Wednesday, July 06, 2011

July 6, Stage 5: Carhaix - Cap Fréhel 158 km

This picture has pretty much nothing to do with anything, but I liked it and I'm having fun editing these. They're mostly from Yahoo, in case anyone wanted to know. I just make them smaller and play with colors. Because I can, y'all. It's a little things, you know? But, onto today's stage because, well, it was quite a stage.

Hey, guess what? Today's stagey also sucked, but this time in a totally different way. Unlike yesterday, I did get to see most of this stage, though not all of it. I watched the beginning as I was getting ready for work and the rest later, but I thought, when I left for work, that it was going to be just another flat stage without too much excitement. But, um, can I just say that I was really, really wrong. I mean, I couldn't've have been more wrong then if I'd say, oh, it's going to snow during the tour stage today!

In a way, it was kind of weird because the weather was, if hot. But on the other hand, the roads were narrow and once the first crash happened, everything seemed to slip out of control. The peloton, for some reason, couldn't hold onto themselves for long enough to avoid crashing and the stage was just one big mess after another. One thing that's struck me so far this tour is that everyone seems to crash. Usually the big crashes seem to keep away from the GC riders and even some of the more well known guys, but almost everyone's crashed at least once so far. I know that's not quite true, but that's how it feels, in a way. Today was no exception as Contador crashed and it seems Chris Horner may have, too (but don't quote me on it, my days and RadioShack riders are running together). I was sad to see that some riders crashed quite hard, especially Brajkovič (I feel extra bad about that because I'd just talked about him on tumblr, sorry dude).

But, of course, what really made me bummed was the news that Sylvain had crashed. I haven't see any video (I can't get any to play and I'm not rewinding my tape to watch it). But I do know that he hurt himself, but not bad enough to leave the tour. But he was taken to hospital and according to cyclingnews he "dislocated the acromion-clavicular joint in his right shoulder." Which, I don't even know. I mean, I like drama as much as the next person and I totally understand that cycling is a dangerous sport and crashes happen, but damn. I kind of wonder if there's something going on with the make up of the peloton, because there were a lot of crashes at the Giro and even at last year's tour. I don't know that there are more of them (I feel like I've had this discussion before), but there are a lot. And I'm pissed that one of them involved Sylvain. Of course, I wans't happy that Boonen crashed either and his was far worse. I'm totally impressed that he kept on riding, what a stud.

As for the result of the race? Well, for those of you who don't follow me on twitter, you'll be surprised to learn that I wasn't overly upset about the win. Seriously. I don't really want Cavendish to win shit, especially when he's got a train (I am so over them. I mean, honestly, enough is enough. HTC, Fassa Bortolo called and they want you to stop using their tactics). I get so tired of other people doing the work because that means sprints aren't a fair fight to those sprinters without strong teams. I know the green jersey's been won without sprint lead outs (Erik Zabel), but not every one is amazing like that. So even though Cav had a train (that kind of failed) and he sucked onto Geraint Thomas' wheel (sigh), he didn't really have a proper lead out. Tony Martin got way ahead (and teased me, because I desperately want him to win a stage) of Cavendish, totally fucking that up. But then! Out of absolutely no where, Cavendish pulled out a win. I mean, seriously, that is what a good stage finish should be about. None of that crap from Stage 4.

And while Cav's post race remarks pissed me off (stop being so passive aggressive, dude) and I don't like his general attitude, his skill on the bike is hard to challenge when I actually get to see it. Lead out trains destroy what could be amazing races when Cav wins bike six bike lengths or something. But today's sprint finish was almost perfect (it would've been perfect if someone else had one, but whatever, details).

I hope tomorrow is exciting, though I doubt I'll be able to see the end of the stage (unless they really up the pace). It's another hilly (though a bit more than previously) stage that could give us some mini fireworks. I'd like to predict a nice breakaway lasting, but I'm not so sure. It seems that the peloton is hungry for stage wins, so it'll probably be more like stage four than anything else. Which, if there are different riders at the front, I could totally be a fan of. At this rate, though, I'm just hoping that Sylvain'll be starting.

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