Tuesday, June 28, 2022
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Andre Greipel at the TDU – Same As It Ever Was

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And so they’re off! Once again Andre Greipel has won a stage at the TDU, once again there is a bit of controversy about sprinters not holding their line, and once again the accused sprinter has taken the classic “What! Me?” stance. The season is underway.

Yesterday’s stage was typically nervous for a season opener, and was made difficult by the fact that it was such a hot day on the road. This race and Qatar are the only opportunities that teams have to practise any thermoregulation theories on their riders prior to the Grand Tours in May and July, and I would be interested to know who is doing what and how they’re doing it this year!

An interesting observation from yesterday’s stage was that GreenEDGE were essentially left to control the race prior to the other sprint teams contributing to bringing the break back in.

Similar to Rabobank at the Eneco Tour, the stakes are that much higher for the home nation’s team to perform that they are obliged to do more work than would be normal on more neutral ground. Whitey of course played things well, ensuring that his boys didn’t do too much work, and that the other sprint teams put their share of effort in to drag things back together when the time came to set up the stage.

It was also hilarious to see commentators noting that an Australian team were chasing an Australian rider (not from their team) when GreenEDGE were involved in chasing Rohan Dennis in the final kilometres of the stage. Errmmm… this is professional cycling… you may have heard of it before… the teams try and win races for themselves… strange concept, I know!