Hesjedal on track for Tour. Missing Mr Yates.

Hesjedal in Giro.

All quiet on the Wiggins watch, the Brit keeping silent after the story that his close friend and coach Shane Sutton said Wiggins should support Froome in Le Tour.

Perhaps Wiggins is back home recovering from his Giro d’Italia illness and planning his next cryptic “I’m the Tour Captain” statement.

Meanwhile the other Giro invalid, Ryder Hesjedal is recovering well and back in training after his respiratory illness scuppered his chances of defending his Giro title. We never use the verb scupper but then we’ve been re-reading Moby Dick and find that old language enticing. Avast, ye weary shipmates. Aye, there lies the good ship Garmin, taking on full sail for France.

The Canadian has pronounced himself fit and believes he can regain his grand tour form for Le Grand Shindig, which kicks off in Corsica with light alliteration. Arg, me thinks, the portents and strangle currents bespeak of mad landlubbers on bikes bent on destruction.

The Argyle Armada will be a formidable force in Le Tour; perhaps not as formidable as Sky or BMC but with Hesjedal, Andrew Talansky and perhaps Christian Vande Velde and Tom Danielson, the team boosts experience and strength.

The 100th edition of Le Tour promises to be a ripper. And we can’t wait to see what tactical tricks Garmin’s Jonathan Vaughters and the evil smiling Charlie Wegelius will cook up on the long and winding and exhausting road to Paris. Everyone knows that what Sky fears most is the the unforeseen event, the unexpected occurrence, the unfactored variable in the computer simulation.

In Wiggins’ autobiography My Time, he speaks at length about how much faith he put in Sky director sportif Sean Yates. It was Yates who laid out the Tour strategy and Wiggins credits that knowledge and confidence as central to his Tour victory.

Yates was the guy — along with road captain Mick ROgers — who made the tactical calls on the road minute to minute. Both are now gone, casualties of Sky’s Zero Tolerence ant-doping policy. Well, nobody actually said that, but the timing of the sudden unexpected “retirement” of Yates and Rogers’ sudden unexpected move to Saxo-Tinkoff were hard to miss.

What seems clear is that in this Tour de France both Wiggins and Froome will miss the on-the-fly race wisdom of Yates and Rogers. Tactically, this won’t be a repeat of the Sky race strategy and all the top GC contenders now know that the unscripted attack is the best way to throw Sky off its game.

You can be sure that Ryder Hesjedal will benefit from an aggressive race strategy. They will also look to exploit the tension within Sky as both Wiggins and Froome eye each other with distrust and fight for the captain’s role. Tha is an extra me sure of indecision and he more chaos, the better.

We’re excited to see the polar opposite of the 2012 Tour de France. An all-out war against Team Sky fought by Hesjedal, Contador, Rodriguez, Evans and Van Garderen. It’s going to be fantastic show and one thing is for sure, Sky is going to miss Sean Yates and Mick Rogers.

It might even be a more dramatic story than Moby Dick, a whale of a Tour.

 

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