Friday, May 27, 2022

Time For The Hitters

-

Time For The Hitters. After a couple of days where I’ve been off the grid, it’s a good day to get back on Tour watching duties!

We’ve seen Cav do what Cav does: win Tour stages. Radioshack appear almost cursed, with Brajkovic out, Horner in doubt and Leipheimer losing a minute after slipping on some paint; Sky have had a win through Eddie the Boss, but have lost Wiggo; Garmin continue to hold the yellow jersey, and it appears VDV is their sole gc option as Ryder lost some time behind a crash. Who said the first week is boring?

Time For The Hitters
Fab’s off the boil somewhat, but where is Andy’s form?

Super-Besse is the first mountain stage, although it’s not a killer like the Alpine stages late in the race. It was the scene of fireworks a couple of years ago, with Riccardo Riccò winning the stage and Stefan Schumacher losing the yellow jersey in a late crash… No one waited that day… And no one moaned either… Heh.

Anyhoo, with a 1.5km final climb at 7.6% it’s plenty hard enough for there to be some minor time gaps to be put into blokes. Contador is surely going to be looking to hit the field as hard as he can, Evans will be covering and hopefully countering, and we will finally get to see what form Andy Schleck has.

And atop all of this, Phillipe Gilbert will be hoping to lay some unanswered points on the green jersey to gain some space on Cav & Thor.

So looking into the crystal ball, my tip is;

  1. Contador
  2. Evans
  3. Gilbert

Now we get to see how the big hitters are faring. Very excited!

Previous articleQuestion Marks
Next articleSurprisingly Static
Toby Watson
Toby Watsonhttps://www.veloveritas.co.uk
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.

Related Articles

And Now (No And Then) – Dude Where’s My Car?

And Now ... I love that scene from Dude Where’s My Car? So here we sit: Rest Day 2 already! And yet it feels like forever since the Tour started. Weird stuff happens to sports fans in July. The last few days of racing have been typically explosive, with Cav making it 19 TdF career stage wins (good grief the man can find the finish line) yesterday...

Dare We Guess?

Dare We Guess? Ok. So last night was on paper the stage that everyone expected-a breakaway that was difficult to get into, but stayed away once established. And yet it was hardly a predictable result, with a shake-up of the GC, another win to Garmin and Thor, and a request from the Schlecks that every stage please be an uphill time trial, or at worst an uphill two man teams time trial.

A Great Result

A Great Result. After all of my brash talk about Garmin's cherry having been popped, and Tyler thus being assured of the win on Stage 3, it was so exciting to see the result this morning! The race wasn't quite the shootout I'd anticipated, but Garmin executed their final kilometres brilliantly, and if there ever was a deserving winner of a stage, it is Ty Farrar.

Second Big Test

Second Big Test. After a quiet day where the big swinging cats of the peloton were all nice to each other, the fireworks are set to ignite. Hilltop finishes are always a risk for time gaps, and considering Cadel is currently the only contender who would be happy with how things sit on the overall with a 41km individual TT still to come, there are lads who will be sure to attack madly tonight.

Slim To None

Slim To None. The chances of Cav getting beaten two days running in a sprint. Today is a guaranteed bunchie. It's a flat stage heading to the base of the Pyrenees, and the third last opportunity for the sprinters to shine. There's nary a categorised climb to be seen, so everyone's favourite caraccident victim Johnny "Breakaway" Hoogerland will remain in the King of the Mountains jersey for one more stage, although how much longer he can survive in the race itself is anyone's guess.

Desperate Procession at the TDU

Today the final stage of the 2011 TDU gets underway, a desperate procession maybe, but it's devastatingly disappointing for me, but also extremely exciting considering it is Cadel Evans who will cross the line the champion today, calamitous misadventure notwithstanding. (brief pause while author touches wood.) I can't believe it's nearly over, and conversely can't believe that Gilbert's win on Stage One was only three weeks ago.

At Random

La Vuelta a España 2014 – Stage 5; Priego de Cordoba – Ronda, 182.3 km. John Degenkolb Again

We have to start betting ‘each way’ – yesterday we said; ‘Michael Matthews’ and he was third, today we said; ‘Nacer Bouhanni’ and he was second. And much as we admire the wiry Frenchman, John Degenkolb was 100% correct when he said of Bouhanni’s complaint about the German shutting the door on him; ‘on the right side there was only the barriers.’

Off-Season Report – So Far! Dan Patten’s Blog

It's Christmas time, which means the first half of the off-season is coming to an end. Time has flown by since finishing up my season in Belgium mid-October. The body was certainly in need of recovery, after hitting the ground too many times in the second half of the season. Not least because on two occassions I was hit by cars, with the last time coming just a week before the end of the season...

Le Tour de France 2017 – Stage 2: Düsseldorf – Liège, 205.5km. Big Marcel is the Quickest

From Düsseldorf Big Marcel – not forgetting his Barnet – was the ‘schnelest.’ Not that hard to predict; it’s Belgium so it must be QuickStep - it would have been better if it was Flanders and not Wallonia but I’m being churlish. Patrick Lefevre struggling to find a sponsor? Unlikely when his boys ride like this – who wouldn’t want to be associated with this squad?

Tony Gibb Eurosport Commentator – London Olympics Day Three

Well no rubbish today about my trip to the track or my run in with a black cab driver, today is simply about the bike riding.

Grenoble Six Days 2011 – D minus 1

It's a grey morning in Grenoble; we can't unload until 11:00 am and then we have to drive up to Lyon and collect Jesper and Marc off the plane. In the stadium office they have great old black and white photos of the stadium under construction; it really is a gem of a building, if you like modern architecture.

Copenhagen Six Day 2018 – Nights One, Two, and Three

Daniel Holloway does the countdown in his Californian-Swedish, ten down to six; the crowd takes over from five down to one, the cannon report just about bursts everyone’s ear drums, then there’s the smoke. For a split second nothing happens, everyone is too stunned by the noise and reek of gunpowder. But there’s the bongos – and Paul Delicato’s velvet voice; 'Cara Mia mine, must we say goodbye...' It can only be the Copenhagen Six Day 2018 !