Saturday, July 14, 2012

Thoughts on TdF Stage 13

1. Greipel takes it over Sagan. A third victory in this year's Tour for the big German, known as "The Gorilla." His team Lotto Bellisol are quietly having a fabulous tour.

2. While Greipel made it over the third category climb 15k before the finish, Mark Cavendish did not. It was, I suppose, another consequence of Team Sky's decision to work exclusively to protect Wiggo's yellow jersey; they couldn't (or wouldn't) spare anyone to pace Cavendish up the climb. Once he was dropped, he had zero chance of catching back up for the final sprint.

3. Speaking of Wiggo, he did a great job pegging back the final attack before the sprint finish and leading out his sprinter (in Cav's absence), Edvald Boassen Hagen. Unfortunately, Boassen-Hagen couldn't repay his team leader by holding off Greipel and Sagan.

4. Vinokourov and Albersini valiantly tried to steal a march on the sprinters' teams by attacking after the final climb. But they were never likely to survive given the long run in. Perhaps they were hoping that the crosswinds might work in their favor. But crosswinds never really work in anyone's favor. They were pegged back with just over 2k to go. But as soon as they were caught, Luis Leon Sanchez counterattacked. Needless to say, the sprinters' teams were having none of it; they were not going to let slit the opportunity for a field sprint.

5. Poor Michael Morkov. After a valiant solo attack, his legs simply gave out on the climb up the Mont Saint-Clair. At one point, he virtually stopped pedaling, and almost went backwards. He's certainly been the most aggressive rider of the entire Tour.

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