Wednesday, January 26, 2022
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Le Tour de France 2012 – Stage 6: Épernay – Metz, 210 km


Martin, the Editor, and I had a meeting last night and agreed there’d be no over-use of superlatives or schoolgirl punctuation on our site. But what can you say about Sagan on the stage from Épernay ? – other than he was super, super awesome!!!

[Ed!!!  What did we totally, like, agree or something???   Editor.]

Seriously, what a ride, we can say that Cav wasn’t there and that Greipel was in bits; but Goss was there and so was his train – no matter to Sagan.

Le Tour de France
Tim de Waele’s great photo of Peter’s win today.

The victory salute looked pure Incredible Hulk to me – or just maybe it was a Lou Ferigno (who played the green chap with anger management problems in the TV show) pose from his days as Mr. Universe in the 70’s?

Whatever it was, he deserves it; winning mad hill top charges against the middle weights is one thing, slugging it out against the heavy weights is another.

And Peter’s choice of gearing was perfect, lighter than the rest and accelerating all the way to the line.

Our tip for the day – Cav, was held up in the crash and will have to wait for a week before he gets another chance.

After yesterday’s stage we discussed the drying time for paint – not today.

Even before the big crash with 25 K to go there was evidence that this was one difficult day – the stats at the end confirmed this: 130-plus miles in 4 hours 37 minutes.

Riders like Tyler Farrar and Oscar Freire don’t usually slide out of the back on gentle rises.

The crash was a bad one – Astarloza, Viganao, Poels and Danielson all go home.

Dries Devenyns from QuiskStep explained it like this;

“I have pain, for sure.

“I went down at a really high speed, 55km/h an hour.

“There was a crash in front, and I don’t know what happened. I saw everyone braking and crashing in front of me.

“I had the reflex of protecting my head, and I was on top of Van Summeren (Garmin-Sharp), and then a few more fell on top of us.

“So far so good, but I have some bruises on the right side of my body and then my shoulder.  It could have been worse.”

Van Summeren’s misfortune was merely another factor in Garmin’s disastrous day – the whole team has been on the deck; with Ryder Hesjedal’s dreams of a Giro/Tour double left with the fibres of his Castelli jersey on the unforgiving French asphalt.

Valverde lost time – it would have been more without some sterling work by Vuelta winner and team mate, Juan Jose Cobo.

So too did Frank Schleck, but he showed real grinta in the chase.

And Gesink’s Tour bid ended today – unable to hold the Valverde/Schleck group on flat roads.

Rolland lost major time; but only an optimist would have had him down as a podium challenger – do the words Brice Feillu strike a chord?

And on the subject of failure, no l’Équipe today – sorry, but both of my usual sources were sold out, that’s if they ever arrived?

But it did give me chance to look at the statue on the Royal Mile of world famous economist, Adam Smith – he did well for a Kirkcaldy Boy.

No l’Équipe, but I did get the Guardian – it doesn’t have the same ring, I know, but the coverage isn’t bad.

And in addition you get the Bradley Wiggins column – with not a mention of Paul Weller or Vespas to be found, thank the Lord.

It’s actually very readable, taking you inside the race.

Bradley’s daily pieces are surprisingly engaging.

Sky has been more prominent at the front on recent stages – just as well, today.

But Richie Porte looked a very weary man when the clock eventually stopped at 13:24 for him.