Friday, July 16, 2010

A blizzard of words on Renshaw's expulsion from Le Tour

Bathurst won't be a happy place this morning, will it? But you can't get into a guy's head and read his thoughts: the judges have to go with what they see. And we all saw what they saw.

So 2 strikes against Renshaw, really - headbutting to possibly protect Cav's gap, and then impeding Farrar, intentionally or not. Still I didn't think "exclusion from tour", rather "fine and loss of points". Oh well, I can see both sides... but it does make things more interesting again, doesn't it? (I hope the race judges didn't have that thought, too.)
PezCycling News - What's Cool In Pro Cycling
Carmichael: Instead of continuing forward side by side, the two leadout men made contact with each other. This in itself is not unusual or against the rules. Contact happens, and it’s usually shoulders and elbows pushing against each other. Renshaw escalated this normal situation to one that drew the attention of the race officials by repeatedly hammering his helmet into Dean’s shoulder. One tap with the helmet, OK. You won’t get in trouble for that. It will seem like you’re just keeping the other guy at a safe distance. But leaning on a rider and using your helmet as a hammer is viewed as being aggressive and unsportsmanlike.

Renshaw claims that Dean was moving over in his direction, forcing him closer to the barriers. I know things look and feel different in the heat of the moment, but from the replays I saw – and that the officials were viewing as well – it doesn’t appear that Dean was encroaching on Renshaw. What is more likely is that Renshaw knew that with Dean on his right and Garmin sprinter Tyler Farrar on Dean’s wheel, the only lane Cavendish could use to get to the finish line was to Renshaw’s left. That meant Cavendish was going to have to sprint between Renshaw and the barriers.
PezCycling News - What's Cool In Pro Cycling
Carmichael: Some people are pointing to Renshaw’s move to the left after Cavendish passed him as a second instance of unsportsmanlike conduct, since it impeded Tyler Farrar’s progress toward the finish line. If anything, I’d say that was a more severe infraction than the head butting. As a sprinter or a leadout man, he was supposed to continue in a straight line – or at least if he moved off his line it shouldn’t have been in a manner that impeded another sprinter from challenging for the stage win. Renshaw opened up the lane to his left for Cavendish, and then slammed the door shut on Farrar by moving to the left. Normally I don’t like it when riders take their hands off the bars to push someone out the way, but I think Farrar prevented a potentially very serious crash by reaching out and stopping Renshaw from moving any farther to the left.
PezCycling News - What's Cool In Pro Cycling
With a little head-butting from Renshaw to Dean, this opens the door for Cavendish to go early, Petacchi sees the move too late and can’t get on terms with the flying Manxman who has a bike length in hand.

Dean wanted to close the door on Cavendish to let Farrar come round on the other side, but Renshaw kept it cool and the gap was there with 350 meters before the line for Cav to go for a longer sprint than he would normally want, it worked and no one could get near him.
Robbie McEwen (mcewenrobbie) on Twitter
history will now show that combining the 2 aforementioned tactics will get u sent home...greater than the sum of it's parts
SBS: Tour de France 2010: Renshaw booted from Tour
in the final 500 metres of the 184.5km stage from Sisteron, the normally affable Australian lost his head when he tried to headbutt Garmin-Transitions' Kiwi lead-out man Julian Dean three times.

Cavendish eventually raced on towards his third stage win of the race, and 13th of his career, as Renshaw then produced another blatant blunder by trying to block Dean's sprinter, Tyler Farrar, as the American tried to come up the inside of the barriers.

Top race official Jean-Francois Pescheux said they only needed to look at the television pictures once to make their decision.

"Renshaw was declassified immediately but we have decided to also throw him off the race," said Pescheux.

"We've only seen the pictures once, but his actions are plain for all to see. They were blatant. This is a bike race, not a gladiator's arena."
SBS: Tour de France 2010: Renshaw booted from Tour
"The guy (Dean) came across from me. Either he keeps turning left, puts me in the barrier and I crash, or I try to lean against him," he said.

"I didn't have another option. It's all about sprinting straight."

Although saddened by the decision, Cavendish laid some of the blame on Dean, claiming the Kiwi "hooked his elbow over Mark's right elbow".

"Mark used his head to try and get away. There's a risk when the elbows are that close (that) the handlebars are going to tangle," said Cavendish.

"That puts everyone behind in danger. Mark (Renshaw) gave us a bit of space that kept us upright."