What a nice stage to watch today! You didn’t need to watch it from the beginning as nothing happened during the first 150k and to be honest, I was a little worried that some riders would fall asleep on their bikes as the pace was so slow and the race itself quite soporific.
But we got lucky enough that the race radically changed in one single turn. One turn that changed the whole race and maybe the entire first week of this Tour de France!
In one single turn, a group leaded by the Columbia team left the peloton and created an echappée that would hang on till the end of the race.
All of a sudden, the Columbia team, the yellow jersey Cancellara and the inevitable Lance Armstrong were leaving guys like Schleck, Sastre and Contador in the peloton!
And what is crazy is that these three guys didn’t even try to make it back with Lance and Cancellara. They just stuck in the peloton even if the echappée was not going fast at all. What were they thinking?
Even worse, their teammates didn’t make the effort to make it back with the echappée! Honestly, I still wonder how did this happen.
Honestly, you have the yellow jersey leaving the pack supported by his whole team, you have Lance and four other Astana guys and what do they do? They just look at them. Come on!!!
They have team managers, they have the experience, they are trained, they have a strategy, they know who to watch after and they have headsets linking them with the team manager who is supposed to know what is going on!
I’m seriously laughing at these team managers who have been in cycling for 20 years and can’t even see what was obvious! This is just not acceptable from a sports standpoint. You can’t let Lance and Cancellara leave like that, you have to be stupid or you just don’t care.
So here we are now with Lance just 40 seconds away from the yellow jersey and a team time trial just around the corner. I’m telling you now: Lance is going to wear the yellow jersey again and who knows what can happen after.
In the end, we now have a very exciting Tour de France to watch and I’m super happy for Lance.
The pressure is definitely on his shoulders but we know the man and we know that it will actually boost him…if he needs any boost now!
Lance is going to wear the yellow jersey, attract all the attention on him and during this time, the real favourite, Contador, can rest, manage his physical condition and strike hard in the mountain stages where he is supposed to win the Tour.
You know what? It reminds me a Tour de France with Greg Lemond when a young French guy of his team took the yellow jersey for a couple days.
That French guy was being asked to give everything he had to help Greg win the Tour. He did his best and, at some point, his team manager came over and told him to step back and help Greg endorse the yellow jersey…that’s what the French guy did and a couple days later, Greg won his Tour de France as forecast!
That French man was actually me…and what Lance is doing today reminds me a bit of that and I can tell you that he is having a very good time out there. Let’s see how long he can keep the momentum for!
I hope you enjoyed the race and that you are as excited as me for tomorrow!
Yours in sport,
Ronan Pensec participated eight times in the Tour de France and wore the yellow jersey in 1990 while racing for Greg Lemond's Z team. He now operates Ronan Pensec Travel, an official Tour de France operator hosting VIP cycling tours for recreational cycling enthusiasts.