Sunday, July 03, 2011

Crash splits field, GC leaders wait for Contador... uh, maybe not this time

Of course it's different if you drop a chain or make a clumsy, newbie gear-change, then you are expected to wait, aren't you? But if a spectator brings half the field down then it's open slather, apparently. (Armstrong proved that in '99.) And of course Cancellara didn't call a "too dangerous" truce this time either. That nit-picking aside, it's sad to see the competition for stage honours reduced in such a way, let alone Contador losing over a minute. And no I'm not a fan of waiting for riders who have made their own mistakes, but it's a fine line that gets drawn sometimes and a difficult one to be certain about. That's bike racing.

I still don't think the pure sprinters had a chance but a few of the more experienced hands would have played things differently had they been able to get up the front, post-crash. Mind you, Hushovd had a dig, unlike Boonen, Cavendish, Renshaw and Goss who seemed to hit the wall somewhat. At least they were there. Can't blame Greipel, he did a ton of work for Gilbert. In the end it was Lotto's protected rider doing what he does on a hill like this, and Cadel Evans pretty well doing what he does best as well - grinding it out steadily up a hill at a pace few can match. If there had been another 100m to go then Evans may well have passed Gilbert, but it's all in the timing, ain't it?

Tour De France: Stage 1, Route Maps & Results |
when they realised that Contador wasn’t among them, they showed no mercy, driving the group and quickly carving out a forty-second advantage. Behind, Contador seemed isolated.