdF. However it doesn’t surprise me that a 66kg (142lb) guy didn’t like being in the gutter at 55km/hr after Team Columbia ramped it up in those winds. Poor guy…
At the front of the race, it was nice to see Lance stomp his authority all over Contador after he didn’t make the split. It was Contador’s fault for being asleep on a windy day and being half way back in the peloton. Amateur move on his part. They all have radios, maps, and can easily see the which was the wind is blowing and when the turns are coming. Every pro cyclist knows that conditions like that of the day were going to wreak havoc.
If you want some info on crosswinds and how to tear a race apart, read this previous post that I did on the topic. Love the crosswinds if I’m not on the receiving end of it!