We headed to Bourg-les-Valence today, but first, Big Macs… they may pig you out towards an early grave, but damn, the wi-fi is good in there! Thursday was hectic, finished off with a train journey via Carstairs – I was a bit worried they might grab me – to Penrith, where I was meeting Dave to head to Stansted and La Belle France.
Dave’s working at Sellafield just now so I gave him a quick once over with the Geiger counter as he scoffed his chicken sandwich – all clear.
We fired up the Toshiba to see what all the fuss was about and much as I admire Mark Renshaw, he did rather ‘radge oot’ in that finale.
The head butts to Dean were the real deal and very dangerous – he may have got away with that, but then he chopped hard across Tyler Farrar to block him from coming up on Cav.
Columbia are not surprisingly giving it ‘max righteous indignation.’
Here’s what Monsieur Renshaw had to say;
“I’m extremely disappointed and also surprised at this decision. I never imagined I would be removed from any race especially the Tour de France.
“I pride myself on being a very fair, safe and a straight up sprinter and never in my career have I received a fine or even a warning. Julian came hard in on my position with his elbows. I needed to use my head to retain balance or there would have been a crash.
“If had used my elbows when Julian brought his elbow on top of mine we would also have crashed. The object was to hold my line and stay upright.
“I hadn’t started the sprint yet. We were still at 375m to go. After that Cavendish had to start his sprint early and I was also ready to finish off the sprint as I still had a lot left in my legs. It would have been good to try to take some more points.
“I only saw open space on my left. I had no idea Tyler Farrar was there. By no means would I ever put any of my fellow riders in danger.”
Meanwhile, Belgian sports channel Sporza conducted a straw poll;
UCI commissar Luc Geysen;
“Extremely dangerous, a unanimous decision, we looked at all tv images three times, we quickly established the culprit – it was a unanimous decision, this behaviour is unacceptable, very dangerous use of the head and deliberately cutting off Farrar’s line.”
Tour Organiser, Pescheaux;
“Extremely dangerous, a unanimous decision.”
“Correct decision , if Farrar had been less experienced then it could have been carnage , Zabel was disqualified a few years ago for the same thing , what is acceptable in the keirin on the track is not acceptable on the road.”
“Furious with Mark Renshaw, very dangerous, unacceptable.”
Julian Dean; Ditto.
Sporza also spoke to various ex-riders at the finish, unanimous decision, unacceptable.
We thought we’d bounce it off Raleigh’s Dan Fleeman;
“I think what he did was bad – relegate him, fine him, but DQ? I’m not sure, guess they are making an example.
“No worse than McEwen a few years back. Kirsty (Mrs. Fleeman) on the other hand totally agrees with it; like she says, kids watch the Tour and they may try doing it!”
And finally, Brian Smith is always good for a quote;
“Penalised for unsporting behaviour, yes. DQ-ed no.
“Renshaw has been made an example. What he did had no effect on result. They may as well paint lanes in the last 200m!
“Sprinting is gladitorial and always will be. Renshaw is entertaining but not dangerous. RR! Reinstate Renshaw!”
It ain’t been a dull Tour!
More tomorrow – from France, if the Lord spares us.