Friday, July 30, 2021
HomeRaceRace ReviewsLe Tour de France 2016 - Stage 2; Saint-Lô - Cherbourg-en-Cotentin. Heartbreak...

Le Tour de France 2016 – Stage 2; Saint-Lô – Cherbourg-en-Cotentin. Heartbreak for Stuyven as Sagan Takes Control


Mont-Saint-MichelPeter Sagan is a breath of fresh air, the accent, the sense of humour, the hair, the bike handling, the speed, the versatility – third behind Cav and Kittel then beating Alaphilippe and Valverde.

There’s no one more deserving than Sagan of the maillot jaune – with all mention of the ‘curse of the rainbow jersey’ forgotten.

The first two stages haven’t been the most riveting viewing, the odd crash along the way the only thing to enliven proceedings before two brilliant finales – Sunday’s more so than Saturday’s.

But the Slovak world champion had some harsh words for his fellow pros after the stage, here’s what he told ‘Peloton’ magazine:

Sagan pulled no punches and said there was a lack of self-policing in the peloton compared to when he first started racing in the professional ranks six years ago.

“It’s like everybody is riding (as if they) lose the brain. There are stupid crashes in the group, it’s very dangerous. When it’s wet nobody brakes — for sure you’re going to crash. It’s not logical.

“In the group, before there was respect. When someone did something stupid, everybody throws their (water) bottle on him or beats him with (tyre) pumps.

“But now cycling has lost this. When I came in cycling in 2010, it was a little bit different.”

Peter and Oleg make an interesting partnership. Photo©ASO

The four-time winner of the Tour’s green points jersey complained that too many teams and riders were trying to get involved in bunch sprints at the end of stages.

“There’s no respect in the group. People don’t care about others, they (just) want to stay in the (sprint) train behind their guys.

“In the last 50km there are seven trains in front — all the teams have one!

“They don’t care about the riders. Then, in front, there are a lot of guys don’t know how to (ride) a bike — it’s like that.

“Today I’m in yellow but maybe tomorrow I will go home (after crashing out), this is the Tour de France.”

What’s required is a nouveau Bernard Hinault in the peloton – NO ONE messed with The Badger.

Peter Sagan wins ahead of Julian Alaphilippe. Photo©Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images

‘Man of the Match’ after the amazing Sagan would have to be Trek’s Jasper Stuyven; away all the day only to be caught in the last kilometre – a heart breaker.

But he did walk away with that nice polka dot jersey and there’s only one fourth cat. climb on Monday so he can’t lose the jersey there; Stage Four has but one fourth cat. too so he should be safe until Stage Five which is seriously lumpy with a fourth, three third and two second cat. ascents – ouch!

Stuyven first shows on the radar as Belgian novice time trial champion in 2007, winning the Belgian novice’s road title one year later and by 2009 was world junior road race champion – beating 2016 Primavera winner, Arnaud Demare (F des J & France) and 2015 Austrian road race champion, Katusha’s Marco Haller.

Jasper Stuyven took control of the Mountains Classification. Photo©ASO

In 2010 came the junior Paris-Roubaix and he made the podium again in the junior Worlds, bronze behind France’s Olivier Le Gac and Aussie Jay McCarthy – Britain’s Joshua Edmondson was fourth that day.

In 2011 he was third in the U23 Paris-Roubaix before heading to the US for 2012 to ride for Axel Merckx’s team – as did Aex Dowsett several years previously – winning a stage in the Cascade Classic in the US that year and the overall in the tough Volta ao Alentejo in Portugal in 2013.

It was no surprise given Merckx’s association with Trek that Stuyven signed for the Trek World Tour team for season 2014, riding the Vuelta as a neo-pro.

He must have learned well from the experience because he came back to win a Vuelta stage last year, despite breaking his hand in a crash during the stage.

This year he burst on to the stage with a solo Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne win after finishing top ten the day before in Het Nieuwsblad.

He’s the real deal.

Alberto Contador has had a difficult two days. Photo©Luca Bettini

On the flip side of the coin it was sad to see long term friend of VeloVeritas, Denmark’s star of road and track, Michael Mørkøv come down hard on stage one; Vik reckoned that would be that and he’d have to quit – but those Russian hard men at Katusha aren’t big into sympathy and cuddles and sure enough Michael was on the start line for Stage Two.

He suffered through it but succumbed inside the last 40 K on those lumpy, grippy Norman roads to finish with another of our chums, Kiwi Shane Archbold (Bora) @ 13:39 – only Archbold’s team mate, Ireland’s Sam Bennett was behind them @ 16:23.

Michael’s heavily strapped injuries are making things difficult. Photo©Michael Mørkøv

Bennett too went down in a Stage One crash and required stitches – we wish all three riders ‘bon chance’ for Stage Three.

Stage Three is for the fastmen; Robbie McEwen reckons it’ll be Etixx QuickStep’s German flyer Kittel – who with Bob Jungels has the best hair in the peloton – and we know better than to argue with Robbie !

A demain.

Peter Sagan and Chris Froome compare jerseys before the start. Photo©Luca Bettini

Ed Hood
Ed's been involved in cycling for over 45 years. In that time he's been a successful time triallist, team manager, and sponsor of several teams and clubs. He's also a respected and successful coach, and during the winter months can often be found working in the cabins at the Six Days. Ed remains a massive fan of the sport and couples his extensive contacts with an inexhaustable enthusiasm for the minutiae and the history of our sport.

Related Articles

Froome and Wiggins (TDF 2012 St 17)

Brad Wiggins and Chris Froome have shown that they are by far the best two riders in the Tour de France, being untouchable on both the mountains as well as on the time trials. Liquigas and Vincenzo Nibali set the race up, giving it everything they could to make the race tough in the hope that the Sky boys would crack, but in the end, that just meant they had less work to do and could do more damage in the finale.

Le Tour de France – Stage 7; L’Isle-Jourdain – Lac de Payolle. Cummings Solos to a Fabulous Win!

That man Steve Cummings (Dimension Data & GB); as with his team mate Mark Cavendish, we’re running out of superlatives – the rider from the Wirral followed his usual formula; infiltrate the break of the day on a tough day, attack them hard and solo to victory. Simples... Against the finest riders on the planet.

Le Tour de France 2014 – Stage 19; Maubourguet Pays du Val d’Adour – Bergerac, 208 km. Navardauskas Solo

There's always drama when you work le Tour. We've followed Tour time trials for years; roll up at the start, tell the dude which rider you're following, they give you a windscreen sticker, marshall you into position at the appointed time and off you go. This year, however we were notified that we had to attend a meeting on Friday evening at the Permanence after the stage if we wished to follow a rider. Fair enough - but then they changed the venue a few hours before the meet was due.

Le Tour de France 2006 – Day 5: Stage 2, Obernai – Esch-sur-Alzette (Luxembourg)

At Le Tour de France 2006 I was involved with TV - no, no, not like that, cycling dot TV - the Internet TV guys. I met their guy, Steve Masters in the press room yesterday and he scrounged a lift off me to the start at Obernai with his camera man, James.

Le Tour de France 2013 – Stage 6: Aix-en-Provence > Montpellier, 176km. Daryl Impey Leads

Daryl Impey (GreenEDGE & Republic of South Africa) was in danger of always being remembered as the rider who suffered a horrific crash in the final metres of the Presidential Tour of Turkey in 2009 with the yellow jersey on his back – the podium substituted for an ambulance, that day.

Maciej Bodnar deserves his win in Le Tour de France 2017 – Stage 20: Marseille, 22.5km ITT

Maciej Bodnar deserved his win today; it was Vince Lombardi the legendary American Football coach and sports philosopher who said; “show me a ‘good loser’ and I’ll show you a loser.”

At Random

James Moss – “I’m Much Further On”

In the autumn of 2009 James Moss was still a surveyor and a 'weekend warrior' on the bike-within weeks he was a full time pro with Scotland's Endura team, dueling with the Pro Tour squads in the Tour of the Mediterranean and Tour of Murcia. We thought we'd catch up for a 'Xmas end of term report` on his first Pro season with the 25 year-old from Newcastle.

The VeloVeritas Years – 2015: Un Grande Giorno sulla il Colle Delle Finestre!

Sometimes on the big tours you have to change plans; road closures, janitors, barrier crews, motorway crashes can all influence your 'best laid plans.' At the end of the day you may not have missed deadline - we rarely do - but there'll be that feeling that you could have done better. Then there are days when you have to struggle then struggle some more but eventually it comes together, you get to where you want to be and get those special pictures.

Ugly Fan Rant

Ugly Fan Rant. I was reading the GreenEdge site this morning and saw that Whitey made mention of Australian fans abusing Richie Porte & Mick Rogers for the “sin” of riding “against” Cadel. These people are idiots. If Australian football was ever blessed with two players who were talented enough to be starters for Chelsea and Manchester United, would one be considered un-Australian (whatever that means) because he was playing against the other?

Le Tour de France 2016 – Stage 10; Escaldes-Engordany – Revel. Bling When You’re Winning

The sprinters are denied - but it's a sprinter who wins. It was big smiled Aussie, Michael Matthews (Orica) kicking to glory from Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) with Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data) in third spot – a podium of real quality from the big day-long breakaway. And whilst Sagan may not have taken the stage bouquet he took the stage by the scruff of the neck and thrust himself back into green – possible all the way to Paris, now.

Le Tour de France 2016 – Stage 1; Mont-Saint-Michel – Utah Beach. It’s About Cav

The Friday evening prior to the Grand Depart at Mont-Saint-Michel, we're in the Amritsar Indian restaurant in Kirkcaldy – Callum, Dave and I agree that Cav has won his last Tour de France stage, Kittel and Greipel will be the men, and that the 32 stage wins record of Merckx is safe – as is Hinault’s second spot on 28 stage wins. Mark will have to be happy with his 26 bouquets. Not for the first or last time, the little chap from the middle of the Irish Sea made us eat our words; "Cav can never win Milan-Sanremo..."

David Griffiths – Scottish Hill Climb Champion 2017

Pro Vision’s David Griffiths successfully defended his Scottish Hill Climb Championship on the tough Stow climb recently – VeloVeritas caught up with the bearded winner not long after his success to ‘have a word.’