2011 Tour de France-Stage 7

8 Jul


I hate days in the Tour like this.  Days where a favorite or serious GC contender gets knocked out of the race because of injury or illness. Actually I hate it when it happens to any rider.

Today we lost Bradley Wiggins, Team Sky, the British hopeful for the overall championship.  Wiggins was caught up in a crash and suffered a fracture of his collarbone.

Particularly sad for Wiggins, after winning the Tour of Switzerland just a few weeks ago, he appeared to be peaking at the right time and was in 6th place overall.  Team Sky was riding high after their first Tour de France victory yesterday in Stage 6 when sprinter, Edvald Boasson Hagen took it at the line.

Making matters worse, Hagen was caught in the crash although he did return, but several Sky riders waited minutes for Wiggins (as any team would if the team favorite/leader goes down) which made their time gaps even greater. Geraint Thomas fell from 3rd to 38th place… suffice to say – a very bad day for Team Sky.

We saw Tom Boonen, Quick Step sprinter, withdraw from the race today too due to injuries sustained in a crash two days ago.

Besides losing Wiggins and Boonen, several riders in the top 10 were also either involved or caught out by the crash. Roughly half of the peloton was caught by the accident, while teams HTC and Leopard-Trek drove the pace the rest of the peloton was left to sort through the carnage and get back on and try and continue.  Team Radio Shack’s Levi Leipheimer and Chris Horner went down; Leipheimer’s second straight stage to hit the pavement and lose big chunks of time – Leipheimer now is in 50th place and Horner in 119th.

As expected Mark Cavendish sprinted to the line first to claim his 16th Tour victory (amazing) and his 2nd in Chateauroux – also the site of his very 1st stage win in 2008. Also, Tour leader, Thor Hushovd, Garmin-Cervelo, kept the yellow jersey for another day.

Just a horrible day in the Tour, and a stage that looked anything but problematic.  No hills, no narrow roads, no rain… nothing but the crashes happened anyway. It is said often, but obviously not overstated, riders are always nervous the first week of the Tour and the week is crash prone. Few years rival this one’s impact on the overall GC though.

Tour de France Fantasy Cycling Challenge

For the Love of Bikes team (4loveofbikes) scored 109 points in Stage 7. Riders Phillippe Gilbert, Romain Feillu and Nicholas Roche scored 19, 74 and 16 points respectively. We lost GC contender Bradley Wiggins.  


2 Responses to “2011 Tour de France-Stage 7”

  1. Nathan Lorenz July 8, 2011 at 9:22 pm #

    I found it particularly hard to watch Boonen drop out after he fought so hard to not be disqualified on the day of his crash.

    • Susan July 8, 2011 at 10:31 pm #

      Me too, I was surprised he did. He obviously felt horrible, these guys don’t quit unless they absolutely have to. Case in point: Horner. Very sad day today.

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