Tour de France Comings and Goings!
Crashes and more crashes have been the rule of action in the first days of this year’s Tour de France, injuries and abandonments galore!
As Chris reported on Euro Trash Monday we lost Xavier Florencio of Cervelo before the start, then on the Prologue, Mathias Frank (BMC) and Manuel Cardoso (Footon) both crashed and had to go for the “early bath”. Stage 1: saw the big finish straight pile up, but it was earlier on the stage that HTC’s Adam Hansen broke his collar bone, but did ride to the finish. Then there was the dog incident which brought down Ivan Basso, David Millar and Levi Leipheimer, Levi needed and X-ray after the finish. Then nearly everyone else fell in the last 2 K’s.
Stage 2: was carnage with crashes all over the place. Fallers that will carry on include; Robert Gesink (Rabobank) has a hairline fracture of a bone in his fore arm, but will take it day by day. Robbie McEwen (Katusha) was taken to hospital after the stage with a very deep cut to the elbow with high blood loss. He starts stage 3 but Twittered “Won’t be comfortable.”
Garmin came off very badly with Christian Vande Velde, Tyler Farrer and Julian Dean all visiting the hospital, David Millar and Robbie Hunter had also hit the deck. Sprinter; Tyler Farrer has a fractured wrist and a sprained elbow, but start. Vande Velde lost nearly 10 minutes and discovered he had two broken ribs and needed stitches in an eye injury and so would not start on Tuesday’s stage over the cobbles.
Niki Terpstra (Milram) will not start stage 3, nothing to do with the crashes, he has had a fever since the start and it had not improved so he has gone home.
Reactions To Stage 2:
Alberto Contador (Astana) said: “It was crazy, it was impossible to go without falling. I heard Andy Schleck was behind and I told my team to stop. Some teams wanted to carry on, but in the end they all stopped”.
Cadel Evans (BMC): “The whole peloton went down. I’m sorry for the public for not racing, but it would not be fair to the many who were injured”.
Carlos Sastre (Cervelo): “There were lots of falls and a great deal of chaos amongst all of the teams, with groups all over the place. We took the initiative to start racing again as Thor Hushovd, Jeremy Hunt and I were in the leading group, but no-one was helping us. Then Fabian Cancellara told Thor that the race had been neutralised. The race was stopped. It was a strange situation that didn’t help us at all”.
Jean-Paul van Poppel (Cervelo DS): It’s pretty bad for us. We took everything on our shoulders. No team wanted to start chasing. They wanted to let it go. Everything was going well until the crash. If the crash wasn’t there, I am quite sure that there would have been a sprint and Thor would have been a big favourite. They decided not to sprint for the points, and Thor was really upset about that. It ended up badly because of the crash. Otherwise it could have been the flowers and maybe the champagne”.
Fabian Cancellara lost the yellow jersey, but the Schleck Brothers, his team leaders are still in with a shout for the overall, he was quite reasonable about it saying: “There’s other things to think about than the yellow jersey”. So the Saxo Bank team had its top men back in the fold, others were not so lucky, will the same rules apply on the cobbles? I think not!
There has been many comments on the net since yesterday, but the one that said a lot to me was by ex-rider and TV pundit; Brian smith via Twitter: “….I got 17 stitches in a wound in the sun tour….carried on and won the KOM jersey….nobody waited for me!”
And what about the stage winner, Sylvain Chavanel? He was out front all day and wanted that win, what did he have to say: “It was a terrific race. To win on Belgian roads for a Belgian team and to have the honour tomorrow of riding into France wearing the yellow jersey is a dream come true for me. I still haven’t realised what I’ve accomplished. This year I had a difficult moment, perhaps the worst in my career, after the terrible fall in the Liиge-Bastogne-Liиge but this victory has repaid me for all my past suffering. I only found out after the finish line about what had happened behind me, with the fall of the group towards the end. Sometimes in life you’re just in the right place at the right time and I was ready for my moment. On the down hills I was very careful and then I just concentrated on pedalling, giving it my all until the finish line.” Well done Sylvain we say!
Stage 3: A little bit more of the same first crash was a face plant for Sky’s Simon Gerrans; he rode on, but needed medical attention to some bad face abrasions. Frank Schleck wasn’t as lucky as he left the race with a broken collar bone as brother Andy rode on to gain time on his adversaries.
The yellow jersey of Sylvain Chavanel had two punctures and had to change bikes, he lost nearly 4 minutes and the jersey went back to Fabian Cancellara.
The main winners were Evans, Andy Schleck, Vinokourov, Menchov and Wiggins who all didn’t lose much time. Lance Armstrong, Leipheimer and Klцden of RadioShack all lost some time, as did Carlos Sastre, but his team wanted the stage win for Thor Hushovd, so…Giro winner; Ivan Basso was probably the biggest loser of the overall possibles. David Le Lay of ag2r also didn’t finish the day.
It wasn’t a problem free day for Alberto Contador as he explained on his web-site: The mechanical problem was the first thing he mentioned after crossing the finish line. “I rode the final 30 kilometres with the rear brake rubbing the whole time, so considering that, and that I got caught up in a crash, the result is not that bad.”
Very unhappy rider was hard-man; Jens Voigt, he vented his spleen on German TV: “You can’t imagine how angry and how pissed off I am over this daft decision to include this stage in the Tour. It may well be that we have Fabian back in the yellow jersey and Andy at the top end of the classification, but we would swap it all to have a healthy Frank back.”
I think most of the riders will be glad the last few days are behind them and Stage 4: It’s back to work as normal, long break gets caught in time for a bunch sprint. Mr. Cavendish is not too happy at the end and there is a bit of bike dropping and helmet throwing, but I’m sure all the toys will be back in the pram for tomorrow!
It’s Not All About The Tour!
There are other races going on at the moment, although you wouldn’t think so!
The Tour of Austria
Riccardo Ricco (Flaminia) is leading the Цsterreich Rundfahrt (Tour of Austria) form Carmio Oro-NGC pair; Emanuelle Sella and Sergio Pardilla both at 1:44. The race finishes on Sunday with a 26 kilometre Individual Time Trial in Podersdorf on Saturday which could be decisive after a 231 kilometre stage the previous day.
Stage 1: Andrй Greipel (HTC).
Stage 2: Riccardo Ricco (Flaminia).
Stage 3: Leonardo Bertagnolli (Androni).
Stage 4: Riccardo Ricco (Flaminia)
The Giro d’Italia Donne
Ina Teutenberg of HTC had the Woman’s Giro by the throat by winning three stages in a row, then on Tuesday Marianne Vos (Dutch Nat Team) took over the race lead by the end of a hilly 122 kilometre stage to Pattenasco. There are still five more stages to go before the finish in Monza on Sunday; Vos is leading by 21 seconds from Judith Arndt (HTC), 45 seconds ahead of Tatiana Guderzo (Valdarno) and 1:04 to Claudia Hдusler (Cervelo). Teutenberg is now nearly 5 minutes down, but is still in the point’s jersey.
Fitchburg Longsjo Classic
When we left the Classic there was only the final 50 mile criterium to go with David Villeux (Kelly Benefits) leading Jay Thomson (Fly V) by 5 seconds from Jeremy Vennell (Bissell) at 6 seconds. Veilleux stretched his lead to 7 seconds over Thomson and 12 over Vennell by taking second place on the criterion stage behind Fly V Australia’s Charles Dionne. There were time bonuses on the stage so it was important for him to be on the stage podium. David Veilleux said after his win that; “I wasn’t able to win the stage but I was able to win the GC so I am happy. It means a lot to win this race. It is a really nice NRC race and we liked all the courses. Each course was hard but as a team we like to race aggressively so they suited us and me.”
Fitchburg Longsjo Classic Final Overall:
1. DavidVeilleux(Kelly Benefit Strategies)in 8:42:12
2. Jay Thomson (Fly V Australia) at 0:07
3. Jeremy Vennell (BISSELL Pro Cycling) at 0:12
4. Aurelien Passeron (Garneau Club Chaussures Ogilvy) at 0:34
5. Zach Bell (Kelly Benefit Strategies) at 0:36
6. Paul Mach (BISSELL Pro Cycling) at 0:42
7. Scott Zwizanski (Kelly Benefit Strategies) at 0:45
8. Patrick Mccarty (Matrix/Richardson Bike Mart) at 0:51
9. Luis Amaran (Jamis Sutter Home-Colavita) at 0:54
10. Matt Cooke (Mountain Khakis) at 1:09
And The Landis Thing?
It looks like the Floyd Landis investigation will rumble on for a long time yet! The latest is that WADA are taking it very seriously, even if the UCI appear not too, and now the International Criminal Organization or better known as “Interpol” is involved, according to WADA’s David Howman. What next?
Santiago Botero Retires
Columbian rider Santiago Botero has announced his retirement; “I think I’ve reached the end of a cycle. I’m about to turn 38 and I’m not able to give as much of myself on the bike as I used to be.” He had suffered with health problems recently and had enough. He will be remembered in the Kelme jersey winning the Mountains jersey in 2000 Tour. He was 4th overall in the 2002 Tour and won the World TT champs the same year. After that things went downhill with the Puerto affair and two positive drug tests.
Iljo Keisse Banned?
After the Belgian cycling federation threw the positive test of Keisse at the Gent 6 Day track event, now CAS have overturned the decision and they say he must serve the remainder of his 2 year ban, which will be 11 months as he had started his ban previously. He was riding the Tour of Austria for the Quick-Step team when he was told of the decision.
The Tour To Start In Scotland?
Scotland is bidding to host the Grand Depart of the Tour de France within the next 10 years, according to Sport Scotsman. EventScotland chief operating officer Paul Bush met with Tour organisers ASO in Rotterdam last Saturday to initiate the bid.
Bush said: “We’ve had positive discussions with ASO and now we’re looking at putting a proposal to them to bring the Grand Dйpart to Scotland in the next ten years. It sounds like a long time away, but that’s the timeline they work to. “After the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup [in 2014] it’s the one we want.” He added “As far as I’m concerned this is the next jewel in the crown in terms of major events to come to Scotland. We’ve had the MTV Awards, we’re going to get the Ryder Cup and Commonwealth Games, and the Tour would hopefully be next. It’s such a huge, worldwide event – it’s got an Olympic feel to it.”
David Millar (Garmin) who is currently competing in the Tour de France, gave his backing to the bid: “I would love to be an ambassador. If we’re talking of it happening in the next decade, then I think I may have to keep racing until I’m 43. It would be wonderful. Scotland would form such a spectacular backdrop and the only major challenge I can see are the logistics of transporting the entire Tour entourage back to France.” It a long time off, but you never know?
The Best ”Tweet”! Last Night
Yes,from Alberto Contador “ЎЎЎЎЎЎЎESSSSPPPPPPAAAAAAAСССССССAAAAAAA!!!!!!”
Spain 1-Germany 0.