Exactly. Levi isn't riding for himself. He's riding for 'Bert. It would have made no sense for him to blow up his legs on the TT today. In fact, it would have been a really stupid thing to do, since Alberto has several riders right on his heels. While I'd say the odds are good he'll be wearing pink all the way to Milan, the race is by no means a done deal at this point.
to help Contador take his 2nd GT in less than a calendar year
Contador will be leader for the Vuelta as well
Levi needs to focus on 1 week events
Agree with many of the posts above. Levi came into the Giro seeing where his form would be in the third week. Turns out it's not there, seeing the notice he got and the amount of time it takes Levi to hit a peak I'm not surprised and I don't think he is either judging from what he was saying before the Giro started.
So for now he rides for Contador, same as Kloden who's in the same boat even though they are both within the top 20. With the way Contador's riding there's no shame in that and they may even get a gifted stage in a Floyd (attempt at least) or George fashion from the Lance years.
Look for Levi to focus on the Dauphine and the Vuelta for sure, as well as possibly the Olympics but not too sure about that one (not that he's going, but how much he values his chances).
Levi wasn't ready for this Giro as well as you might have realized from the stage where he cracked a little when Di Luca and Savoldelli attacked to no ends the other day.
Kloden was going for it but apparently, does not have the legs nor fitness to do it. A good showing at the Tour of Romandy is by no means an indicator that he'd do well in the Giro. It's just a showcase that he is peaking and coming nicely, albeit slowly, towards finding his form. The Romandy was much easier when you comare it to this year's Giro so that's also another thing to factor in.
Andreas Kloden really cracked on the mountain stage with 5 climbs too on Sunday and from then on, it was a given that both him and Levi Leipheimer would save themselves and work for Alberto should he still have the Maglia Rosa or if not, help him try and win it.
Given the short notice Bert had before this Giro and the way he's been riding, it's damn right top notch nonetheless and had he prepared for this Giro, I am more than certain he'd have a much larger lead and killed off Di Luca, Simoni and Menchov with Ricco being the only one who probably might not be too far off from him, although, he'd not have a chance.
Why? Coz on a good day and in form, no one can beat Alberto Contador, almost certainly. A total package rider for sure.
Levi already lost time and was too far off so that could also be a reason why he took it easier in the previous stage as well (not the mountain TT). It's 7 men working for Alberto right now.
If Contador stays with Ricco, he'd win the Giro coz in the final ITT, no way Ricco's gonna pull time on him.
As far as the Vuelta goes, I am really sure Alberto would be the leader too as it's his home Tour and Levi would still be second fiddle. Add that to the fact that Kloden would also wanna go for it and then it becomes less clear even. The Dauphine would be a shot for Leipheimer, but then again, Alberto said he wanted to show himself over there, so.....
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