||07-22-13 08:48 AM
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.