I was pleased to see Paolo Salvodelli won Stage 17 for Discovery earlier today in Revel. I had been concerned that Salvodelli wasn't doing well in the Tour since many riders who push themselves to the limit in the Giro d'Italia really suffer if they also do the Tour.
I had no basis for thinking that Salvodelli wasn't doing well in the Tour, apart from the fact that the Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team hasn't used him the way I expected. No one should consider me a race tactitian.
I keep reading articles that say things like "riders are afraid of Lance" and "the Discovery team has not performed as well as in recent years". I don't think either of these ideas is entirely correct. Riders have attacked Armstrong whenever they felt they could. This isn't a tactic I'd associate with fear.
Similarly, the withering pace set by T-Mobile far from the finish line on some of the mountain stages has blown apart the peloton. This more than anything else is what's caused analysts to question the strength of Team Discovery. I think Johan Bruyneel has a point, however, when he says that weak teams don't hold the Yellow and White Jerseys as well as win multiple stages. Today's result makes that argument even more emphatic.