Sunday, October 17, 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

Le Tour de France 2017 – Stage 12: Pau – Peyragudes, 214.5km. Bardet confirms and Aru goes Yellow!

It wasn’t until inside the last kilometre at Peyragudes that the drama really unfolded; Bardet confirms, as does Aru, Froome cracks a little, Quintana cracks A LOT and much as it pains me; ‘one season too many, Bert!’ And Bennett and Martin impress, especially the latter who’s carrying injuries from that horrible crash with Porte on Sunday.

Le Tour de France 2012 – Time Trial = The Battle For Yellow

Le Tour 2012 is a day away! On paper it is going to be a race between Wiggo and Cadel, and it is hard to see anyone else good enough to match these two men. As has been noted everywhere, and ad nauseam, this is a Tour with over 90km of time trialling. Considering the miserable time trialling talents of the gun climbers in the race, particularly when compared to how good Cadel and Wiggo are at climbing, the race for third may well end up being a separate battle of the also-rans behind the Wiggins-Evans showdown.

Le Tour de France 2006 – Day 9: Stage 6, Lisieux – Vitré

Much of the cynicism I have built-up about the commercialism and rampant ‘janitor-mentality’ of many of the officials on Le Tour de France 2006 evaporated on Friday as we drove the full race route from Lisieux to Vitré.

Le Tour de France 2013 – Rest Day Two, Vaucluse. Moules and Interviews

It's the rest day today, and we're in Vaucluse, reading L’Équipe; ‘Naturellement’ says the headline. It’s ambiguous, to say the least. Does it mean that the Ventoux was always to be the place where Froome was going to place his stamp on things? – after all I wasn’t the only one who tipped him or Voeckler for the stage win. Or does it mean they think he’s ‘clean’ – natural?

Le Tour de France 2009 – Stage 10: Limoges > Issoudun, 194.5km

I didn’t think that Cav could win the Primavera now, after today's display in Limoges, I think that he can do pretty much anything he puts his mind to within the scope of his physical characteristics. He can win the green jersey on the Champs Elysees in Le Tour de France, Paris - Tours and the Worlds too-when the parcours suits him.

Le Tour de France 2011, Stage 15 – kicking around the Limoux départ

Le Tour de France 2011 and We couldn't get out of Andorra quickly enough. Before 08:00 we got the lift down from the 5th floor of the hotel, to be greeted by great plumes of cigarette smoke belching out of the breakfast area. Last night's determination to "make a fuss about the lack of advertised weefee" evaporated, as we just wanted to put distance between us and this horrid place as fast as possible.

At Random

Adam Hansen and his Vuelta a España – Prologue to the Rest Day

It was a sad day today for VeloVeritas' newly married editor Martin; he had to go back to his day job-and on the rest day! Life just isn't fair! Meanwhile we caught up with Columbia's ex Aussie Elite TT champion and twice podium finisher in the Aussie Elite road race champs, Adam Hansen, to get the story so far as the Vuelta eventually returns home.

La Vuelta a España 2014 – Stage 13; Belorado – Obregón, 182 km. Daniel Navarro for Spain and Cofidis

Stage 13 took things back up a level but on a parcours which didn’t make for ‘The Bigs’ to do anything but mark each other. Unlike the Tour de France where there have been years where the honour of France has been saved by a single stage win by the likes of Sandy Casar, the Vuelta has always inspired it’s children with Spaniards well to the fore. When it comes to stage wins the ‘Home Boys’ always reach deep into their top hats to find a rabbit with Daniel Navarro at last giving Cofidis something to smile about.

Katie Archibald – “The best time to be ‘ready for Rio’ is 11th August”

She may have missed out on the 2016 London Worlds but Katie Archibald certainly IS going to Rio for the 2016 Olympic Games in the team pursuit for Great Britain. Injured in ‘that’ motorbike crash prior to the Worlds she’s fought her way back to fitness and it’s confirmed that she’ll be in the GB line up for the 4,000 metre team pursuit. We first interviewed Ms. Archibald back in 2013 and have kept abreast of her results since – but Olympic selection is special so we thought we best ‘have a word.’

A Matter of Scale (Preview: TDF 2012 St 9)

A Matter of Scale. The first (of two) Individual Time Trials in the race, the riders are looking at 41km on a relatively hilly parcours where the stronger time triallists in the field will attempt to put some more space between themselves and their “mountain goat” rivals.

Perfect Storm of Crap: TdF 2010 Stage 2 (mini LBL)

Perfect Storm of Crap! All talk of the Mock aside, holy crap. What a day. Yesterday’s stage was dubbed a mini Liege-Bastogne-Liege as it covered a segment of the same course as that particular race. For those not in the know, LBL is one of the major Spring Classics on the calendar. It’s a tough race with lots of short, sharp hills on very small old roads.

Finlay Young – a Junior, winning Senior Races

Junior racing isn't exactly flourishing in Scotland, so it's good to see one of the youngsters getting a bit of the limelight - 17 year old Finlay Young took the honours in the Jack Murray road race at Dunfermline over the weekend.