TdF, 2010, Stages 0 and 1

2010-07-04, , , , , Comments

Chapeau, ITV4, for the live coverage, even if I can’t see myself getting to watch much of it. The prologue stage has definitely whetted the appetite. I’m pleased Cancellara won. “My body worked at 100% for exactly ten minutes,” he said. It’s almost unthinkable that another expert clock-racer, Brad Wiggins, could drop almost a minute over such a short course, but he did. I’ve read Wiggo’s In Pursuit of Glory: The Autobiography — one for the fans, I think, but one thing I did take from it was how accurately Wiggo can calibrate his form on the track. He knows how long it takes for him to ride a kilometre in a covered velodrome to within a second. A wet road in Rotterdam is less predictable, and Wiggo wanted to avoid trouble. Cancellara has more panache and his bike-handling skills are sans pareil. So he won. Can’t wait to see him attack the cobbled roads in stage 3.

Going. To. Be. Carnage

Another hardened campaigner got going when the going got tough. Armstrong took a chunk out of Wiggins and other GC rivals in the prologue. He also got the first strike in against Contador (let’s not forget that he lost 22 seconds to the Spaniard over the same stage last year). I’ll bet he rattles Contador some more on the cobbles on Tuesday.

I was looking forwards to the highlights of Stage One this evening, especially when it became obvious it would end with a bunch sprint. About time to see Cavendish stretch his legs. Except it didn’t happen like that. Cav has had a rotten run-in to the Tour this year. Always volatile and unpredictable, he’s turning into very a loose cannon. He tumbled on the final bend taking out rival Oscar Freire. Last year no one got close to Cav. And this year other riders would do well to stay away from him. With Cav down the other riders had to improvise the final kilometre and they made a spectacular mess of it, staging a mass pile up instead of a mass sprint. Quelle horreur!