Its a situation that heros stand up in. A need to step up to the plate and deliver in a given moment in order to succeed. No-one else can help you, everything that has happened before is irrelevant and it is in that moment that ultimately defines your success.
57 seconds was all he needed to swipe the jersey off Andy Pandy, and well, judging by the look of terror on young Andys' face in the starting box, he knew something was up. In a near clinical performance (HTCs' Tony Martin managed to find 7 secs out on course to come in quicker on the stage) Cadel not only sucked up the time, but delivered a couple of stunning combinations that left the Schlecks reeling against the ropes. He was simply sensational.
He knew what he needed to do.
What the reward was.
And most importantly how best to go about it.
When it mattered in this years tour, Cadel took things into his own hands. Whilst BMC supported him fantastically and ultimately delivered him to the win, when the hills got steeper and the pack thinned out, Cadel relied on no-one else to protect him, respond to attacks or pace him back into contention. It was all about Cadel, not anyone else.
I think he genuinely surprised the Schleck sisters with his tenacity and refusal to wither to their double act (bad luck fellas!), and Contador failed to intimidate Cadel or the other contenders like in previous years. I have no doubt that in Tommy Voekler carrying the mantle of the Malliot Jaune for as long as he did, Cadel sidestepped the hype, pressure and responsibility that is carried with the jersey. This allowed him to concentrate on the racing, cover the opposition and protect his team from burying themselves day in - day out had he had yellow on his shoulders.
Well done mate, you beat the best riders, in the biggest race, and no-one will ever take that away from you. So tonight, as the peleton rolls into Paris and team BMC lead them onto the Champes Elysees, stand up, raise your glass and salute a man who has arguably achieved the greatest individual sporting result this country has ever seen! Fact.
95km of glory. Sure Cavendish will have to fight to keep Green, but really, with yellow in the bag for Cadel, this is just a chance to check out how Paris is looking this time of year and to wait up for the anthem and ceremony.
Beer for the Stage: Bugger it, go with a Champagne or two.
Beer Locale: Whatever you can get you hands on