2012 Tour de France-Stage 14

15 Jul

What a long strange Tour it’s been. 

Here’s what stands out for me after watching Stage 14:

  • Sprinter Mark Cavendish at the front of the peloton setting the pace on the beginning of the most difficult climb of the day, escorting a huge peloton. How is it that they are going so slow that a sprinter can not only be with the group on the climb but at the front setting the pace?

  • The most exciting part of the stage was the atTACK at the summit. Either a hoodlum or a fan bored with the racing – I almost put racing in quotes because it’s a stretch to call much of what we’ve seen lately racing (other than the guys in breaks) – put tacks along the summit causing numerous flats. Cadel Evans had more flats on today’s stage than I’ve had in my 22 years of riding.

  • Peter Sagan is the most exciting rider to come along in… forever and thank goodness he’s here providing some excitement. Call me crazy but I think this guy could be a GC contender in a few years (3-5) if he loses a few kilos and learns to TT. He has amazing talent and the type of personality to maximize it.

  • Tip of the helmet to Wiggins and Sky for slowing down the pace to allow puncture-prone Evans to catch up and ride in with the main group. Lotto and Liquigas continued to race – to pursue Rolland who didn’t wait but once Rolland was caught the race was neutralized.

  • Tip of the helmet to Tejay Van Garderen for telling the truth when he easily could have lied about knowing that Evans had punctured and not waiting (he thought there might be another teammate nearby to help Evans-which is how it looked to me from the video) and admitting he should have. I like Van Garderen a lot, he has huge potential.

  • Great effort and win for LL Sanchez and team Rabobank. With only 4 guys (of 9) left in the race they won the stage.

  • The biggest difference in this Tour is not Wiggins, but his team. If you didn’t realize how true it is that teams not riders win jersey’s you should certainly understand it now. Lotto illustrated it perfectly yesterday when they picked up Greipel who was 2nd to last getting up the climb and escorted him to the finish for the win. We get to see how true it is with Sky everyday. What would the race be like if Nibali and Evans had similar teams. We would see them race more aggressively for one thing and we would see a tighter race.

  • What would Garmin-Sharp have been able to do if they had their two GC hopefuls – Hesjedal and Danielson.

  • What would the race look like if RadioShack had Andy Schleck – and money?

PIC296413860Stage results

  • 1. Luis Leon SANCHEZ GIL, Rabobank, in 4:50:29
  • 2. Peter SAGAN, Liquigas-Cannondale, at :47
  • 3. Sandy CASAR, FDJ-BigMat, at :47
  • 4. Philippe GILBERT, BMC Racing, at :47
  • 5. Gorka IZAGUIRRE INSAUSTI, Euskaltel-Euskadi, at :47
  • 6. Sergio Miguel MOREIRA PAULINHO, Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank, at 2:51
  • 7. Sébastien MINARD, Ag2r La Mondiale, at 2:51
  • 8. Martin VELITS, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at 3:49
  • 9. Eduard VORGANOV, Katusha, at 4:51
  • 10. Steven KRUIJSWIJK, Rabobank, at 4:53

General classification

  • 1. Bradley WIGGINS, Sky, in 64:41:16
  • 2. Christopher FROOME, Sky, at 2:05
  • 3. Vincenzo NIBALI, Liquigas-Cannondale, at 2:23
  • 4. Cadel EVANS, BMC Racing, at 3:19
  • 5. Jurgen VAN DEN BROECK, Lotto-Belisol, at 4:48
  • 6. Haimar ZUBELDIA AGIRRE, RadioShack-Nissan, at 6:15
  • 7. Tejay VAN GARDEREN, BMC Racing, at 6:57
  • 8. Janez BRAJKOVIC, Astana, at 7:30
  • 9. Pierre ROLLAND, Europcar, at 8:31
  • 10. Thibaut PINOT, FDJ-BigMat, at 8:51

No change in the yellow, green, polka-dot or white jersey competitions.

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