I love echelons. I hate cycling in the wind, but I love stages/races like this.
Best stage of the Tour so far. Really fun to watch.
So much for sky being unstoppable.. amazing stage!
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Yeah, that was one exciting stage!! This thing is not over yet.
Presuming the GC stays the same tomorrow it's going to make the ascent of Mont Ventoux on Sunday very interesting.
ST are going to feel Sky's vulnerable and surely will try to attack.
History is the future
Nice. That's what you think a bike race should look like until you learn that these things don't happen.
I thought that after the 8th stage the "race was over" and everyone is supposed to give up and just soft pedal it to the end? Cancel the rest of the race and wrap it up early?
Great stage, I loved the interview with Cav at the end where he explained what had gone on and how the break just "happened" and everyone had seconds to make it or lose out. That's the best racing yet, where it doesn't seem like they are all pawns of a few team captains playing a three week game of chess.
Glad it's open and I really hope the riders start attacking visciously in the mountains, throw it all on the line, attack the yellow, take a flyer on a wing and a prayer etc!
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Its set up Sunday nicely, i really hope it doesn't turn into an anti-climax.
I really don't see anybody cracking Froome on a mountain, they can attack all they want, he only has to sit on the wheel of the main threat, whoever he thinks that is, my guess is contador.
Team Sky has kind of shot themselves in the foot and Froome will need the help chasing down the breaks that are sure to come.
They have not shown the ability to do that so far. At least not after the first mt stage.
Should be fun to watch for sure!
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I loved a few things about the stage.
1. The echelons are indeed a blast to watch
2. The efforts made by the various groups was amazing
3. Cav's excitement in describing the breaks was great
I felt sorry for Valverde...what a way to lose so much time.
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Wooooo, what a stage!
I was breathless just watching the energy these riders had to put out on an "easy" day! Watching these guys ride in the wind like that really reminds me of watching F1 racing in a downpour, anything can happen and anyone can win.
Sky is actually looking fairly vulnerable this Tour, which I didn't expect. All credit to Froome, because he is really hanging in there on his own for the most part. And when you look at what happened to Valverde today, he got dropped for a flat even with 4 teamates around him. It could be far worse should that happen to Froome, because Sky as a team appears weaker.
Good effort by Cav to stay in the lead pack to pick-up an easy win. Sagan has not impressed me in the sprints yet. He really is a stroke or two off of the best sprinters right now. Maybe it's all about the green jersey and not wins?
It never gets easier, you just go faster. ~ Greg LeMond
Credit to Belkin and Saxo Tinkoff for gapping Froome. But they needed a bit of inattention from Froome. He didn't seem to mark Mollema, Contador and ten Dam. Cavendish, for instance, paid attention and caught on before the Belkin/Saxo Tinkoff group got away. When I saw Froome (admitting that I was not keeping notes) he was not riding at the pointy end of the peloton. I'd want him to mark Contador as closely as Cavendish did.
There was an Astana rider a few years ago who was inattentive on a flat stage and got gapped off by the wind. It seems like the riders -- or at least the DSes -- should learn their lessons. The yellow jersey can't phone it in, even on a flat stage, until Paris.
Someone on Twitter pointed out Sky's loss of Sean Yates; he would have kept Froome in sight of his top rivals so they couldn't get the jump on him. Someone, at least, was not doing what needed to be done on today's stage.
^^Cavendish said himself that he only just got on with the help of team mate Kwiatkowski but Froome hadn't got any team help at the vital moment. He needed someone like Boasson Hagen (out) or Porte (trailing minutes behind).
Can't blame Froome.
History is the future
When the last split happened Froome was right out in the wind, trying to close the gap. He didn't make it.
Yeah, that was fun.
In Froome's defense:
• Splits like this happen very fast. Froome only had a few seconds to react, really.
• He does still have a decent cushion.
• Valverde is done. (Quintana is not.)
A big boost for Saxo morale, but the question now is whether they went too deep to gain time on Mont Ventoux tomorrow.