08 July 2011

Stay on the wheel: news after Stage 7 TDF

Big changes today at the Tour de France

Hopes were dashed today as more crashes and disappointments changed the standings in the race. We saw HTC-Highroad deliver a perfect textbook lead-out for Mark Cavendish at the end of the race, with Cavendish taking the stage win (but of course not in the green jersey yet). However the crashes are adding up and becoming disturbing. I'm only asking for a certain level of entertainment, and not to exceed or change life. I believe both Tom Boonen and Chris Horner should have been stopped.

Mark Cavendish wins Stage7
Head trauma in the peloton
Chris Horner crashed very hard hitting his head. The results of the crash were scary and the video of Chris after the race is disturbing to watch (I prefer not to link the video, I've seen friends in this state). I sincerely hope he is okay. Chris Horner has gone to hospital in Châteauroux for examination, he did lose consciousness in the fall, was repeating himself, was disoriented, and suffered contusions, and a nose fracture. At this point Johan Bruyneel rightly appeared more concerned that Chris would ride the next day, then not ride, which respectfully showed Bruyneel's concern for Horner's health first. Read the official Radioshack team press release on Chris Horner's condition after Stage 7 TDF.

Chris Horner rode 38km after his crash (he fell at 180km in a 218km stage), rolling across the finish line in 190th, in last place in Stage 7, 12'41" behind Cavendish's winning time. His teammates Yaroslav Popovych and Sergio Pauhlino arrived seconds before Horner, coming in 182nd and 183rd respectively. I would like to know what Navardauskas, Fofonov, Hernandez, Zeits, Ciolek, and Steegmans thought as they crossed the line at the same time as Chris Horner. They must have known he needed assistance and should not have been riding a bike, but who is responsible? Update: Horner will not start Tour de France stage on Saturday

CyclingNews reported that Fabian Cancellara (Leopard-Trek) and Carlos Barredo (Rabobank) fell back to tell Wilfried Peeters the directeur sportif of Quickstep, that Tom Boonen was a danger for the other riders and himself. After giving Boonen painkillers Wilfried Peeters encouraged him to give it one more try. Boonen finally abandoned in tears, but not until he rode 90km with a head injury with elevated heart rate.

Big Changes in the GC standings

Changes in the GC: Geraint Thomas was in 7th place, he is now in 38th, 3'18" behind and out of the white jersey. Edvald Boasson Hagen had been in 8th, he dropped to 39th, 3'18" back. Cyril Gautier dropped from 19th to 44th. Egor Silin dropped from 25th to 45th. Chris Horner dropped from 13th place to 119th due to a crash, Horner is 12'59" behind. Levi Leipheimer went from 31st place to 50th after being caught in a crash and having a mechanical, Levi is 4'29" behind.

There was also a change up in the green jersey again (and that means Philippe Gilbert has changed jerseys yet again and is now back in his Belgium National Championship jersey for Stage 8). Jose Joaquin Rojas went from 26th place to the 20th overall and is now in Green. Read the full report of Key Moments of Stage 7. Practice your cycling French here.

Who has abandoned the 2011 Tour de France after Stage 7

The big news of the day, Bradley Wiggins has abandoned the Tour (DNF broken left collarbone today in Stage 7), he had been in 6th place overall. Tom Boonen (DNF crash, abandoned from injuries sustained in Stage 5 including a concussion, shoulder and elbow), he was the leader of the Quickstep team. Add to the list FdJ’s Remi Pauriol (DNF broken collarbone in Stage 7).

Who remains in the race: the Tour de France race is down to 190 riders (from 198) after withdrawals and previously losing Janez Brajkovic (DNF crash in Stage 5), Christophe Kern (DNF knee pain in Stage 5), and Jurgen Van de Walle (DNF injuries from crash in Stage 2). Also Vasili Kiryienka (outside time limit on Stage 6), and Ivan Valasco (non starter Stage 6 after crash in Stage 5). Sylvain Chavanel is noticeably limping along with terrible shoulder pain, fighting against abandoning the race (he is wearing the French National Championship jersey), he has added pressure now that teammate Tom Boonen is out of the race.

Possible changes for Stage 8: Chris Horner will likely not start Stage 8, I hope he rests and recovers well. We'll have to wait to see if Sylvain Chavanel starts Stage 8. Also Grischa Niermann of Rabobank has a fractured arm but is still riding in the race.
* Jani Brajkovic Writes Blog With Left Hand
Boonen abandons Tour de France after head injury - he should not have been riding a bike.
VIDEO: Breakfast with Bernie Stage 7 (VeloNews) 
VIDEO: Nick Legan takes a look inside the Leopard-Trek team car 
VIDEO: Levi talks about the time gaps (CyclingNews) 
VIDEO: Tour Talk with James and Frankie (Bicycling.com)
VIDEO: Post-race recovery with Mark Renshaw (is it hot in here or is it just me)
Hardly Serious with Jens Voigt by Jensie
Stuart O'Grady sums up the week as Leopard Trek has 3 men in the top 10 - Stuart O’Grady feeling the effects of tough week on Tour (VeloNews)
Talking Tour de France with Paul Sherwen (long interview by Podium Cafe)
Pro cycling plagued by head injuries (Cycling News)
Tour de France tech: Oakley lens coatings for the rain (Bike Radar)
Tour riders reveal their mettle on the pedals (by Michael Barry)
BikeSnobNYC's Tour de France Stages 6-7 Report: Workin' for the Weekend
O'nev Cyclismo Fotographia - fabulous photography from Stage 7
Classification standings
88 ROJAS Jose Joaquin MOVISTAR TEAM 167 pts
Who won the stage
GC standings - the new order of contenders: complete stage standing after Stage 7
1. HUSHOVD Thor 51 TEAM GARMIN - CERVELO 28h 29' 27"
2. EVANS Cadel 141 BMC RACING TEAM 28h 29' 28" + 00' 01"
3. SCHLECK Frank 18 TEAM LEOPARD-TREK 28h 29' 31" + 00' 04"
4. MILLAR David 56 TEAM GARMIN - CERVELO 28h 29' 35" + 00' 08"
5. KLÖDEN Andréas 74 TEAM RADIOSHACK 28h 29' 37" + 00' 10"
6. FUGLSANG Jakob 13 TEAM LEOPARD-TREK 28h 29' 39" + 00' 12"
7. SCHLECK Andy 11 TEAM LEOPARD-TREK 28h 29' 39" + 00' 12"
8. MARTIN Tony 175 HTC - HIGHROAD 28h 29' 40" + 00' 13"
9. VELITS Peter 179 HTC - HIGHROAD 28h 29' 40" + 00' 13"
Looking forward to Stage 8
Think good thoughts for Chris Horner, he remained in the hospital overnight. A man named Contador is in 24th place, 1'42" behind, but a Spaniard can go up a hill faster than that. Tomorrow we see a steep finish on Stage 8 from Aigurande → Super Besse, 189 km. Route of Stage 8 TDF and profile (up up and up).