Wind is the friend of the bike racing fan
How many times have we said, "The race is not over until it's over, there could be a mechanical and everything could change." Then a mechanical happens and a moral etiquette debate hits a high note.
That is bike racing vs. That's not nice bike racing
The real menace today was the wind. Today's stage was born in the winds and carried the entire length of the stage on human will. The hammer went down and stayed down as men pedaled and broke in the wind, fracturing into groups that kept the race alive kilometer after kilometer and made for a super exciting stage today in the Tour de France.
Today we once again witnessed that pro cycling is indeed a team sport. Whatever the motivation (leader, team or cash) the peloton grouped by jersey color today and worked hard, leaving a big impact on overall standings. In the end Contador, proved he is a true champion and smart bike racer with his eye on the overall podium. Contador had 5 other men in the final lead pack, Cavendish had 2 other men, Sagan only one.
Jacob Fuglsang, the lone rider representing Astana, moved himself up 6 places on GC. The young white jersey boys - Michal Kwiatkowski and Nairo Quintana - hung in there with the best, maintaining there top-10 placement and showing the battle is still on for the Best Young Rider White Jersey.
Every day Sylvain Chavanel has been near the front of the race with one purpose - race a bike. Today he proved invaluable making the moves along with Cav and Terpstra into the final lead group and bringing Cavendish to the line. In the interview after the stage Mark Cavendish said, "So proud of the guys today, they just rode out of their skin today, out of their skin." "You know what it is like in an echelon, you've got 5 seconds or it is over. You've got 5 seconds to get it right."
Now we get to all go study the new GC standings because today the RACE CHANGED.
There are three main polarizing topics in cycling: etiquette, sprint finishes and doping. I guarantee you there will be a 40/60 split on opinions on either side of these topics and each side has strong opinions. The great thing about this sport is that these opinions can be expressed not only after, but during, the race.
This is a day to watch the highlight reels. This is a day to be discussed on the next group ride, over a Friday night beer, or by text (like I was doing with my brother this morning), because in the media it is safer to ask the question than deliver the answer (opinion) on whether Belkin should have turned up the heat at the front. You risk the loss of either the 40% or 60% group, but since this is a blog, I can say, I think we saw good bike racing and men who rode their hearts, lungs, and legs out.
Today we saw a bike race.
Today I am a bigger fan of Sylvain Chavanel (if possible), and today I actually felt for Alejandro Valverde. The moral of the story - don't require a wheel change in the wind, because when you are second on GC - bike racers will not wait for you. Team Belkin knew exactly what was at stake in the stage, so did Valverde, and so did Team Saxo-Tinkoff who successfully knocked Movistar out of the Best Team Classification and moved Contador onto the third step of the podium.
Belkin Pro Cycling Team is here to win a race, moving their main men Bauke Mollema and Laurens Ten Dam from 3rd and 6th place on GC to 2nd and 5th places respectively, all the while lessening the gap to Froome by almost a full minute from the previous day's stage. Did you really expect the lead group to sit up and wait for Alejandro Valverde who had been in 2nd place and was back there with Marcel Kittel, a definite threat for stage win?
Bauke Mollema: "We’ve done some really good business. Laurens and I end up in the first group, but without the help of the guys we could not have done that. They did a superb job. They kept us at the front of the peloton all the time and in the end it paid off. The minute we won on Froome and the other GC riders is a very nice bonus. It already looked good for me, but it’s only getting better."
In the words of Niki Terpstra, in an interview after the race with Bicycling, "They won't wait for me in the mountains, so I won't wait for them when it's windy. So ya."
Good gallery of photos from today's stage at letour.com (the website is a good source of info).
|Where it all went wrong. Photo by © Presse Sports|
|Photo by © Presse Sports|
|Photo by © Presse Sports|
|Photo by © Presse Sports|
|Photo by © A.S.O. / P.Perreve|
Stage 13 Results GBR 1 CAVENDISH, Mark (OMEGA PHARMA - QUICK-STEP) 3:40:08 SVK 2 SAGAN, Peter (CANNONDALE PRO CYCLING) NED 3 MOLLEMA, Bauke (BELKIN PRO CYCLING) DEN 4 FUGLSANG, Jakob (ASTANA PRO TEAM) NED 5 TERPSTRA, Niki (OMEGA PHARMA - QUICK-STEP) CZE 6 KREUZIGER, Roman (SAXO-TINKOFF) ESP 7 CONTADOR VELASCO, Alberto (SAXO-TINKOFF) NED 8 TEN DAM, Laurens (BELKIN PRO CYCLING) FRA 9 CHAVANEL, Sylvain (OMEGA PHARMA - QUICK-STEP)+ 6 AUS 10 ROGERS, Michael (SAXO-TINKOFF) + 9 IRL 11 ROCHE, Nicolas (SAXO-TINKOFF) + 11 ITA 12 BENNATI, Daniele (SAXO-TINKOFF) + 17 POL 13 BODNAR, Maciej (CANNONDALE PRO CYCLING) + 19 ITA 14 TOSATTO, Matteo (SAXO-TINKOFF) + 53 GER 15 GREIPEL, André (LOTTO BELISOL) + 1:09 POL 16 KWIATKOWSKI, Michal (OMEGA PHARMA - QUICK-STEP) FRA 17 BONNET, William (FDJ) FRA 18 DELAPLACE, Anthony (SOJASUN) IRL 19 MARTIN, Daniel (GARMIN SHARP) GER 20 DEGENKOLB, John (ARGOS-SHIMANO) General Classification after Stage 13 GBR 1 FROOME, Christopher (SKY PROCYCLING) 51:00:30 NED 2 MOLLEMA, Bauke (BELKIN PRO CYCLING) + 2:28 ESP 3 CONTADOR VELASCO, Alberto (SAXO-TINKOFF) + 2:45 CZE 4 KREUZIGER, Roman (SAXO-TINKOFF) + 2:48 NED 5 TEN DAM, Laurens (BELKIN PRO CYCLING) + 3:01 DEN 6 FUGLSANG, Jakob (ASTANA PRO TEAM) + 4:39 POL 7 KWIATKOWSKI, Michal (OMEGA PHARMA - QUICK-STEP)+ 4:44 COL 8 QUINTANA ROJAS, Nairo Alexander (MOVISTAR TEAM)+ 5:18 FRA 9 PERAUD, Jean-Christophe (AG2R LA MONDIALE) + 5:39 ESP 10 RODRIGUEZ OLIVER, Joaquin (KATUSHA) + 5:48 IRL 11 MARTIN, Daniel (GARMIN SHARP) + 5:52 AUS 12 EVANS, Cadel (BMC RACING) + 6:54 AUS 13 ROGERS, Michael (SAXO-TINKOFF) + 7:28 LUX 14 SCHLECK, Andy (RADIOSHACK LEOPARD) + 8:32 BEL 15 MONFORT, Maxime (RADIOSHACK LEOPARD) + 10:16 ESP 16 VALVERDE BELMONTE, Alejandro (MOVISTAR TEAM) + 12:10 USA 17 TALANSKY, Andrew (GARMIN SHARP) + 13:11 POR 18 FARIA DA COSTA, Rui Alberto (MOVISTAR TEAM) + 14:22 ESP 19 NAVARRO GARCIA, Daniel (COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS)+ 14:50 FRA 20 CHAVANEL, Sylvain (OMEGA PHARMA - QUICK-STEP) + 14:57Classification Jerseys - after Stage 13
YELLOW - Christopher Froome (SKY)
GREEN - Peter Sagan (Cannondale)
POLKA DOT - Pierre Rolland (Europcar)
WHITE - Michael Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-Quickstep)
COMBATIVE - Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quickstep)
TEAM - Team Saxo-Tinkoff
LANTERNE ROUGE - Dimitriy Muravyev (Astana) + 02h 18' 26"
STAGE - Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quickstep)
Full list of overall GC standings here: General Classification standings 2013 Tour de France
Sprint wins to date in the 2013 Tour de France:
Kittel - 3
Cavendish - 2
Greipel - 1
Sagan - 1 (Green Jersey)
Planning is half the Battle, Story by Team Belkin
The Plot Thickens, Hardly Serious by Jens Voigt
TdF’13 St.13: Cav Through The Chaos! PEZ Cycling
A very happy Mark Cavendish on the podium OPQ Facebook
Summary Stage 13 LeTour
Stage 13 recap (03:14 English) NBCsports
Niki Terpstra on Stage 13 Bicycling
|The Alejandro / Kittel chase group ever growing gap.|
|Omega Pharma-Quickstep and Belkin on the front in the last 33 km.|
|Chavanel leading out Sagan and Cav|
Yesterday I wrote three special interest posts relating to the Tour de France, if you missed them please see:
The Missing Years (a story about the 100th year the the 100th race)
Riding La Randonnee du Centenaire in 2003 (the 100th year citizens ride in Paris)
Faces at the Race - Tour de France (sharing my photography from the TDF)
STAGE 14 RACE DAY PLANNING
Stage 14 Saturday, July 13, Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule > Lyon
|Stage 14, Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule to Lyon|
|Stage 14 route map TDF|
|Won't this be fun! Stage 14 profile map TDF|
Lyon - a great city to visit.
Tomorrow the Tour finishes in Lyon, so tonight I wrote a brand new travel post by Pedal Dancer® about the city of Lyon and the nearby wine regions and beautiful vineyards, please read: City of Lyon, France, and the Rhone River Valley.
|City of Lyon France - the view from Basilica of Notre Dame. Photo © by Karen of PedalDancer®|
|Transportation anyone. Photo © by Karen of PedalDancer®|
|Location of Lyon in France|
|Tour de France enters city of Lyon|
Tour Travel - Tour de France after Stage 12
Tour Travel - Tour de France after Stage 11
Tour Travel - Tour de France after Stage 10
Tour Travel - Tour de France after Stage 9
Tour Travel - Tour de France after Stage 8
Tour Travel - Tour de France after Stage 7
Tour Travel - Tour de France after Stage 6
Tour Travel - Tour de France after Stage 5
Tour Travel - Tour de France after Stage 4
Tour Travel - Tour de France after Stage 3
Tour Travel - Tour de France after Stage 2
Tour Travel - Tour de France after Stage 1
Tour Travel - Tour de France Stage 1, 2, 3
TDF INTEREST POSTS
Faces at the Race - Tour de France
Riding La Randonnee du Centenaire in 2003
The Missing Years
Rest Day #1 Reads
If i were in the Pyrenees today
Best Climbs in the 2013 Tour de France
Travel to Provence, France
2013 World and National Champions in the Tour de France
Most Popular Tourist Sites in France
The Tour De France Explained in Animation
The 100th Tour de France
How to Watch the Tour de France
Preview of the centenary edition of 'La Grande Boucle', By Team SKY