BBC Home

Explore the BBC

330 comments

user rating: 4 star

Stage 2 Brussels - Spa

Tour de France
by wooley7 (U13916876) 05 July 2010
comment on the article

Today’s stage takes in a few of the climbs in LBL with 3 Cat 4 and 3 Cat 3 climbs all within the second half of the stage.

Would like to think there will be attacks off the final climb which is just 9km from the finish with 7km of that down hill……. But with what is to come I don’t expect this to pay off and think we are likely to see a sprint finish. As a one off stage, Vino and Monfort could be two candidates to give it a go but they have other work to do today and tomorrow. Maybe some guys from the French teams or those without a top sprinter or GC man to look to this stage as an opportunity for a stage victory so maybe Roche, Le Mevel, Rolland could have a go off the last climb.

With a fair few mountain points available, and the leader after today likely to hold the polka jersey for a few days, we could expect Voekler, Martinez and any others with designs on the KOM to set off in a break.

Despite all this optimistic talk of action I am resign to the fact that a sprint finish is the most likely out come and if so, Friere could be a good bet and I would be hopeful of Hushovd featuring, will Cav, Farrar and Ali-jet be able to hold on if the pace heats up over that last climb, personally I hope not and Hushovd could have the chance to increase his lead over Cav in the battle for the green jersey.

If we do get down to a sprint lets hope everyone can stay upright so we can actually see who has the pace out of the top sprinters.

Stage details:

www.letour.fr/2010/TDF/LIVE/...

Latest 10 comments

Read members' comments or add your own

posted Jul 6, 2010

yes i agree...but not when the crashes weren't caused by natural rider error as in the 1st stage...the oil spilled by the motorcycle crashing turned it into a literal ice rink! F1 does a similar practice in that the race is neutralized for however many laps if any occurrences should happen.

add comment | complain about this comment

comment by matzov (U14204141)

posted Jul 6, 2010

The general sense of yesterdays actions seems to be, to me, the phrase "well, we don't want the tour decided by crashes". Which is fine - I agree with that sentiment. There are a few of questions to make on it though. 1 - Does that mean that when more or less everyone is back together you can't then contest the sprint? 2. If you crash, is it enough punishment that you are potentially hurt, and presumably not so strong in the coming days, or should you also be punished by losing time to rivals? 3. Taking Andy Schleck as an example - theoretically he could have lost 4 minutes yesterday. Is the tour decided for him? Or, does that mean his plans should change? Being extreme - how do the GC contenders want the tour decided? Because its not just one climb up a mountain and then a TT, its much more than that.

add comment | complain about this comment

comment by CS (U13260344)

posted Jul 6, 2010

I partially agree with you Steppenwolf. I think it sets a dangerous precedent, especially when it appears that Fab can just call a truce for the day if he believes the roads a too dangerous. For instance today could easily be neautralised by LA if he feels he may fall on the cobbles.

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Jul 6, 2010

Having watched the replay I'm going with verdict of "farcical". Once everyones back on board and the injured have been treated then it's back to racing. There was no need to abandon the sprint as the roads at Spa looked perfectly safe.

It would have blown the race wide open and meant that we (the fans) wouldn't be sat twiddling our thumbs till week three for the big boys to start racing. The GC boys who were off the pace would have had to produce the goods to get back into contention (and Cav too for that matter - and I want him to challenge for Green Jersey). This smacks of premiership football = not playing to win but playing not to get beat. Is that what road racing has come down to?

Wonder what'll be the outcome today?

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Jul 6, 2010

> So far, the only rider I've heard who didn't agree with the protest was Gesink.
> Robert Gesink with a hairline fracture to his arm.

Gesink appears to be the black knight of the peleton.
Is it obligatory to be crackers if you are a top climber on the Rabobank team?

I think the race director could have got a sprint if he'd thought on his feet abit more - if with 3k to go or something like that he'd said we'll give all of you here now the same time as the first across the line - can those of you in a fit state to do have a competitive finish? I think they'd have probably got that as those in that group who are realistic green jersey contenders all seem to be in a fit shape to participate and those who thought it too risky to stay well away from it.

add comment | complain about this comment

comment by ike2112 (U4429659)

posted Jul 6, 2010

The thing is, the 2010 Giro route in week 1 was madness. A route in the windiest part of Europe during what was a harsh spring. An obstacle course in Holland. I don't even know what it was they were riding on in Tuscany - it's gravel isn't it? It was just a bit ludicrous to put a Grand Tour peloton through all those conditions in more or less consecutive days. There is a difference to being a classics rider and being aware of these type of things, and also in a classic you can just pack it in - how many people finishing Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne this year, 18 or 19 or something like that? But having classics territory used in a GT means you have everyone fighting to be at the front at key points and also getting nervous because they don't want to be the one caught out and losing 5 minutes because the twitchy Venezuelan next to them didn't see a road hurdle. Everyone needs to fight to the front, and they need to fight to limit any losses to the end of the stage.

With yesterday's stage though, the route wasn't anywhere near as dangerous or destructive as the ones used in the Giro. The crash was at a bit that wasn't in bad condition, an unfamiliar surface, nor included any obstacles. It was just a bit slippy due to the rain on initially dry shaded ground. One rider went down, motorbike followed, oil everywhere. There is no accounting for that.
Putting the Giro route through those 4 stages that threw riders into the unknown was planned chaos - there was no way anything other than chaos was going to happen, especially with those stages being grouped close together. It was too much. The Tour hasn't been.

The wind or route wasn't an issue on Sunday, it was supporters getting too close to the riders and some of those riders getting too nervous. Route was fine. On the three crashes, Cav looked away at a corner, someone caught a wheel, and then Petacchi swung across the road while Mondory wasn't paying attention. Nothing to do with the route.
Yesterday it was one rider falling in the wet, caused a knock-on effect of there being oil on the route. Not the organisers fault. That descent isn't dangerous.

Today's might be dangerous. Today's is the only stage where they're deliberately dropping the riders into unfamiliar territory. I would think all will have prepared well enough that if the weather and luck are on their side, nothing unusual will happen. But if it rains, or if someone has a blowout in the front 1/4 of the peloton as they cross some pavé where the cars can't follow, then yeah there'll be carnage, and yeah people could then blame the organisers for putting the pavé in the route.
But personally, I like that the pavé is in there. I think one day of weirdness is fine. It's unfortunate that there might be 3 in a row, but this time it isn't the route that's at fault for that, it's a range of factors.

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Jul 6, 2010

The riders are expecting cobbles today they weren't expecting oil on the road yesterday. I've got no problem with the race being neutralised when the majority of the peloton and pre-race favourites are effected by something out of their control but clearly they could have resumed hostilities for the sprint.

That said I think the memories of the carnage on Sundays sprint was still fresh in some riders minds. They made a snap decision in the heat of racing which with hindsight they probably now realise now was wrong. I don't think we should be castigating them.

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Jul 6, 2010

Canellaras action yesterday has nothing to do with team tactics. In agreement with the other team leaders they slowed down the race to give all the guys a chance to come up with the peloton again, not only Armstrong, the Schlecks, Contador.... Besides that Cancellara convinced the tour director to dispense with the final mass sprint to avoid another crash. The tour directors agreed and no points were distributed for a sprint. Cancellara proved to be a competitor with common sense overriding ambition and this to the good of all the participants

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Jul 6, 2010

My final opinion
Waiting for everyone to catch up was ok, since the crashes happened because of an unforeseeable incident (the oil spill).

http://velonews.competitor.com/2010/07/news/the-stockeau-massacre-damage-assessment-after-the-tour-de-frances-second-stage_125976

That many riders don't go down unless something is wrong. It was a straight stretch of the descent too.

Fab gets a lot of flack for a neutralization where only one team spoke up. Rabo didn't, Milram didn't, Caisse didn't, Katusha didn't... Only Cervélo. Tony Martin was waving and signalling too, and he had way more to win by not having green points handed out, but no one has mentioned him.

But, not sprinting was wrong. When everyone who was more or less in one piece had caught up, they should've let the green boys have a go. Fab got that one wrong.

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Jul 6, 2010

steppenwolf summed it up nicely, but as omgidbi also said, Fab has probably used up his "peleton joker" here.
I hope he won't try that again ...

add comment | complain about this comment

Comment on this article

Sorry, you can only contribute to 606 during opening hours. These are 0900-2300 UK time, seven days a week, but may vary to accommodate sporting events and UK public holidays.

RATE THIS ARTICLE

Rate Breakdown

  • 5 66.67%
    4 votes
  • 4
    0 votes
  • 3 16.67%
    1 votes
  • 2
    0 votes
  • 1 16.67%
    1 votes

average rating:
4.00 from 6 votes