Saturday, July 10, 2010

Le Tour 2010 - Stage 6 - Cav find his legs and is suddenly 'untouchable'? Renshaw did the hard work. McEwen down after the finish line

Untouchable is overdoing it. Actually a lot of HTC Columbia riders worked hard to get the bunch together, and then Lampre and Garmin did their best to make it interesting. But they lacked the killer punch in the final kilometer. They got gaps but also gapped their own guys, allowing other teams to bridge up. Whilst it looked promising, it was HTC's Renshaw who picked his way along the stepping stones, finally sprinting at full pace to bridge the last gap, not letting up until he had got Cavendish into a clear launch position. No-one else got a leadout like that, and they were left in the dust.

Call it good timing or just great teamwork, it was like watching Geert Steegmans launching McEwen four years ago - when it went right it went spectacularly right. Of course the flip side was when Geert went too early and Robbie got caught before the line. And of course Steegmans harboured ambitions to win sprints of his own, so the partnership was shortlived. Arguably neither rider has prospered to the same degree since, despite briefly reuniting at team Katusha.

will be hoping that HTC can keep the bottle on Renshaw's own ambitions for a while, ensuring that a successful combo is kept alive. Although plenty of others will be seeing Renshaw as hot property in his own right.    

Tour De France: Stage 6, Route Maps & Results |
Untouchable. Just 24 hours after taking his first win of this year's Tour de France, Mark Cavendish equalled the record of his sprinting mentor, Erik Zabel, and with a superb sprint in Gueugnon indicated that yesterday was no fluke for the Isle of Man's greatest cycling export, who now has 12 Tour de France stage victories to his name.
Gert Steegmans - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Although Steegmans was already known in Belgium, he gained more popularity outside Belgium as he piloted Robbie McEwen to two stage wins during the 2006 Tour de France.

During the second stage of the 2007 Tour de France, a Liquigas rider fell sideways in the last 3 kilometres causing others to fall. Around 20 riders fell blocking the entire road and leaving approximately 30 riders to sprint for the victory, eventually taken by Steegmans in his home country ahead of his compatriot and team-mate Tom Boonen, who took over the green jersey by coming second in the stage.

On July 6, 2008, it was announced Steegmans signed a two-year contract with Tinkoff Credit Systems.[1] In the Tour de France, he won the prestigious stage at Champs-Élysées. Team Tinkoff later folded under that name, and the management and ridership re-emerged as Team Katusha.
Fight Breaks Out After Tour Stage 6 |
Robbie McEwen had his own reasons to be upset after stage 6 after another incident. The Katusha rider's bad luck at the Tour de France continued when he collided with someone from the race organization at the end of the same stage. The Australian was taken to a hospital after the incident, but no fractures were found.

"[I] got taken out at 60kph by a podium chaperone 75m after the finish," tweeted an irate McEwen. "He literally jumped in front of me and ran into me. Nothing broken."
PezCycling News - What's Cool In Pro Cycling
Under 1km and Garmin swooped to the front and took control. A right hander and then a quick left, with Julian Dean leading out Robbie Hunter at the very front, with the elbowing going on behind. Mark Renshaw came out of nowhere at 500m to go with Cav on his wheel and Farrar back in the mix glued to Cav.