Thursday, July 5, 2012

Thoughts on Stage 5

1. Two sprint stages in a row for Griepel.

2. No excuses this time. Greipel beats Cav (and everyone else) straight up (and on an uphill finish). Maybe Cav was feeling the crash from yesterday, but he did take today's intermediate sprint.  

3. Farrar crashed and took Sagan with him on the run in. The road wasn't especially narrow, but Farrar was caught trying to squeeze into a space that did not actually exist between two other riders.

4. Sagan almost avoided going down with a really impressive balancing act, but was finally put on the ground  when a riderless bike skidded across his path. He seemed to go down pretty hard, but didn't appear too badly hurt when he finally crossed the line with the other stragglers.

5. The finale was pretty much the only interesting part of today's stage. Team RadioShack, especially Jensy and Poppo, must have been very pleased with the (relatively) slack pace.

6. The spinters' teams cut it awfully close, only catching the breakaway with less than 500 meters to go.

7. Race commentators on EuroSport are raising legitimate questions about whether Farrar is really a legitimate sprinter, or just an opportunist. Indeed, his only sprint win at last year's tour (a year ago yesterday) came after a crash that took out Cav and other top contenders. Farrar seems to have the necessary power and leg speed, but it's not clear that he possesses the maniacal competitiveness and aggressiveness that competitive sprinters require. But perhaps the crash he caused today is a sign that he is trying to develop the proper argy-bargy mindset. Of course, you can't win if you don't keep the rubber on the road.

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