20 July, 2009

VDV worker to star to super-domestique

For years, Christian Vande Velde toiled in relative anonymity for team leaders Lance Armstrong, Roberto Heras, Ivan Basso, and Carlos Sastre. In 2008, he put it all together and rode to fourth at the Tour. This year, after a nasty crash at the Giro nearly ruined his Tour prep, he was looking good, until the climb to Verbiers.

Now that his teammate Brad Wiggins is in third, Vande Velde seems ready to switch gears back to a worker. He gave the perfect sound byte to his hometown paper, the Chicago Tribune.

"Knowing Brad is doing so well makes it easier for me to deal with this," Vande Velde said via telephone. "It would have been harder to take if the whole team was relying on me, and I couldn't pull through. Now we shift gears, and I have a supportive role."

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