Friday, July 30, 2021
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Ex-Garmin Physio Toby Watson's Blog

All But… Brad Wiggins Already! (TDF 2012 St 9)

Holy crap. Brad Wiggins has just shredded the Tour to pieces. In the first time trial of the race he has put himself close to two minutes in front of his nearest rival, Cadel Evans. After that is his own lieutenant, Chris Froome, then Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali.

Toby Watson Blog: Rest Day 1 (TDF 2012)

Toby Watson Blog - After the first rest day, this is a good time to look at where the race may go in the coming week. Cadel and Nibali need to find two minutes on Wiggo just to catch up, and they are staring at another, longer time trial later in the race, so effectively need at least three.

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.

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.

New Juggernaut (TDF 2012 – Stage 7)

Team Sky just knocked 99% of their rivals out of the Tour de France today. With shades of US Postal in the era of Lance Armstrong’s total dominance, Bradley Wiggins’ Team Sky threw their boys on the front of the peloton, and said boys then rode a savage tempo, breaking all but two of the major contenders off the back of the bunch. New Juggernaut.

Time For The Big Boys (Preview: TDF 2012 Stage 7)

Stage 7 finally sees the race leave the flatlands, and Time For The Big Boys to play. The race enters the Jura mountains on the German/Swiss border with France. The sprinters and those who are dealing with injuries from falls in the first week will ride small, attempting to save some energy in the hope that they can come good later in the race, while those with hopes of GC places will be planning how they will maximise advantages, or minimise losses.

Peter Sagan – a New Rockstar

A New Rockstar... Peter Sagan has now won three stages of the Tour this year: two uphill sprints, and a straight-up bunch kick. I’ve already mentioned it, but he’s still got more than ten Tours de France in his future (all things being well). How good is this kid going to be?

One More Bunchie (Preview: TDF 2012 Stage 6)

One More Bunchie... Today we see the closing stage of the opening flurry of salvos fired in the battle for the Green Jersey. This will be another bunch kick stage that covers 210km, and brings the race in range of the mountains and hills that will play a role in deciding the final order of the overall contenders.

Close Run Thing (TdF 2012 Stage 5)

Close Run Thing... the “Guaranteed” Bunchie that I mentioned yesterday did indeed eventuate on stage 5 today, but it was looking touch-and-go as to whether they’d be sprinting for the win, or lower placings! People always ask why teams get into a break if they know they’re only going to be caught in the lead-up to the bunch sprint, and today’s stage was a great example of the answer: you never know.

Traditional Bunch Kick v3 – TDF 2012 St 5

Stage 5 is a guaranteed Traditional Bunch Kick. It is in the mold of the traditional early week flat stages of the Tour from years gone by. It is a 197km shot across the northeast of France, coincidentally passing very close to where the Australian WW1 cemetery at Villers-Brettoneux is located. A very moving place.

The Carnage Continues – TDF 2012 St 4

Andre Greipel, the big man with enough horsepower to be a chance at beating Cav in a straight sprint took the stage win today. We, the fans unfortunately didn’t have tthe chance to see the two great men going head to head as they did on Stage 2 (one of the best sprints I’ve ever seen) as Cav was caught in a crash and hit the road a couple of km from the finish. The Carnage Continues...

Star Status: Confirmed

Star Status. Stage 3 was a tough “mini Spring Classic” style of a day which was remarkably hectic in the final 40km, and which saw Peter Sagan give his older, better-credentialed rivals an absolute bath. He was the hot favourite for the stage, and with a cool head controlled his team, and the stage completely.

Tour de France 2012 Stage 3 – Another Kicker Finale

Another Kicker Finale ... Stage 3 sees 197 km that begins like a classic “first week sprinters’ stage” of Tours gone by, and finishes like a One Day Classic, with five categorised climbs in the final 33km. It is still not going to be difficult enough to separate the big hitters by anything more than a second or two, but it will be too hard for pure sprinters to be a chance of figuring in the finale.

Mark Cavendish at the Tour de France 2012 – He’s THAT good!

2012 Tour de France: one sprint stage, one stage win for Mark Cavendish. The world champ was sensational in the finale of last night’s stage. He squeezed by “The Gorilla” Andre Greipel who ran off the back of a beautifully organised leadout train.

Mark Cavendish, Just How Good Is He?

Today is the first out and out sprint stage. Today we find out if the form Gossy and Greipel showed yesterday relative to Mark Cavendish was true, or if Cav was holding back a little. (For those out of the loop, Greipel showed that his train is beautifully organised and disciplined; and Gossy showed that he can bop a win over the great one when at the Tour.)

Early Shows Of Form

Early Shows Of Form... The “Mini Liege” Stage has been done and dusted, and the next big thing in bike racing (if he isn’t already there) has shown he will be competitive at the very highest level. Peter Sagan entered the stage as one of the favourites for the win, and was flawless in executing his victory. He is not as quick as Cav (and never will be) but can contest so many more finales as he is able to stay with the leaders on tougher stages.

Mini Liege (hopefully no 2010 repeat): Stage 1

The first road stage has started! Touted as a mini Liege Bastogne Liege, the course covers many of the same roads as the race known as La Doyenne, one of the single day Classics known as a Monument. The last time these roads were tackled at the Tour was in 2009, easily the worst working day of my Sports Physio career - I was working for the Garmin team at the time.

Fabian Cancellara Again

All of the tension has finally left the peloton as they’ve finally started the race. Haha!! Or more accurately, the early tension of anticipation has been replaced by the tension to gain time/hold place/maintain position/get in the break/follow the right wheel/avoid the crashes/etc etc etc! Fabian Cancellara did what he does so well.

Le Tour de France 2012 – High Speed & High Stakes

The Tour Prologue is one of the most High Speed & High Stakes stages in bike racing. 6.4km of maximum effort, with the winner being gifted with the Yellow Jersey at the end of the day. The value placed upon this for teams, sponsors and the riders themselves is truly enormous.

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.