Tour de France 2012 - The Drama Continues
The Tour de France hasn't been exciting from a sporting standpoint, but we still have drama.
suspension. I'm just not a believer in a scorched earth approach to a doping problem - on the condition that the rider cooperated with the authorities or at the least was remorseful.
However, Valverde was unrepentant and claims he's innocent against DNA evidence that proves the opposite. So yeah, Valverde gets a polite clap from me as he crossed the finish line. That's not the only drama of the day.
With two kilometers remaining it was Froome and Wiggins leaving the competition behind. Actually let me rephrase that, Froome was leaving the competition behind and Wiggins was holding on for dear life. Froome could be seen gesturing for Wiggo to hold his wheel, but it was clear that he couldn't and Froome was the stronger of the two on the climb. What was embarrassing is Froome was neither helping nor attacking Wiggins. It was a weird. He gained a few yards, looked back and then slowed for Wiggins. That was repeated a couple of times. Finally Wiggins was able to latch on and enjoy a tow to the line, crossing with a huge grin.
If Froome and been given freedom he could have caught Valverde. Instead the Sky leash was pulled taut and he had to settle for second on the day. Sky should have let Froome loose as there was no way he was going to overtake Wiggins in G.C.
Stage 17 showed that Team Sky has two grand tour leaders in its ranks - so how do you keep them both happy? At the very least Froome should get a pay bonus or a new team issue Jaguar. I recommend the XK - that's the model Roadcycling.com purchased for me as a signing bonus and it's very nice. Splurge and get the all leather interior.
Stage 18 was a rolling stage that wasn't going to affect the general classification. It was designed for a breakaway and that's what happened. Twenty-five riders pulled ahead with none of them a danger to Wiggins. In fact Team Sky felt they had this stage so under control that they allowed their rider Edvald Boasson Hagen in the move.
With 13 kilometers remaining, a group of five separated themselves from the breakaway. Their lead was less than 20 seconds, so it looked to be doomed.
At 5 kilometers to go the five riders had less than 10 seconds and at less than a kilometer to go the peloton sucked them up. It was field sprint time. I'd almost forgotten what one of those looks like!
Lo and behold who was leading out Cav - Wiggins! Cavendish had gotten the okay from the team to go for the win and he didn't disappoint. He SMOKED the sprint, roaring past Matthew Gass and Luis Leon Sanchez taking a win by a huge margin. All Sanchez could do was bang his handlebars in frustration.
This begs the question; if competing in the Olympics do you race the Tour de France or race another smaller, shorter stage race like the Tour of Poland leading up to the Olympics?