Rest day Tour de France meanderings.
As many have noted, the last two days have been crazy, highs and lows, race over, race just beginning, Sky dominant, Sky in disarray, Froome in control, Froome isolated.
We’re all happy about that chaotic turn of events after Froome and Sky practically pre-empted the entire three week tour by kicking Cadel Evans, Tejay van Garderen, Ryder Hesjedal and Joaquin Rodriguez out of the race after the opening Ax 3 Domaines stage.
It was a repeat of the Sky template from last year and Bradley Wiggins’ dominant victory. Dull, impressive, soul-crushing, bad television but effective when you can afford the budget for that kind of back-up horsepower.
However, as former Sky mountain domestique Michael Rogers said today, this Sky Tour squad isn’t as strong. Vasil Kiryienka couldn’t beat the time cut, Pete Kennaugh crashed and Richie Porte, who looked like he had a guaranteed podium spot after the first Pyrenean stage, blew spectacularly. Marginal gains turned into massive losses.
So race on and thank God.
Our hats off to Garmin-Sharp and Movistar for not simply packing things in. This year, on this course, with 12 months to study the Sky modus operandi, those teams are saying enough, you aren’t cruising to Paris without blood all over the lycra.
The time trial awaits and we’re hoping Alberto Contador has plenty in the tank. He was conspicuous by his absence on the second and final stage in the Pyrenees when the shit hit the French fan.
One, he was recovering from his over-heated jour sans and two, he figured the 30k downhill run to the finish wasn’t worth wasting power he could use in the TT.
We saw what Garmin-Sharp and Movistar have planned for Sky. Now, we have to wait and see what El Pistolero is cooking up.