Sunday, September 19, 2021

Can He Hold?

-

Thor is staring down the barrel of a very tough day in the saddle today, Can he hold ?!

He has been fantastic in first gaining the yellow jersey on the back of a great stage one sprint followed by his huge TTT effort, and then holding it with his epic rides up the Mur de Bretagne and Super-Besse.

Can He Hold
Can Thor hold on to the race lead for Garmin?

The big Norwegian has arguably been the most appreciated early race leader since Thomas Voeckler back in 2004 as firstly, he is the wearer of the Rainbow Jersey, and also his defense has been both against the odds, and delivered with true panache.

This stage has three Cat. 2 climbs, three Cat. 3 climbs and one Cat. 4 over 208km (the hardest climbs have the lowest numbers), but the climbs are far enough from the finish that there won’t be gaps for the GC big swingers.

The big question will be can Thor stay in touch for long enough to get over the tougher climbs, and then be dragged back up to the main peloton.

What will go down?

Can He Hold? I reckon Thor will hold! What else? My pick is Van Garderen the young “next big thing” in American cycling will be vying to get in the break to establish himself as the leader of the King of the Mountains jersey (the dotty jumper).

His main rival will be Johnny Hoogerland (Johnny Breakaway) who can’t climb as well, but can get in a break!

  1. Moncoutie
  2. Van Garderen
  3. Txurruka

Dreaming!

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

More Questions

More Questions. Ahh the first mountain stage! You’ve just got to love the first chance to have a look at how everyone’s legs are going. Last night showed that Frank has very good legs, Andy may not have legs that are quite so good, Cadel is in very good form, and crucially, Contador is currently not showing great form at all.

Frank Schleck, One For The History Books

If you were lucky enough to watch Stage 18 last night, you saw one of the best days of bike racing in years. Andy and Frank Schleck finally attacked and got it right, using their double-threat to maximum advantage, and as a result achieved another stage win, jumped in the GC to now be in a dominant position, and Andy has ridden a stage that will be talked about for years.

Andy Schleck: Down to Two

Two nights ago there four men still in contention, then Contador was out of the race. Yesterday saw the end of Frank Schleck's chances, and tonight will see the demise of the final contender for the Tour. Andy Schleck will hope to defend his 57sec lead over Cadel Evans tonight, and will certainly fancy his chances. The last time he was in this position, Cadel just didn't have enough in the tank to overhaul Carlos Sastre back in 2008.

Le Tour ’11, Stage 11 – a wet start, typical Pyrenean thunderstorm

It was a very warm evening yesterday, and we wandered back round to the hotel last night after our dinner in the middle of a typical Pyrenean thunderstorm - huge bolts of lightning searing across the sky and claps of thunder which lingered and reverberated for what seemed like 20 seconds. In the space of 5 minutes, the roads were flooded. We went to sleep in our "pod" room to the sound of pouring rain, and woke up to the same - only worse. It wasn't a nice day to be outside, let alone reporting on, or riding, a bike race.

Schlecks Shaken

Schlecks Shaken... What a stage last night turned out to be! Prior to the stage, the thoughts were that it was always going to be a breakaway, and there wouldn't be much movement on the general classification. Half right! The high likelihood of the break staying away meant that all of the boys not in with a chance on general were hoping to get a piece of the action, meaning it took hours before the break finally got clear.

Cav and the TDU Winners

The final stage of the 2011 TDU has been run and won, with the expected wins for Mark Cavendish in the sprint, and Cadel Evans in the overall coming to fruition. A victory on the Champs Elysees is one of the great achievements for a sprint cyclist, and Cav's ability to produce on the big stages with such consistency will already have him posted as a strong favourite to win the World Championships this September.

At Random

1st Chance For A Break (Preview: TDF Stage 8)

1st Chance For A Break. The Mountains have been entered and the big show has begun in earnest! Looking at this stage, one would predict it to be a day pencilled in by breakaway specialists such as Simon Gerrans, Thomas Voeckler or Thor Hushovd (had he have been racing) who have already let a good whack of time go from the race leader. In this way they’re non-threatening when they do get in a break and thus aren’t chased down.

Mark Stewart – This Young Scot is British Points Race Champion 2014

At the next Commonwealth Games there’ll be no David Millar or ‘Jamesie’ and even the perennial Evan Oliphant might not make it to Gold Coast City, Australia in 2018. But Dundee’s Mark Stewart should be there; at just 19 he took sixth place in the 20 K Scratch Race in Glasgow behind New Zealand’s World’s Omnium medallist, Shane Archbold with the distance being covered in 22:43 @ 52.819 kph – that’s quick.

Mark Stewart – Looking Back at the Tour de Yorkshire

Scotland’s British Points Champion and World Cup Team Pursuit medallist, Mark Stewart was in action in the recent Tour de Yorkshire, building endurance for his next track campaign which centres round the European U23 Track Championships in July. We thought we’d best have a word with the man ...

Book Review – “World’s Ultimate Cycling Races”

The new book by respected cycling journalist Ellis Bacon may help - the "World's Ultimate Cycling Races" is an eclectic mix of facts and stats about events all over the globe, from Pro level races such as the Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana to MTB races, Gran Fondos and Sportives that anyone can take part in.

Alan McCormack – Part One; From Dublin to Pennsylvania, via Flanders

I used to look at those ‘Winning’ magazines in the mid-80’s and think how glamorous and cool the US scene looked, especially those super-fast criteriums with huge crowds and big bucks sponsorship and prize lists. A man who lived and raced through that golden era of US racing was Irishman, Alan McCormack who was not only a North American ‘crit King’ but rode the Olympics and Vuelta along the way.

The Aitana today…

Today the 204.7km eighth stage from Azlira to Alto de Aitana tackles seven rated climbs before the finish-line summit at the Aitana climb, rated 'especial' in the Vuelta as a stage ending atop a climb.