Five moments from the first week worth watching again on video (for as long as the Youtube powers will let us). You’ll notice that a few are about jury decisions, which I talked about in my post yesterday.
Stage 1: no, not that crash
OK, we’ve all been talking about the crash with 8km to go that took Contador down (It’s actually right at the start of this clip. But to me the more significant one happens at exactly 8mins of this video.
There is a crash with 2km to go, there are many favorites in it but in the end they are all given the same time as the group they crashed out of. The 3km rule you say? That rule explicitly does not apply to uphill finishes, and stage 1 was exactly that since there was a point for the polka dot jersey at the top. While it’s true that the climb hadn’t started yet when the crash occurred, there’s nothing about that in the rules and hence not relevant. [turns out I was wrong about this, see the correction here]
Stage 3: Thor rounds the final corner
David Millar (@millarmind) tweeted about this: “Thor-inspiring = Blind corner at 600m to go. We’re at limit on inside, Thor barrels round outside and takes over.”
Stage 3: Thor and Cav dance
Much ado about nothing, but 10 points in the green jersey competition gone thanks to the intermediate sprint that saw Thor and Cav getting disqualified for questionable reasons.
- Thor “deviates” from his line? The road bends to the left and EVERY rider in the video deviates from his line. Thor moves over about half as much as the two riders in front of him, so they should have been doubly DQ’d? It’s true that the two in front of him don’t have another rider next to them while Thor has Cav there, but I do not believe that makes any difference for the “keep your line” rule.
- Cav’s “headbutt”. You may know that I have little patience for headbutts and thought Renshaw’s DQ was justified last year. But this is a lean, not a headbutt. If Cav leans with his shoulder (as he is supposed to do), he leans into air. To lean against Thor’s shoulder (as he clearly had to do to stay upright and out of the barriers), he can only use his head. Next time he’ll have to wear some ginormous shoulder pads.
Stage 4: Feillu drafting off the car
Everybody knows that when a rider comes back through the caravan, he hops from car to car to catch a draft. But having your own team car drop back to pull you all the way back, while you’re giving the driver hand signals to dial in the exact speed, that takes it to another level.
Stage 5: Motorbike takes bicycle with him
What is there to say, just watch the various crashes of that stage here.
Bonus: Cavendish interview before stage 4
I already wrote about it, but it’s much funnier when you see his expression (plus my transcript was not very good as I did it from memory hours later and missed half the words to begin with due to my bad internet connection.
What’s been your most remarkable moment in the Tour so far? Let me know in the comments or via twitter @gerardvroomen.