Tour de France Entertains at Every Stage
After a long day of biking in Boulder there is nothing more enjoyable than opening a cold beer and watching the Tour de France in prime-time! For those of us that love a good fast race, the first 6 stages have had been filled with exhilarating sprints and spectacular high-speed finishes. Unfortunately, the sprint that everyone wanted to see between the newcomer Sagan (Liquigas), the human missile Cavendish (Sky) and his archrival Greipel (Lotto) is yet to happen.
While all of these riders have been in position for the final sprint at least one has been taken out each day in a crash. In fact the first 6 stages of the tour can really be summed up by all the horrific crashes. The first 5 stages had a crash in the last 3 km alongside numerous crashes along the way. This is very typical for the beginning of the tour. All the big guns like Wiggins (Sky), Evans (BMC) and Schleck (Radioshack) have not come out to play, saving themselves for the mountains. This gives a perfect opportunity for some of the new and upcoming stars like Sagan(Liquigas) to take some risks and get themselves a stage victory. Unfortunately risks in bike racing almost always leads to crashes.
The stage 6 crash was probably the most memorable and devastating crash yet and is being called the “Metz Massacre”. A 70kph pile up at the 25km to go mark affected over 100 riders. The massacre took out several GC riders as well as some fan favorites. Among those slaughtered were Colorado favorite “Tommy D” (Tom Danielson, Garmin), who was rushed to the hospital and was forced to abandon the tour.
As the tour now shifts gears heading into the mountains and with several teams shattered due to crashes, the days ahead will be exciting to watch. How will the combination of crashes and the introduction to the mountains affect all the general standings in the days to come? Sprint leader Sagan (Liquigas) will most likely stay the sprint leader until at least next Friday but the other jerseys should start shifting shoulders. Will Cancellara (Radioshack) hold on to the yellow jersey for one more day? Or will one of the more dominate hill climbers like Wiggins (Sky) or Evans (BMC) take control. Everyone who has ridden in the Boulder area knows that Boulder native Tejay van Garderen (BMC) has no problem destroying mountains but with Taaramae (Cofidis) close on his heels, can he hold on to the Best Young Rider jersey for another day? With team strategies being forced to change, the mountains looming in the stages to come and the big guns coming out of the pack, there is no question the days to come will be thrilling! Cheers!