Tuesday, September 21, 2021
HomeDiariesLe Tour de France 2010, Stage 15: Pamiers - Bagneres-de-Luchon; Tommy Gun

Le Tour de France 2010, Stage 15: Pamiers – Bagneres-de-Luchon; Tommy Gun

-

Voeckler in Bagneres-de-Luchon; you have to admire him, he’s a racer. Whatever happens, it’s been a good Le Tour de France 2010 for Bbox, Charteau in polka dots for a good stretch and now Tommy takes a big one. Going down to Pro Continental doesn’t seem to have affected them one bit – and it’s saved them a fortune.

Bagneres-de-Luchon
Tommy heads for a fabulous win.

It was a tad mad up on the Port de Bales today but great to be there – Monday afternoon, high in the Pyrenees under a clear blue sky with the world’s best cyclists just inches away.

There’s no digital signal up there in the montagnes so we didn’t really know what was going on until the riders were upon us.

Bagneres-de-Luchon
Bert pushes on with Denis and Sammy.

From what we understand, Schleck’s chain came off whilst Bert was having a dig.

Some say that this was unsporting but others that Bert was unaware of the incident.

Even if he was aware, this is where I get puzzled; Cancellara bullied everyone into waiting on the Spa stage and if it wasn’t for that then it would be a very different GC; Andy should remember that, be thankful for it, keep his mouth shut and get on with the race.

Bagneres-de-Luchon
Andy recovered from his mishap well, but lost time on the descent to Bert & Co.

It strikes me that explanations for race situations depend on who’s doing the ‘spinning’ and needs the argument to suit them most.

When Lance’s boys drove hard across that tidal causeway a few years back and there was an almighty crash behind, that was ‘savvy’ (or some such word) riding.

But when Contador pushes a move home, he’s ‘unsporting’ – apart from anything else, with the current groupset technology a derailed chain is unforgivable. [It seems that Andy was in the wee ring and in a small sprocket – not the wisest of chain lines and tension to deploy when attacking full gas out the saddle, when his chain whipped and got caught in his crank arm : – Editor.]

It would seem that many believe that in bike racing in the current era, a truce has to be declared for every ‘mechanical’.

To me, that’s preposterous, punctures, crashes and equipment failing are part of the game – just the way the mop flops.

Which leads us to a team where every opportunity is grasped to minimise negative variables – Sky.

Their first man up the climb today was Lövkvist, but well down – and yet another bad day for Bradley with the rest of the team scattered all over the Pyrenees.

Bagneres-de-Luchon
Brad avoids being run off the road.

Over the winter they should quietly drop the ‘marginal gains’ thing and look carefully at this season – learn from their mistakes and remember that guys like Chavanel, Riblon and Voeckler win because they want to the most.

Not because their team has the best bus or the slippiest TT bilkes.

OK, I’m calm now.

If you keep abreast of our stuff you’ll have read that Garmin soigneur (and VeloVeritas blogger) Toby Watson saved us one hell of a walk down the mountain, today.

Bagneres-de-Luchon
Toby asks if we want a lift.

Many thanks, Toby – we’ll try and get you that beer on the rest day!

* * *

Bagneres-de-Luchon – Gallery

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 2013 – Stage 7: Montpellier > Albi, 205km. 160km Leadout for Sagan

Peter Sagan (Cannondale & Slovakia) shone on today's stage from Montpellier - he's a breath of fresh air; he has the patter, the power, the speed, the will to win - and Cannondale have the airbrush work to back him up. And perhaps the scariest thing about him is that he’s still only 23 years-old.

Perfect Storm of Crap: TdF 2010 Stage 2 (mini LBL)

Perfect Storm of Crap! All talk of the Mock aside, holy crap. What a day. Yesterday’s stage was dubbed a mini Liege-Bastogne-Liege as it covered a segment of the same course as that particular race. For those not in the know, LBL is one of the major Spring Classics on the calendar. It’s a tough race with lots of short, sharp hills on very small old roads.

Le Tour de France 2010, Stage 14: Revel-Ax3 Domaines; Playing Poker

We left Ax3 Domaines this morning, and are now in Lourdes - a strange place, like a religiously themed Blackpool; only it's not little replicas of the tower they're selling, rather all manner of tat plastered with religious images. The last time I was there was with Martin, we sat, stunned in a late night pizza place - yellow jerseyed Rasmussen had just been sent home from le Tour by Rabobank.

Remembering Wiggins’ Tour de France

Don’t worry! You’ll get no lectures or swear words from me; just one old cycling lover’s random personal remembrances of another wonderful two weeks spent in La Belle France... is it really just three years since the memorable famous first British victory in the race for Bradley Wiggins? Can Chris Froome take the country's tally to three in a month's time?

Le Tour de France 2011, Stage 10 – a little tourisme

Yesterday we arrived in Rodez as planned, picked up the hire car without any bother, and got ourselves, eventually, after getting lost a couple of times, to the hotel - one of these typical French 'pod' rooms, but it's okay with it's bunk beds and little shower room / toilet. A drive up to the Permanence, aka the Press Headquarters, to pick up our race accreditation, and we'd be all set for a pretty cruisy Rest Day. Only, the Permanence happened to be over two hours drive away, and once there, we found that only Ed's 'creds' were ready - mine hadn't been "approved by Julia" (the head ASO cred issuer).

Le Tour de France 2016 – Stage 20; Megève – Morzine-Avoriaz. Izagirre Descends To Victory

We'd hoped for a big GC dog fight on the Joux Plane but what we got was a dour struggle to the line whilst those crazy baroudeurs battled for the stage win. It was a nice morning to start with but as we parked up on the Joux Plane the clouds scudded in, thunder roared down the valley and the lightning flashed brighter than a million photog's flash guns.

At Random

Elite Road Race World Championship 2013 – Clever Rui Costa

Elite Road Race World Championship 2013; Just about everyone named Rodriguez, Valverde, Nibali, Sagan, Gilbert and Cancellara as favourites – but I didn’t see one mention of Portugal’s Rui Costa’s name before the race. But he was there with the best at the death and played his hand as coolly as Paul Newman in ‘The Sting.’

Commonwealth Games 2014 – Road Race, Elite Men. Geraint Thomas the Biggest Bear

We were there, walking the streets and parks of Glasgow - until the Monsoons came and discretion became the better part of valour at which times the words of Doctor Samuel Johnson have never rang more true; 'There is nothing which has yet been contrived by man, by which so much happiness is produced as by a good tavern or inn.' Especially if it has an HD tele.

Mark Stewart – Second in the Glasgow World Cup Omnium

He’s been quiet, that Commonwealth Games Points Race Champion, Mark Stewart lad. But he’s back with a bang - a World Cup Points win in Minsk and a World Cup Omnium silver in Glasgow. Best ‘have a word.’

Havik and Van Schip top the Copenhagen Three Day

From the very first chase there was little doubt about who was in charge of the Copenhagen Three Day 2020; Dutchmen Jan Van Schip and Yoeri Havik were the strongest men on the track. In the recent UCI World Cup in Milton, Canada Van Schip won the Omnium then teamed up with Havik to win the Madison – so we knew they were on form.

The VV View: Where Do The World’s Top Riders Come From?

Where do the World's Top Riders come from? It creeps up on you, the need, nae, the burning desire to rant. The last straw was Chris Froome's comments about the Tour organiser's intention to include cobbles in the 2014 race. Chris isn't keen - he wants just long, flat time trials and mountain stages; but we guess he's OK with the sprinter stages. too?

Giro d’Italia Team Time Trial; 4 Hr Race – 4 Sec Difference

Yesterday was the Giro d'Italia Team Time Trial (TTT) a 33km shot through northern Italy where teams departed five minutes apart and raced the clock up the road. The order of starting was based on the overall standing of the best three riders from each team, with the slowest team going first, and the team of the race leader going last (regardless of how their team was faring).