Vive Le Tour of Poland!
Okay, so it isn’t the 100th edition of the grandest of grand tours, Le Tour de France. Given what happened to BMC’s fortunes in France (miserable, contentious, unexpectedly disasterous), they’ve bounced back in Poland.
Cadel Evans may have grinded his way to Paris over an hour and a half behind the winning time of Sky’s Chris Froome. Young gun Tejay van Garderen may have had one colossal bad day in the Pyrenees and finished back in 48th place. BMC team manager John Lelangue may have left the squad for “personal” reasons.
No matter, forget all that, and smell the sweet nectar of Poland.
The boys in red and black have notched two big wins in the Tour of Poland. It isn’t Le Grand Shindig but some good news was needed badly and Poland is just what the race doctor ordered.
Thor Hushovd won his first race since anybody can remember — what, two years? — when he took out stage three. Then today, Taylor Phinney pulled out a masterful win on stage four, attacking the peloton with seven clicks to go and soloing to victory.
Poland is an eraser. Poland is a nice warm blanket and the promise of better days ahead.
For a week nobody needs to wonder if 36 going on 37 year old Cadel Evans will have the full team support he requires for another shot at the Tour. Nobody has to ask questions about Philippe Gilbert’s role in the team and when he’s going to start producing wins again. Owner Andy Rihs can feel better about writing his payroll checks.
After his win, Phinney described it as “sort of a Fabian Cancellara-style, Milan-San Remo victory scenario. It’s really amazing to have it happen and it was a great feeling to finally put my hands up.”
Sure, it ain’t the Tour de France. But yeah, put your hands in the air and wave ’em like you just don’t care.