Forgive me if I go all Bradley Wiggins in this post folks. I wont, but I would love to! I have had 10 hours to sleep on it. 10 hours to calm down. 10 hours to mull over last nights stage, and I am still pissed off. If you watched the stage, you, like me, may be slightly annoyed. For a number of reasons.
We had a stage winner who is still unrepentant about doping. I know he has done his time, but it is hard to like some one who doped and doesn’t seem to regret it. His comment after the stage says it all.
“This is a very special victory for me: I’m back in the squad and I’m winning again, like I did before. For two years I had to stop competing but I never stopped working. And now this is the fifth victory of the season for me.”
“Like I did before”? surely a poor choice of words. A stark contrast to David Millar’s comments after his stage 12 win.
Ok, so I have a bug up my arse about a doper winning the stage. But, surprise surprise, that wasn’t what wound me up the most last night. No prizes to the one that guesses what did tip me over the edge.
Team Sky. What the hell is going on there? It galls me to say it, but they are undoubtedly the strongest team. And not by a little bit, by a bloody mile. Sadly, the strongest rider in the field has been forced to play second fiddle to the anointed one. I know I am going to get caned on Twitter and maybe in the comments about this, but I think Sky and Wiggins have treated the maillot juane with complete contempt in the past fortnight. The foul mouthed tirades were one thing, but the way the race played out last night was a joke. Sky had the opportunity to stop a doper from winning the stage. Given their angelic posturing about being clean and anti doping, this was an opportunity to grab a win for the clean team! Froome was obviously champing at the bit. Numerous times he rode away from Wiggins with ease. And yet every time he looked back over his shoulder and sat up. We were obviously seeing a far stronger rider being told to wait for his team captain. He could have been let go and it wouldn’t have threatened Wiggins in yellow. He has 2 full minutes on Froome. Valverde ended up winning by 19 seconds. Nibali was cooked and about 20 seconds behind, never a threat to Wiggins. It seemed an obvious thing to do. A win for clean racing. Arghh! The frustration. F#@* #^@* %@&!*@###@@@@@!(*&&^^%^%&*&(( Ahh.
The to-ing and fro-ing between Wiggins and Froome made a mockery of the yellow jersey. Wiggins says he is a student of the sport, well show the jersey some respect. As if the foul mouthed rants weren’t enough to sully the yellow jersey, that rubbish on the climb of the Peyresourde showed just how little respect someone in Team Sky has for the jersey. I don’t know who was calling the shots last night, but who ever it was needs to take a long and slow walk through the hall of mirrors.
This tour, if Wiggins or Froome win it, will be a huge win for science, spreadsheets, marginal gains and unimaginative racing. I really, really hope this isn’t the way forward. It might be gaining results, but it is killing the sport for the spectators. Thomas Voeckler might be nominated for an Oscar, and his tongue a nomination for best supporting actor, but at least he is showing some character. Wiggins is certainly one of the strongest riders in the field, but he is yet to show any real initiative on the road. Two weeks ago I was a fan, now, not so much. Brad wouldn’t give a flying fornication, but I bet I am not the only one.
I am off to down load the latest Velocast. Those 2 Scottish bastards better give me a giggle!
Please feel free to comment, whether you agree or disagree. I enjoy any feedback.