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Originally posted by brent_dube
Why didn't Zabel or Cooke go for that first sprint?
Dont tell me that Lance and Jan are better sprinters than them
Here's my thoughts as an armchair directeur sportif
. The Green Jersey contenders had a strategy based on their expectation that a large breakaway would rule the day...which, in fact, happened. They probably expected the break to form earlier. If it had, the intermediary sprint points would all have gone to members of the breakaway. Therefore the sprinters were all sitting in the peloton conserving their energy for the finish line where they could try to gain points on each other. So approaching the first sprint, they didn't bother to send up their lead out men.
Meantime, since a break didn't form early, and the sprinters weren't contesting the first sprint, it gave Jan an opportunity to get a couple of seconds on Lance. Jan made his move. Lance marked him. Jan got two seconds back on Lance and decreased the margin he will need to make up in the Time Trial tomorrow if he is to wear yellow in Paris.
That's my take, anyway. I'm happy to listen to any one else's analysis. All I can say for sure is, it has been a great race!
Religion is a good thing for good people and a bad thing for bad people. --H. Richard Niebuhr