TdF 2010, Stage 14, Pyrenees

2010-07-18, , , Comments

The first week of the Tour is normally a prelude to the real action — someone unexpected wears yellow, sprinters stretch their legs, commentators and journalists clock up a few words, everyone looks forward to the real race. This year has seen a first week like no other. Looking back, amazingly, it’s the failures and disappointments which stand out:

  • Cav’s failure to contest the opening sprints
  • Armstrong’s poor luck and subsequent inability to follow the leaders (and now look how far he has fallen!)
  • Frank Schleck’s broken shoulder, meaning he won’t be there for his brother
  • yellow jersey Cancellara cancelling the sprint finish at the end of stage 2. How could he do that?

I could go on. If this opening week offered so much drama, what would we get when the route hit the mountains?

The story unfolds. Unimaginably, Andy Schleck beat Contador in the first Alpine stage, and in the next stage the two of them toyed with each other briefly then teamed up to demolish any wannabes. Now we’re in the Pyrenees, where the tour should be decided. Yesterday Contador and Schleck reached stalemate, again, like a joke with no punchline. Come on guys, this race deserves better!

(On the subject of Armstrong, has he really cracked, or is he trying to drop so far down the GC that he’ll be allowed a break-away stage win?)