Le Tour de France 2010 ‘Ride to rule,’ ‘rider protest,’ or ‘strike’ – file all under, ‘PR disaster.’ Once again it was Viktor with the quote of the day; ‘Tour Feminine.’ Dave Chapman only needed one word; ‘farce!‘
Al Hamilton used more words but hit the nail square on the head;
“Let me pose this hypothetical question that may become reality: Tomorrow, on the cobbles if Contador (or Basso or Schleck or Sastre) crashes/punctures etc. and L.A. goes up the road, do you think he will wait?
“NO! I don’t think he will even look back! And then it will be “well that’s racing!”
Ex-British pro champion and Giro finisher Brian Smith had this to say;
“I agree times are changing and safety is paramount – but racing is racing! Cancellara gave up the jersey to save the Schlecks.
“Gentleman! Disrespectful to viewers, fans and sponsors. They don’t lower the fences at the Grand National!
“Sport has its risks… that’s why it pays better money than the average person sitting in an office.
“But it’s that average person that pays to be entertained. It should have been a special day for the right reasons – good racing!”
Ivan has been trawling the Flemish websites;
“The Raboz are furious with Cancellara and the Saxo guys, the Raboz had three guys up the road; LA was at two minutes, the Schlecks at three minutes, but Gesink, Menchov, and Freire obeyed the Cancellara order to stop.”
Stephen Roche was ‘scandalized!‘ and like Brian, said it showed a lack of respect to their profession, the spectators and the race organisation.
He correctly observed that the weather is part of racing and that the race route has been known for seven months.
He also observed that ‘gentleman’s agreements’ don’t produce legends – very true, Stephen.
And quoting direct from the press release – as all the biggest big websites do – here’s what Thor Hushovd had to say;
“I feel frustrated by what happened today. Our team was working hard and we would have had a good chance for victory. I feel like they have taken something away from us today.
“There were a few sprinters who did not make it to the front group, but there was no reason to not contest the sprint today. Everyone made a gentleman’s agreement not to sprint, but I lost an important opportunity to try to win the stage and gain points.”
But let’s not forget Chavanel – major respect to the Frenchman, an epic ride.
‘Fortune favours the brave’ and the stage, yellow and green jerseys were just reward for the QuickStep rider’s heroics.
Those Tour stats I promised yesterday?
I’ll bore you tomorrow, I’m not in the mood at the minute – I feel like someone nicked my fish supper from under my nose just as I was going to apply the salt and vinegar.
Let’s just hope for none of that ‘gentleman’ stuff on the pavé.
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And under ‘just one more t’ing, sir’
The kermesses march on, Tour or no Tour – Mario Willems scored win number 12 of 2010 to stay top of the rankings for Kingsnorth with team mate, rising Aussie star, Dougie Repacholi nailing another third place.
And finally – I’ve just read Chris Horner’s remarks on Cyclingnews.com.
Maybe he should have employed some of that righteous indignation when he and all of his peers stood back and watched the number that the UCI let ASO work on Unibet a couple of years ago. And based on his remarks, I guess no one will be riding Liege-Bastogne-Liege in 2011?