TDF Stage 10–Knockdown

9 Jul

Sprinter extraordinaire, Mark Cavendish did something today that would have resulted in most other sprinters being disqualified from the stage at a minimum or from the Tour as has happened in the past  (Mark Renshaw in 2010 for one). For Cavendish though, there were no consequences to his actions.

A video is worth a thousand words so see for yourself in this video by NBC Sports and Steephilltv:

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Here’s a video from YouTube (CanalF10) from the 2010 Tour when Renshaw, Cavendish’s teammate at the time was disqualified from the Tour and sent home for head-butting:


In my mind Cavendish should have been disqualified from the sprint (resulting in no place and no points) at a minimum. What he did was far worse than Renshaw’s behavior in 2010 yet Cav gets off scott-free.

Excitement and drama kicks off the 2nd week of the Tour today in what we expected to end in a “normal” bunch sprint.

Stage 10 started with a break of 5 riders getting away early. The peloton let them go and then proceeded to bring them back – the usual cat and mouse game. The break never had a chance unless there was either a peloton pileup or a peloton breakup by crosswinds. Neither happened so when the time was right the peloton caught the break and the sprinters teams came to the front.

The wind played a factor in that the GC favorites teams wanted to keep them at the front, sprinters teams wanted to keep their sprinters at the front and had to catch the break – all of which meant the peloton was tightly packed and pace was high. Tensions were definitely high.

Lotto-Belisol and Argos-Shimano have well organized leadouts for their sprinters. Cavendish for the most part does not. Today Greipel and Kittel were delivered perfectly, while Cavendish had to fend for himself. He didn’t have much trouble doing it did he. Regardless though, he has to be frustrated with his team QuickStep and his lack of stage wins. That frustration had to play a part in his shoving Tom Veelers.

Cav being Cav, he said he did nothing wrong. Tour officials doing what they do, protecting the Tour, confirmed through their actions (lack of) that he did nothing wrong. I don’t know how anyone can watch that first video and say he didn’t deliberately put his shoulder into Veelers. Make sure to see the front angle at 1:25.

Stage 11 is a 33k individual time-trial. You have to expect Chris Froome to take more time. Tomorrow should be beautiful, finishing at Mont Saint Michel. Hope they all finish before the tide comes in.


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