Saturday, July 24, 2021

Mark Cavendish in Form


Mark Cavendish in Form. Another day, another bunchy and — seemingly inevitably — another win to Cav. He is an amazing bike rider, with an incredible knack for winning, and as regular and almost easy as his wins at the Tour seem, he is beating some very good bike riders and teams who are often racing solely to beat him.

Mark Cavendish in Form
Thor and Cav exchanging their favourite cake recipes a few yrs ago.

Tyler apparently just wasn’t on form today, so didn’t contest the sprint, which isn’t like him, usually when he gets a sniff of the finish line, all thoughts of physical unreadiness fly out the window as he goes for the win.

An example of this was last year’s Tour where he was racing with a broken hand after an early crash. We weren’t even sure if he’d be able to sprint as he was in such pain when he gripped the bars, but once the line was in front of him, he forgot all talk of riding small and ensuring he didn’t hurt himself further, producing a couple of podium finishes he had no right to achieve.

I hope he comes good, I’d love to see him and Cav go head to head coming off their respective lead-out trains!

It sounds like the day was pretty hectic, with a lot of crashes throughout the bunch. Cross-tail winds are dangerous days for bike racing: there are risks of splits in the bunch, everything’s going a little quicker, and slight direction changes can have wheels cross, bringing blokes down on seemingly innocuous parts of the road.

For once, the Garmin boys seemed to stay out of trouble, which is great to see — Ryder and VDV will hopefully start moving up the gc list shortly; and Cadel has continued his brilliant start to the race with an incident free day. The first mountain stages are starting to heave into view, and the next aspect of the intrigue of this wicked race begins.

As for Fantasy cycling (the question everyone is always asking when they get onto this blog… heh), Tobes’ Velo Stars have started their climb up the rankings, now with more than half of the points of the leading team of Browny. Talk about a lame silver lining! Tom Hopper has dropped out of the lead, although his “All Americano” team (which is NOT made up of Americans only — false advertising Hopper!) is still well in the mix.

The SBS league again hasn’t updated all that quickly, but in great news, the fiancee of a pro-cyclist has selected a better team than her man, which is hopefully leading to a number of sledges! My brother-in-law has dropped down the table a little, although I haven’t exactly set the world on fire in moving up. Ahh well.

Bring on tonight’s show!

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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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