Snapped chain and vomiting. UAE loses their Tour climbers.

//Snapped chain and vomiting. UAE loses their Tour climbers.

Snapped chain and vomiting. UAE loses their Tour climbers.

Two kilometers from the top of the Mur de Peguere, Rafal Majka leads Tadej Pogačar in a select group with Jonas Vingegaard and Sepp Kuss (Jumbo Visma) plus Nairo Quintana (Arkea Samsic). Tension ratchets up as everyone awaits the inevitable attack and the snap of the elastic.

Only the elastic didn’t snap — instead it was Majka’s chain. In an instant, he had no gears, swinging awkwardly to the left, nearly falling and coming to a dead stop. Pogačar narrowly avoids a collision — which might have ended his hunt for the maillot jaune. It’s hard enough to power up a 9 kilometer Category 1 climb at 7.8%  — take away your bike chain and you ain’t going nowhere.

Such was the unfortunate first day in the Pyrenees for the Slovenian. His team looked to have the upper hand once Jumbo Visma inexplicably sent Primoz Roglic home before stage 15 and Steven Kruijswijk crashed out that same day. Instead Majka waits on the side of the road for his team car, fuming and beyond irritated.

Then things got even worse.

While Majka had a mechanical, teammate Marc Soler had a intestinal disorder. By the start of the penultimate climb, Soler was already 35 minutes behind, the time cut getting sharper and sharper. He rode to the bitter end, ill and vomiting and heading home.

Just like that, the tables turn again in Le Tour. Pogačar finished together with Vingegaard in Foix but he has suffered a significant loss. Soler was to play a critical role on the climbs but now it’s Majka and McNulty against Sepp Kuss and Wout van Aert when the gradients turn nasty.

Stage 16 was served up as the amuse bouche for the main Pyrenean courses tomorrow and Thursday. Given the surprising ups and downs of this Tour de France, anything can happen and probably will.

Always clean and oil your change, folks.



By |2022-07-19T16:44:34-07:00July 19th, 2022|Featured|0 Comments

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