Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Thoughts on TdF Stage 3

1. How impressive is Peter Sagan? In the final 200 meters, he just rode away from both Boassen-Hagan and Cancellara (who stays in yellow).

2. Several serious crashes today put a lot of riders on the ground, a couple (including Gilbert) out of the running for the stage, and a couple completely out of the race. One of the later ended up in the barbed wire along the roadside, like Johnny Hoogerland last year, except today's victim wasn't bumped off the road by a car.

3. Why all the carnage today after the relatively calm opening stages (although I'm not sure Tony Martin would agree with that assessment of the first couple stages)? Probably something to do with the lumpy profile and the narrow roads. Too many riders competing for scarce space near the front of the peloton? But the wrecks generally occurred toward the back of the main group.

4. Because it was not a day for the pure sprinters, Team RadioShack had to do most of the work at the front of the peloton; but given all the carnage at the back, they were probably happy to be up there, staying out of trouble.

5. I was surprised that no one attacked on the penultimate climb of the day, a third category climb, but then Chavanel went just after that climb finished. It struck me as a foolhardy effort. RadioShack, BMC, and Liquigas all had two or more riders protecting their men (Cancellara, Cadel Evans and Peter Sagan, respectively). There was almost no chance Chavanel was going to be able to hold the lead to the up-hill finish. But I suppose he figured, nothing ventured, nothing gained. He probably knew he couldn't beat Sagan in a final sprint to the line.

6. Jens after Stage 3: "[W]e had two objectives for today. One was to keep the yellow, objective two was to keep everyone upright and on their bikes. Fortunately for us we achieved both. Fabian kept the yellow, fuck he's a legend isn't he? I just love to be in a team with him."

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