Friday, July 13, 2012

Thoughts on TdF Stage 12

1. Frankly, a pretty dull stage. The peloton really did even try to catch the five-man breakaway, understandably, I suppose, given that none of the five threatened the GC podium, or even the top 10.

2. Nearly the only interesting part of the race, prior to the finish, occurred when Sagan tried to bridge-up to the breakaway on the downhill portion of the race, prior to the intermediate sprint. But he was pulled back into the peloton well before that point.

3. Somewhat surprisingly, none of the riders in the breakaway made a solo attack on the final third category climb. Perhaps they thought it was still too far to the finish line after the climb to hold a lead. In any case, they seemed content to ride together at least to the last few kilometers.

4. Kudos to David Millar, who won the final sprint from a tiring breakaway group that had spent more than 200 kilometers in front of today's race. In the final few kilometers, Millar looked the freshest of the group, and he proved it. A well-earned win by a terrific rider from a beleaguered team that lost all three of its potential GC contenders in crashes during the Tour's first week.

5. Mark Cavendish was playing domestique for Team Sky today, going back to the team car and delivering water bottles to all the riders. Tomorrow, the whole team, other than Wiggins and Froome, will be returning the favor for him, as it's a pure sprinters' stage.

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