A new Col for Le Tour, but the stage didn’t pan out the way I expected. In the end I think the summit of Col du Grand Colombier was too far away from the finish line for it to truly be the game changing stage I’d hoped for. Team Sky looked strong and were certainly strong enough to keep Wiggo out of trouble and he arrived home at the same time as Cowdel. Still we get to the see the longest, slowest “sprint” finish in memory.
A fast start to the stage at an average of almost 50km/hour for the first hour. Two smaller breakways, including one featuring green jersey holder Peter Sagan, were caught up leaving a group of 25 riding out front and preparing for the first climb where early dotty points were won by MoreCow, Grivko, TheJensie and Veau-ckler.
It was a beautiful day for a ride, and a bit warmer than the peloton were dressed for – leading to a few of the twitter peloton requiring a sit down in the shade after pics of Fabian Cancellara removing his top were broadcast. However many of us were able to catch our breath again when he was replaced with Andreas Kloden … kind of put the dampener on things. And Jensie made us love him even more by sharing his lunch after another rider failed to grab a musette at the feeding station.
The intermediate sprint saw Matty Goss claw back 5 points from Sagan’s lead in the points race.
Veau-ckler led the charge up the col, and held off attacks to take the 25 points. Cowdel gave things a push a couple of times, but Sky were right on any move he tried to make. Nibali attacked on the downhill, pronmpting some over excited commentary from Phil when he used all three pronunciations of his name in the one sentence *blink* – and added the entirely new “knee-barley” to the mix. Is it any wonder it sometimes seems like there are 500 riders on the slopes. Sagan (what?) joined in the fun on the descent and with ten kilometers to go Jens Voight attacked, and attacked, and attacked again. He tweeted that his plan for Stage 11 was to hide and try to survive, and that he yelled at his legs more than once to “shut up legs”. Love ya Jensie.
Stage 11 is the stage for attack, attack and attack again. We’ll see if Cowdel is up to it and if Wiggins’ team can really keep it all hanging together.
SBS began their coverage with this footage from inside the BMC team car. I’m not the only one who thinks it’s weird that the Director Sportif John Lelangue drives, uses the radio, reads the map and all manner of other things at the same time.
Glimpses of live vache only today.
I didn’t see any footage of official field art entrants from this stage, however we were treated to the most convivial winking cow.
I was alerted to a new site today Cycling Tips which features some fabulous photos and answered at least one question that was raised over last night’s stage. Were any of the four fluffy animal suits cows? I reviewed the video tape – several times and concluded that one was an elephant, and one was a bear of some sort. I reckon the absence of cows in this group is backed up by the photos on cycling tips. While you’re there check out the “Le Tour des Vaches” guy.