Monday, September 20, 2021
HomeRaceRace ReviewsLe Tour de France 2010, Stage 8: Station des Rousses - Morzine-Avoriaz;...

Le Tour de France 2010, Stage 8: Station des Rousses – Morzine-Avoriaz; Schleck Takes First Blood


Great racing today to Morzine-Avoriaz, and whatever Astana pay Paolo Tiralongo (Italia) and Daniel Navarro (Espana), it’s not enough. Tiralongo has been around a long time, third in the Baby Giro in 1998 he turned pro in 2000 and arrived at Astana this year after three years with Fassa, three with Panaria and four with Lampre.

A man who’s looking scarily fit to us, has a stage win to his credit and is currently third on GC, is Paolo Tiralongo.

The talk has been all about whether Bert’s team is up the job; that was answered today as Vino turned descender and domestique deluxe with Tiralongo and then Navarro riding like demons on the climbs.

Navarro was a Liberty Seguros man in ’05 and ’06 (I didn’t say he was perfect) and has been riding in the name of Kazakhstan’s capital city since ’06 when Liberty morphed into Astana – he has a Dauphine stage to his name this year and has carried that form into the Tour.

The pain and suffering neatly summarised on Daniel Navarro’s face. Photo©Martin Williamson

I heard a lot being said about Schleck this afternoon, indicating that now ‘he’s the man,’ but fine though his win was, it was Contador who was never more that fourth or fifth from the front and who’s team lit the race up – not Schleck, who was totally isolated when the chips were down.

However, respect for a good win and on top of his performance on the pavé, he does look like a genuine contender for the win; but probably not this year – unless he’s three minutes clear of Bert going into that final time trial.

Lance – ‘Bad Day at Black Rock’ sums it up; his body language said it all when he had to step off due to the feeding station tangle in front of him.

He looked weary and there was simply no urgency as he pulled his Trek out of the pile and remounted.

Hindsight is 20/20 but he didn’t look good yesterday and it’s that dreaded ‘one season too many’ I fear.

That shot of him glugging Coke as the chase group he was in fanned across the road said it all – ‘capitulation.’

But like Vik says’ ‘what motivates a man who’s a multi-millionaire and who owns a private jet to put himself through that?’

It’s what the Tour does to you, Vik, it’s so hard to let go.

Bradley had us puzzled; we don’t understand why he committed Flecha, Thomas and Lövkvist so early – it wasn’t up to Sky to carry the race and there was a long, long way to go.

Apparently, the rationale was; ‘We rode because we knew that if we didn’t do it, someone else would and we wanted to be at the front end of it.


We won’t say that the podium is impossible for him now – but it’s going to be much harder than it was on Saturday night.

He ‘popped’ at 3.6 K to go and in that distance lost 1:45 – disconcerting.

Encouraging, if you’re a Tour fan is the number of quality riders still in the mix: Evans, Schleck, Contador, Van Den Broeck, Menchov, Kreuziger, Basso, Leipheimer, Gesink, Sastre – and if I’ve missed your favourite, apologies.

Big respect has to go to Lotto’s Mario Aerts; failure, but a glorious one and massive TV exposure for the classy Belgian climber – the 2,000 euros ‘plus combatif’ prize will help, no doubt.

And best not forget the papers – when I opened The Observer this morning, I had to do a double-take; a lovely shot of Chava taking the stage dominated the front page of the sports section – nice!

There’ll be no L’Equipe today, I haven’t been able to figure out how delivery of the hallowed sheets of newsprint works up at the International Newsagents, so Monday will be a wee surprise for us.

And finally spare a thought for Roger Kluge (Milram and Germany) last rider to finish today @ 32:52 – and that’s a man who can ride round a Six Day track all night at 55 kph.

Rest day tomorrow, but we’ll be ranting right here!

Ciao, ciao.

Ed Hood
Ed's been involved in cycling for over 45 years. In that time he's been a successful time triallist, team manager, and sponsor of several teams and clubs. He's also a respected and successful coach, and during the winter months can often be found working in the cabins at the Six Days. Ed remains a massive fan of the sport and couples his extensive contacts with an inexhaustable enthusiasm for the minutiae and the history of our sport.

Related Articles

Le Tour de France 2012 – Stage 9: Arc-et-Senans – Besançon (ITT), 41.5km.

I guess I have to face up to it: it’s a black and blue – and yellow, world. I best get the hand of this ‘box ticking’ thing, then.

Le Tour de France 2017 – Stage 13: Saint-Girons – Foix, 101km. Barguil on Bastille Day!

VeloVeritas soothsayer, Viktor and I have long been critics of Warren Barguil (Sunweb & France) as a ‘one hit wonder,’ with his two stage wins in the Vuelta in 2013 then very little else; but in this Tour he’s certainly been reborn. He was so close to Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale & Colombia) last Sunday after being the hero of the day and today, on Bastille Day he scored the biggest and most beautiful win of his career with a historic stage victory. 

Le Tour de France 2012 – Stage 8: Belfort – Porrentruy, 154 km

Call me a sentimental old fool, but Thibaut Pinot’s win in stage 8 was what the Tour is all about – the youngest man in the race gallantly holding off the rampaging favourites; Marc Madiot in the FDJ team car overcome with emotion; team mates barging in on the TV interview to hug and kiss Pinot, some in tears. Le Tour de France 2012 - Stage 8.

Le Tour de France 2013 – Stage 14: Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule > Lyon, 191km. Trentin Takes It

Winner today: Trentin, Quote of the day: this comes from a gentleman of Ivan’s acquaintance; ‘It's not fair what Contador did to Froome, using his team like that in the wind.’ Damned Johnny Foreigner – no wonder they don’t play cricket.

Maciej Bodnar deserves his win in Le Tour de France 2017 – Stage 20: Marseille, 22.5km ITT

Maciej Bodnar deserved his win today; it was Vince Lombardi the legendary American Football coach and sports philosopher who said; “show me a ‘good loser’ and I’ll show you a loser.”

Le Tour de France – Day 9: Stage 21, Etampes to Paris

Salle de Presse, Meridien Hotel, Paris, 18.55 Sunday July 27th. We were in Etampes, and we just watched Steegmans demonstrate how to sprint, he's a much better sprinter than he is a time triallist. Sastre won his, and CSC's first Grand Tour without drama, there was the usual show boating-'Carlos with glass of champagne', it says here on this script.

At Random

Star of the Future: Sam Spokes

He's another Vik 'find.' Australia's Mr Sam Spokes, he had a good season in Belgium last year and this year he's with Etixx-Ihned Cycling Team - the QuickStep U23 feeder team. Last week he pulled off his best win in the four stage Vysocina Tour in the Czech Republic and as is our way, we 'had a word.'

Craig Geater – when a CSC Mechanic

We mentioned the other day that Craig Geater is now working for the Discovery team, but before that he was a spannerman for Riis' CSC outfit, and it somehow seemed fitting to now publish our interesting interview with him from that period.

Borut Božič – Vacansoleil’s Sprinter

It's only metres from the finish in the final stage of the 2006 Vuelta a Cuba and US rider Joe Papp has it in the bag. His wife is in the cheering crowd as he begins to raise his arms in celebration - but an instant before he crosses the line there's a yellow and red haze to his right - Slovenian Borut Božič glides past the American to take his third stage win of the race.

Le Tour de France 2007 – Day 5: Rest Day

Rest day, it's a bit of a misnomer if you are journo on the Tour. My first task was to get the washing done, I try to travel light and do a washing every couple of days, it's a "fine drying day, today" as my mum used to say, so by the time I get back tonight, my wardrobe should be replenished. I left Martin to get a little extra beauty sleep after all that driving and wandered-off to find a caff. It didn't take long and I soon had my cafe au lait and armagnac in front of me.

Redundancy and Happy Surprises: TdF Stage 19 (time trial)

Time trials are always difficult days at races. Firstly, the riders line up knowing their final position in the race depends on their forthcoming hour of solo work, and secondly, the logistics for the staff are super complex here at the TdF Stage 19.

Craig Maclean – Trackside at the Worlds

Martin: "Here! Ed! Shouldn't we be doing a piece about the World Track Champs?" Ed: "They've never been the same since Daniel Morelon retired and Hughie Porter had that crash, then they ditched the big motors and..." Martin: "Hold on - go and speak to Craig Maclean!" Ed: "Aye, right, he'll know a bit, being an ex-world champ and all..."