Monday, July 05, 2010

Le Tour 2010 - Stage 1 - Falls take out many, Farrar walks in complaining how hard to ride w/o derailleur

Perhaps a walking tour of France would be safer?

is already out with a collarbone break, several stars have cuts and bruises and we haven't heard how the dog feels (if it survived). And all of the riders will either wake up with aches and pains or the expectation of the pain to come as roads narrow and steepen on stage 2. Petacchi once again showed how to win through chaos, but most would be pleased just to have made it through the day.

Tomorrow (or tonight, if you prefer) will probably see an early break lasting for two thirds of the stage before the heat is applied. The gap will close as the classics riders and high GC hopefuls look to either capitalise on the tougher course or simply try to minimise losses. The sprinters will try to hang on over the tougher climbs and fight it out for the win, but the peloton will shatter - leaving many  desperate chasers trying to bridge back to the lead. It's probably not tough enough to get rid of sprinters like Freire or even McEwen but it will be fascinating to watch it played out. A solo or small group attack by the likes of Evans, Cunego or Flecha may well succeed. 

SBS: Tour de France 2010: Farrar hits out at Mondory the final 200 metres the Garmin-Transitions fast man was shunted by AG2R rider Mondory, the blow breaking Farrar's gear changer on his bike.

The American was quick to hit out at AG2R after the stage, won by Italian veteran Alessandro Petacchi of Lampre.

"Everything was going great, I felt good and the team was riding perfectly. Then, in the last 200 meters an AG2R rider hit my rear wheel and snapped my derailleur," said Farrar.

"I literally couldn't ride after that and had to walk through the finish and to the bus.

"It's a shame because everything had gone so well and the team worked so hard for me."

Mondory was later identified as the rider who clashed with Farrar in untimely fashion, but the Frenchman was quick to absolve himself of any blame.

He said Belgian Jurgen Roelandts came crashing into him from behind, pushing him uncontrollably towards the American.

"A rider (Roelandts) hit me from behind. I'm sorry for Farrar, but I couldn't do anything about it," he said.
SBS: Tour de France 2010: Taste of classics in tour's second stage
...for some, the undulating 201 kilometre ride from Brussels to Spa is perhaps not tough enough to totally rule out the possibility of a bunch sprint.

It features a total of six punchy climbs, most of which are in the latter half of the course, meaning the 'punchers' like Damiano Cunego and Cadel Evans, and purer climbers like Andy Schleck, could harbour personal ambitions.

Two of those climbs, the Stockeu and the Rosier, are regulars on Liege-Bastogne-Liege, the oldest one-day classic in the world, with the summit of the latter climb around 12 kms from the finish.

The final descent towards the line means that attacks on the last two climbs could go all the way, significantly reducing the chances of the stage ending in a bunch sprint.
PezCycling News - What's Cool In Pro Cycling
With the nervousness of Stage 1 out of the way, the peloton would normally settle down a bit for Stage 2, but the nature of tomorrow’s course means that’s not likely to happen. Instead, the final hour of tomorrow’s stage could be more chaotic than today’s. The short, steep, narrow climbs that punctuate the final 40 kilometers of Stage 2 are more commonly featured in the Spring Classics, including Leige-Bastogne-Liege.