Friday, July 6, 2012


Fatty in Yellow (left) had the best seat in the house today.

This is not the type of excitement I was asking for, but beggars can't be choosers, right?

Let's get the obvious out of the way: Peter Sagan (and his little bell) is the real deal, but he's not in my fantasy team, so the hell with him.

Nope. Even with the massive pile-up, today's crash hardly qualifies to be described as "carnage." Thankfully, there was no major injuries, no blood and no severed limbs.

Who were the winners (aside from Sagan, of course) on today's stage?
 - Fatty in Yellow (see above). He witnessed the whole thing from the first row.

- Evans, Wiggins, Menchov, Van den Broeck, Sanchez and Nibali; they stayed up-right and didn't lose any time or spent any nervous energy chasing.

- Me. I was a winner, cuz I finally got something interesting to look at.

Who are the losers?
- Is it over? If your name is Ryder Hesjedal, yes, it is. The Canadian lost over 13 minutes today, and retired after the stage.

- For Gesink, Valverde, Frank Schleck and Brajkovic, Scarponi it may not be. They lost 2:09 today (a bit more for Gesink), but if they have the form to crush it in the big mountains, any one of them can get back into it.

- KMC looked like SRAM when Vacansoleil's Marco Marcato's chain broke on the final sprint. (Thanks to my brother Klaus for pointing out Vacansoleil doesn't ride Shimano chains.)

- The following riders retired as a result of today's crash (I still wonder if Fatty in Yellow had something to do with it):
   - Oscar Freire (broken rib, punctured lung)
   - Tom Danielson (separated shoulder)
   - Wout Poels (torn kidney, splene, bruised lungs and three broken ribs)
   - Davide Viganò (who might have been the one who caused the crash)
   - Amets Txurruka (collar bone)
   - Mikel Astarloza (dislocated elbow, no fracture)
   - Imanol Erviti (cuts on right leg)
   - Ryder Hesjedal (broken heart)

- Not yet retired, but pretty banged up:
   - Gorka Verdugo (10cm cut in his leg)
   - José Iván Gutiérrez (knee)
   - Johan Vansummeren (see pic below)

Vansummeren looked all types of messed up. Will he start tomorrow?

Maybe Fatty in Yellow (on right) can really tell us who is to blame for today's melee.

So, tomorrow... Finally something to talk about
The medium mountain stage won't  decide the Tour or anything like that, but I'm hoping for the favorites to show themselves in the last climb to Planche des Belles Filles (translation: "Plank of the Pretty Girls," which incidentally is what I call my back porch.) The climb is just under 6km long, but averages 8.5% gradient, with a 22% stint in the last 500 meters. That's steep, ladies and pretty girls.

Last day for Cancellara in Yellow?

The two 3rd category climbs may give a breakaway a chance, but I'm predicting the stage will be decided by a small bunch with all the favorites. If a good, strong climber, without GC aspirations (a Kyrienka, for example) can hang on to the leading group, he may take the stage, but let's not discount Sammy Sanchez. If allowed to go, a finish like this has his name all over it.

The last 6km. Will the winner get all the pretty girls?

1 comment:

  1. crazy stage. thanks for the analysis!