The Belgians obvioulsy like the American invention, the demolition derby.
But this being the Tour de France it was nessessary to make one major modification: race bikes instead of old junker cars.
Stage 1 from Rotterdam to Brussels was a démolition derby à l’européenne with one small crash and two major smash-ups in the final kilometers. The assorted carnage wiped out the chances of Mark Cavendish (HTC-COlumbia), Tyler Farrar (Garmin), Rockin’ Robbie McEwen (Katusha) and most everyone else feeling frisky. Oscar the Cat Friere also did some road surfing after his run-in with Cervelo’s Jeremy Hunt.
Old man Alesandro Petchicci of Lampre was the last sprinter of note to remain upright and he happily accpeted the Belgian gift box: a tour stage win at age 36 with hardly any work. Shades of his Giro stage win, another present from the Cycling Gods when the rest of the sprinters crashed.
It’s proof as Woody Allen once said, that “80% of success is just showing up.” Stick around long enough and you’ll earn wins just on persistence. Petacchi thrust his arms into the sky with so much exhuerance you’d think he blasted past the entire Cavendish train and won by seven bike lengths. Then again, its exciting getting freebies.
Perhaps everyone simply fely lke getting a jump on the predicted demoliton occurring on stage three over the cobblestones. This was a warm-up on asphalt, get the road rash going on, work on the contusions and snapped collar bones later.
The escape stayed away for —- the peloton chased them down and swallowed them whole.
After the The UCI ran fie bikes thru the scanner for a random mechanical doping check, including Tyler Farrars bike.