That moment when the last wall of defense, the anus, decides it’s going for a smoko and you’re about to shit your dacks. What an arsehole! Most of us have been there. It is a horrible feeling. The instant sweat on the brow. The feeling of a black hole materialising in your shorts. The panic knowing a damn good sock is going to be sacrificed.
Now imagine that you have that feeling, and your are on a push bike. In a race. A reasonably big race, nearly 200 other riders. Oh, and you’re leading said race, so you have a distinctive jersey on. It has spectators on the course. It also has spectators on TV. And at just the moment your date decides to quit for the day, a TV camera is rolling past.
Still with me? Now, combine those two thoughts and imagine how poor Tom Dumoulin must have felt as he peeled off his helmet and jersey and had to squat in the magnificence of yesterdays stage and evacuate his bowels! At least he had a cracking (oof) view.
Now, to the hot topic that everyone from here to Uranus is talking about. Did the rest of the group attack? Should they have stopped? Has this killed cycling (I saw that pop up on Twitter today)?
So, just after it happened there was an aerial shot and he was a long long way back by the time he had cleaned up. Not too long after that I managed to grab this shot.
We have from left to right, Zakarin, Nibali, Pozzovivo and Quintana behind Pozzovivo. They had spent some time looking around and wondering, and the Zakarin attacked. Well that was a bit shit. I don’t think that should have happened, but here is the rub, I blame the eventual stage winner Nibali for not getting in his ear and telling him to calm down.
This group missed a Hinault, Cancellara, or some other patron of the peleton. In that group, I would have said it was Nibali’s role. Quintana just doesn’t seem to command authority, how could he, he looks 12 and 65 at the same time. Nibali should have chased on as he did and told Zakarin to soft pedal. There was no one up the road who could have shaken up the GC.
Did they attack. Yes, it seems like it. Zakarin started it, but Nibali should have shut it down.
Should they have stopped? Who knows what info they were getting in their ear pieces. Considering Dumoulin slowed the peloton when Quintana fell off the other day, it makes the teenage pensioner look bad, really bad. It is difficult to say what anyone would do in that position. It has happened before, and I bet it will happen again.
Has it killed cycling? I don’t think so. It doesn’t look good when you know a bit about the sport, unless Quintana or Nibali win by 51 seconds, I doubt it will be the pivotal moment of this race. It will certainly be a moment no one forgets.
An interesting side note. An anagram of Tom Dumoulin is ultimo (Last in Italian if Google translate is to be believed) mound! Let’s hope it is the ultimo mound for Tom.