Monday, July 11, 2011

July 11, Rest Day 1

The Good:

1) Yellow Jersey
This has a lot of things going for it, finally. I don't think it'll last. But it was nice to see Philippe Gilbert grabbing the jersey on the first day. And even though it didn't last/wasn't meant to be, I like it. I didn't mind Thor having the jersey, either. I don't like Thomas Voeckler having it, but that's because I'm totally biased against him. I mean, the dude made Sylvain bust ass for no result, but I'm not bitter. Really. Anyway, I'm just glad that Contador/Schlecks/Evans doesn't have it.
2) Non-prologue first stage
EVERY YEAR WE NEED THIS. Because if it means no more Cancellara in yellow THERE CAN BE NO WRONG. I loved having a proper stage, even if I didn't get to see all of it live. But, seriously. The lack of prologue was amazing and I got to see Sylvain in his RR kit before all hell broke loose. 
3) TTT
I love these things. I know they have issues, I know it fucks over smaller teams (or does it? I'm thinking not so) or teams that aren't as strong. But you know what? I don't care. The only thing I wish is that BMC wasn't in the top three, but since that meant Leopard Trek wasn't there, then I can't complain too much. I don't want either team to win the GC, but there are people I like even less, so I guess I shouldn't complain. Of course, that's never stopped me before. Anyway, I love TTT, especially when you have teams flow properly. That's the way a TTT is meant to be and it's fucking glorious. 
4) Sylvain (kind of)/Team Sky Kind of
Look, okay. I know he's crashed (more about that later), but the dude's a badass biker. He never gives up, even when he wants to. I hope that he's not making himself worse, but he understand the importance of the jersey he's wearing. I just hope that if he keeps racing, he won't crash. Again. As for Team Sky, they were on the way to converting me into a fan. Geraint Thomas in white, Edvald's win. Their total adorableness. Bonus points for trying. 
5) Team Drama
I probably shouldn't like this, but all the drama  revolving around the teams (and not the crashes) i awesome. I liked the whole Evans through water at Cav, the drama (unspoken) between Cav and Greipel. I like Andre vs Lotto. I don't know why it's so much fun, but it is. I hope there's more. If there isn't drama between teams, then what fun is racing if everyone gets along? Hopefully this stuff'll make headlines and not more crashes, but I'm not holding my breath

The Bad:

6) Crashes
I have a long post I haven't written yet about the crashes. They have been horrible. There haven't been more of them, just bigger names being involved and the injuries seemingly worse than in previous years. I have theories, of which I will eventually share, but not here. But I just want to say that crashes, regardless of their causes (weather, other riders, motos or cars) are bad things. This tour has had far too many in this first week and will probably have many more before the tour's over. Let's just hope the injuries won't be as bad or end up with a dude tangled up in barbed wire (if I never see those pictures of Hoogerland again, it'll be too soon). 
7) Cars/motos
Look, something has to be done. I don't know what, I have no answers, but seriously. A moto and a car IN THE SAME FUCKING RACE. Something's wrong. I don't know if it's the drivers or maybe people are just getting too careless, but the TDF needs to make a change before, god forbid, a cyclist dies. We've had more than enough of that this year. 
8) The peloton's attitude
I get that you guys are worried about the dudes at the back, but come the fuck on. I'd like to blame this on Leopard, but I have no idea if it was them or Thor, but whoever decided to wait was wrong. I get it, big names are down, but they clearly aren't getting back up and it's not your responsibility to slow the peloton down. It's better, at least in my opinion, not to slow down, not to get caught up in trying to be safe, because when that happens, y'all just get in the way of each other and that's when the crashes start to pile up. You can't change the crashes, but you can look after yourselves and waiting is just asking for trouble. Not to mention that this is a race.
9) Team Sky
I wanted to like you guys, I really did. I do still like your riders, but your tactics are for shit. I'm sorry, dudes, but making Geraint Thomas wait (or letting him wait, I don't really know which it was) was the wrong move. It was clear to everyone watching that Wiggins wasn't going to continue on. You could've sent Geraint along with a teammate, letting the rest of the team wait. But instead you destroyed any chance you might've had for prizes at the end of the tour. I know that you meant well, I know that Wiggins' crash was a shock, but you should be prepared for that kind of stuff. It's a three week race and shit happens all the time. So, sorry Team Sky. You're back to me not liking you (mostly). 
10) Did I mention crashes?
It was really hard for me to watch after Sylvain crashed. I kept on, and so did it, but it was touch and go for both of us. If he'd dropped out, which I wouldn't have held against him ever, it would've made it harder for me to keep watching. I know, his team Cofidis was kicked out a few years ago, but that's different. This was something worse, something horrible. I can only hope that his injuries are getting better and that QS hasn't endangered his career by keeping him in the race. RR kit be damned, the rider's health should be most important (and that's another issue for another time). 
What do I hope from the rest of this year's tour? Fewer crashes, Sylvain to make it to the end and a miracle that Geraint back in white. I also want more Tony Martin. Possibly an Andre Grepel stage win (he's on my fantasy team) and maybe CVV to do something special. Because my fantasy team is all still there, just dragging themselves along. 

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