pan y agua
Join Date: Aug 2005
Bikes: Wilier Zero 7; Merlin Extralight; Co-Motion Robusta; Schwinn Paramount; Motobecane Phantom Cross; Cervelo P2; Motebecane Ti Fly 29er; Calfee Dragonfly Tandem
Originally Posted by License2Ill
Yeah, this is true, but he likely wouldn't have lost the group if he did that, instead being able to swap out once a team car got back to him. It wouldn't have had the same effect on time at that point.
The problem was the cross wind. When you have a significant cross wind and echelons forming, you've got little time to react. Cavendish, who made the lead echelon, said you had 5 seconds, or you'd never make it.
Valverde had the mechanical at precisely the wrong time. Even if he got a bike in 15 seconds he wasn't making the lead echelon.
In that condition, you either make the echelon, or you're f'd.
Experienced bike racers know where on a course you have conditions for this, and are prepared to react. ( see e.g. Hincapie and Armstrong f'ng over Contador a few years ago). YOu've got to be upfront turning into a cross wind section. Valverde was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
You could fall off a cliff and die.
You could get lost and die.
You could hit a tree and die.
OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.