Too much fun with my parents yesterday means I completely forgot to write up a stage report. I suppose it's a blessing in disguise, because, in theory, I can look at the race from a more detached perspective. Well, I could, but I won't. I'm a firm believer that drama makes cycling popular, without doping scandals and crashes, people wouldn't watch as much. Thus, while dangerous, the multiple crashes were pretty damn exciting. There was one that I missed, because it wasn't shown on tv, was the worst because it ended up causing Adam Hansen (who I adore) to hurt himself. But he's a badass and completed the stage with a broken collarbone (and shoulder, I think). Sadly, he did not start today.
As for the rest of the stage, it was weird. It was basically a normal sprinter's stage. Three riders in the break, waiting to get caught. They fooled around, as breakaways tend to do and that was their downfall. But it was except. What wasn't except were the crashes after the peloton came together. It started with a crash caused by Mark Cavendish. Though from what I can tell (and what the cyclists involved have said) it was just one of those accidents. He appeared to just take the corner to hard and that's what everyone else has said, so though I enjoy blaming Cav, that's what I'm going to go with. But that was the first, it took out a few riders and I had a bit of joy because it meant that Cav wouldn't win the stage. Which is good for me, because I still blame him for both HH and Boonen not being at the Tour.
We thought we were free of crashes, but it was not to be (of course not). Because as the sprinters powered their way up to the finish, apparently everyone else decided it was a good idea to do the same. And as Jens Voigt said at the beginning to the second stage (which I'm watching as I write this), when everyone tries to be up front at the same time, it just doesn't work. And what happened was a gigantic crash. I haven't been watching cycling as long as some people, but in my seven years, I've never seen a crash like that. It literally brought the peloton to a halt, with only a few sprinters (and others) in front of the crash. It was ridiculously weird. It was like a line of cyclists all fell at once. I never did see a replay of that crash and perhaps that's a good thing, because I don't know that it was really anyone's fault. What it did mean is that the sprint was basically uncontested by the majority of the sprinters.
Which mean that survivorman (my nickname for him) Alessandro Petacchi won the stage. This is the second time it's happened this season, at least as far as I can tell. He managed to avoid the crash and then just powered his way to the win. It was kind of hilariously awesome. I loved it. Score one for the old me. It was great to see him win. As I said on twitter, I know he's a doper but I just don't care. And my pick for who I want to win the green jersey this year is Robbie McEwen (yeah, I know, shut up) and he was fourth, which made me happy. Thor was third and, maybe a little surprisingly, Mark Renshaw was second, probably because he had no one to work for after Cav crashed.
But, of course, there weren't just two crashes at the end. Of course not. There was a third where one of the AG2r riders crashed and Tyler Farrar apparently went down, too. That was the third crash before the finish. It was scary, exciting and dangerous. In the post-race interviews, cyclists basically said the crashes were a result of nervousness of the first real day of racing on the Tour. You know, you'd think that these dudes would know better, but this happens all the time. At least no more serious injures happened (that I heard about), aside from poor Adam Hansen, though his crash was earlier in the stage. It was a strange way to end the stage. Hopefully Stage 3 will have fewer serious crashes.
I would like to see Mark Cavendish not win again. If we have a sprint finished, I'd like McEwen to win. But we all know what I really want. Fingers crossed that it happens.