The Tour de France or Tour de Wiggins?

News & Results

07/13/2012| 0 comments
by Neil Browne
Roadcycling.com's 2012 Tour de France analysis continues. Already the Tour de France looks to have a winner, but there are still some scraps at the table for the others. Photo Fotoreporter Sirotti.
Roadcycling.com's 2012 Tour de France analysis continues. Already the Tour de France looks to have a winner, but there are still some scraps at the table for the others. Photo Fotoreporter Sirotti.

The Tour de France or Tour de Wiggins?

Already the Tour de France looks to have a winner, but there are still some scraps at the table for the others.

crowd favorite Jens Voigt made the junction with 10 kilometers remaining. But in the last kilometer Voeckler attacked and passed both Voigt and the other rider in the break Dries Devenyns (Omega Pharma-QuickStep). Under the red kite Voeckler was gone, taking France's second stage win of this year's Tour de France.

On the surface you'd think Voeckler would be popular. And yes, with the general public he is. His baby face makes him a hit with the French housewives. With commentators he's also very popular because he wears his heart on his sleeve making for an interesting interview. But within the peloton there's another opinion of the Frenchman.

The flicking tongue and elbow, along with his scrunched up face during accelerations, irritates riders who feel he's putting on a show. Also, Voeckler's attacking style, which makes for great television, can screw-up an orderly working breakaway. His Europcar team doesn't get a lot of love either. Earlier this year Cycle Sport Magazine wrote in their interview with Voeckler and a prominent British rider told the publication Europcar doesn't do their share of the work. That will not gain you many friends in the peloton.

Take stage 10 of this year's Tour as an example. Coming into the Tour Voeckler was complaining about his knee and there was a strong chance he wouldn't race in July. But there Tommy was, in the break and repeatedly attacking, finally taking the win with his tongue flicking like a snake.

In a post-race interview he was asked about the knee replying he hadn't been acting about the injury. "My knees hurt, everything hurts, but I couldn't give up."

Regardless of what the professional peloton may or may not think of him, I like his style.

Stage 11 was a true mountain stage. It featured two hors category climbs, a category 2 and finished on La Toussuire, a category 1 mountain. The second hors category mountain is the Col de la Croix de Fer, the highest point on the Tour de France. To commemorate the climb the first rider over the top wins the Henri Desgrange award, a five thousand Euro bonus.

Fabian Cancallara pulled the plug on the Tour by activating the "my wife is pregnant" excuse. In fairness a wife's pregnancy is a good excuse, but it also works out that he can rest up for the Olympics, which are only a couple of weeks away and Fabs is representing Switzerland.

In this new era of professional cycling the killer thrusts into your opponents' exposed underbelly are now reserved for the final climb of the day. Back in the day the attacks from two mountain cols from the finish are a thing of the past. Stage 11's main event was going down on the climb of La Toussuire.

Pierre Rolland (Euopcar) took a back to back stage win for the team, but behind him revealed who was truly a contender. Evans attacked (or more accurately, surged) on the Glandon with his teammate Tejay van Garderen. They were brought back by Team Sky, but the attack did

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