Jean-Christophe Peraud put his Tour de France ambitions back on track by securing a glorious second overall victory in as many years. His blistering attack on the summit finish on the Col de L’Ospedale gave him the stage win and enough bonus seconds to claim the top step of the podium. A strong finishing Thibaut Pinot was second, and a fantastic climb from Fabio Felline was enough to keep third place. Continue reading →
Ah, the Belgian spring. When winds are strong, mud is thick and the rain just never stops. We have Twitter musings from DDV, E3 Harelbeke and Gent-Wevelgem; Quintana on the cobbles, Fabs crashing out, Sagan stalling, Thomas winning with flair, and Paolini outfoxing everyone.
It’s only a race
I truly believe that 99.9% of riders in the peloton are pretty decent guys. And that decency was proved at DDV by Katusha’s Rudi Selig. After falling in a mud-filled ditch, he ran over to help IAM’s Marcel Aregger, who was lying unconscious on the road. Reminiscent of Lucas Euser who stayed with Taylor Phinney after his terrible crash to keep him calm until the ambulance came.
Marcel spent five days in the hospital but thankfully has been able to go home to nurse his broken collarbone and let the side of his face heal up. Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery.
That sexist race
God only knows what the promoters were thinking when they got pole dancers to serve champagne to dignitaries and throwing blue knickers everywhere at E3 Harelbeke. But it seems the cycling gods weren’t well pleased at the tasteless schenanigans that were going on.
Crashes took a good many riders out of E3 early on – including (sob!) My Beloved Cancellara, who rode about 30km with two cracked vertebrae before calling it a day (well, calling it a spring season, really). More on Spartacus a little later.
But one rider who looked amazingly comfortable on the cobbles was one Nairo Quintana, doing a race reccy for the cobbled stage of the TdF. There was some confusion as to whether he was the 21st-century Badger or a snake (which rocks).
As has been happening a lot lately, chasing groups seem to have forgotten that the key word is ‘chasing’ – not sitting around and looking at each other.
In the end, however, Geraint Thomas – a Classics legend in the making – took a solo win to make the peloton look around and say ‘I thought you were going to chase him.’. G played it smart and reaped the rewards.
More sportsmanlike behaviour from Zdenek Stybar, who hesitated and lost the race.
But what of Wiggins and Woubaix now that G is on fire?
Meanwhile, back at the hospital
The x-ray that looks like a bat told the doctors all they needed to know. No Ronde / Roubaix for Spartacus this year.
And it was going so well. Training with a smile on his face, making his bed before the race so that everything was just so.
The fickle finger of fate was pointing at Fabs.
Let’s hope we haven’t seen the last of this duo in the Classics – one last time for Tom and Fabs in Flanders, please.
It’s an ill wind …
that doesn’t bring a great race in its wake. And Gent-Wevelgem stands out as one of the greatest races in a long time (I’m thinking even better than Omloop this year – and that’s saying a lot!). Guys were being thrown around like ragdolls.
That Geraint Thomas was in the thick of it again on Sunday, looking to win two races in three days. Not to be, although the Jean-Claude Van Damme tribute was appreciated.
Etixx once again found a way to complete balls up the entire finish.
So Luca Paolini decided that while Etixx was faffing around, he’d just quietly go a bit faster and shake himself free of the chasing group to take a very popular win, not least because of his fluoro boots.
Kwaremont bubbly – the best kind …
…to pour over your own head.
Only one guy looks happy here.
And here is what that happy man looked like beardless a few years ago in the maglia rosa.
A few comments in the aftermath of the rain-soaked race.
Crazy train pullin’ outta the station, folks!
Still an Oleg-free zone – at least his tweets – but his mad tweeting last week gave us an insight into motivational tactics that will never work. He suspends Bjarne Riis (announcing on Monday that they agreed to go their different ways, effectively immediately), he disses riders on Twitter and everyone is afraid for Sagan, who just can’t seem to get past the horror of it all in his head.
From one crazy train to another
Saint David Millar is keeping himself busy after retirement – what with being Ambassador to the Italian island of Maserati and giving fashion tips in the Telegraph. The article was on looking good while riding. It was really rather awful. I’d put in the link to it but I really don’t want to encourage this type of drivel
Bernie is looking more and more like he might be storing canned goods in his bomb shelter in preparation for when the balloon goes up …
While (a clean-shaven) Tom Danielson promotes his rap album.
Shield your eyes, Ma, Henderson‘s got them honey balls!!
Pippo, on the other hand, had some sort of stomach bug, which seemed to make him pout like a porn star.
“Mom, I don’t want to eat that broccoli! You can’t make me!”
In the wild, the alpha male presents himself.
Oleg might be on the crazy train, but Bjarne (or should I say Barne) has powers behind his wildest dreams as he can make himself into a ghost at will!
And until now, I’ve never noticed the resemblance of Dan Lloyd to Salvador Dali.