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Always Fear The Mock: TdF 2010 Stage 1 (bunchie)


Always Fear The Mock. Some would say that this is the most powerful force in the universe, and yet it has never been quantified. I for one am a firm believer in the Mock, and think that CERN should be turning their attention to investigating the power of the Mock, rather than the trivialities of the God particle, Higgs boson and what-all else you want to talk about.

What (or who) is the Mock? Some call it the Mozz, but they are merely fools trying to divert the attention of the Mock with more positively connoted names. The Mock can not be fooled. The Mock is an entity (for want of a better word) that thwarts the plans of mortals, usually in the most frustrating, painful way possible. Argentina ignominiously crashing out of the World Cup of Football (yes, there is another sporting event going on — less cool, but nonetheless, another sporting event) is directly related to their coach Diego Maradona suddenly talking up the chances of Argentina winning the whole thing. I guarantee that had he kept his mouth shut, the Germans would currently be on their way home, rather than celebrating a 4-0 shellacking of the Argies.

Always Fear The Mock
Fear the Mock.

Today was a prime example of the Mock for Team Garmin-Transitions. I took a photo of Millar in the green jersey, and captioned it “Millar keeping the green jersey warm for Ty.” If ever there was a clear case of bringing the Mock’s attention upon oneself, this would be it. So I apologise now to the team, and to all of the fans of Garmin-Transitions, and Tyler Farrar for bringing the wrath of the Mock upon us.

The day started normally enough. There were nerves in the team as we fell over each other a little with the first day of transferring to a different hotel (we’re now in Brussels, not Rotterdam), and also the first day on the road, but all was smoothed relatively incident free, and the boys rode off with high hopes.

The team controlled the day beautifully, with a bit of help from a few other sprinter teams, and things were looking very nice for a head to head shot between Tyler and Mark Cavendish, from HTC-Columbia. There was a point when both the white and green jerseys were both side by side on the front of the peloton pulling for their respective sprinters. A very weird, but cool sight as Millar and Tony Martin went head to head (Millar smoking it up and Garmin Transitions’ train sitting beautifully on the front). The Hope in our hearts rose.

Then all hell broke loose as the Mock intervened. Firstly, Cavendish lost control on a tight corner and wobbled out of the race, along with another of Ty’s main rivals Freire. The Hope rose in the on looking team as it looked like Ty was really only a couple of corners and ten other riders away from taking the show. There was a second enormous pile-up about a kilometre from the finish where basically the whole peloton were stopped other than a small bunch of blokes on the front. The Hope rose another notch. And then the Mock took control.

As the final 200-300m approached, and the remaining sprinters rose from their seats to launch their attacks, Tyler was looming ominously. Suddenly, his foot kicked out of his pedal as his bike was rammed by another rider. It is ridiculous that he didn’t crash ( he was travelling somewhere around 60-65km/hr, wearing lycra, so serious damage gets done when guys crash at that speed).

This is a big testament to Ty’s bike handling skills and body strength (he went from being on two wheels, to just his front wheel, to having an anchor on the back of his bike clattering about). As the dust settled, Ty’s bike was completely entangled with the other bloke’s machine, and Tyler eventually walked across the line carrying his busted up bicycle. It was an absolute nightmare, but to his eternal credit, Ty kept his cool, and is already looking at his next chance to feature on the finish line.

There will be no predictions, and we are holding none of the Hope. We just give our best efforts to get him to the sprint point as safely as can be, and let him do his thing. Always fear and respect the Mock, people.

(Thankfully no one from our team hit the deck badly, which is an important thing to be grateful for on this day!)

Toby Watson
Ex-Garmin Transitions physiotherapist and soigneur Toby Watson brings you inside the squad, and shows you what it's like to be working with a top team on the biggest races in the world. Through his regular blog updates, Toby shares his sense of drama and fun that were essential parts of his job. Toby is Australian, and currently lives in Girona with his fiancee Amanda. If he has any time, he enjoys reading and running, and occasionally skiing too, when he can.

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