From LeTour.fr: Orica-GreenEdge is down to eight men as Lancaster has just quit the race. There are 159 men left in the 2012 Tour.
With the Olympic road race less than two weeks away, this Tour has certainly taken on an unusual dynamic.
If I was in the break, I wouldn't want to be behind Dumoulin..... no draft off that guy!
Brent: Dumolin is also the best sprinter in this break, no?
yea, he is fast. but its hard to say this deep into the race. I'm also not familiar with the profile or the last few hundred meters. if they were to arrive, 6 guys is enough to make it tactical.
@MiscDebris I think it's unfair. Relegating seems enough to me. Then again, field sprints can be extremely dangerous, and I understand the race doing what it can to discourage dangerous sprinting.
Kenny Van Hummel (Vacansoleil-DCM) has also quit the race.
@Dollarman Four of the five men on the UK's Olympic team have won stages at this Tour: Cavendish, Millar, Wiggins and Froome. The fifth member is Ian Stannard.
Brent: What's your take on Pierre Rolland slipping off the front of the yellow jersey group yesterday during Sky's tacks-induced stalemate?
once again, I wasn't in the race so its hard to be too harsh throwing criticism as an onlooker.... but... It did seem like bad form. as riders we need to stick together and not exploit situations like that.
That was regarding Rolland... not Goss
Brent: Got it on Rolland. And I appreciate the diplomacy. But — and I'd like to hear your opinion on this — sometimes it seems like you can see more as an onlooker than a rider in the race. I can't tell you how many times I've done post-race interviews, and the riders I'm talking to truly don't know what was happening at the head of the race. In the case with Rolland, the overhead TV pictures seemed to make it pretty clear that he was aware of what was happening, with Sky calling for a stalemate, and opted to ride away anyways.
Not looking for you to throw Rolland under the bus, I guess more than anything, I wonder if, at times, you can't actually tell more of what is happening from the TV pictures than as a rider 20 wheels back...
Neal... that was my initial reaction as well. bad form on the part of Rolland. and I agree, sometimes from the outside you can discern more. but I know first hand that things in the pack and on the road are seldom black and white
I'd say thats accurate. when you are out on the road and in the race, its sensory overload and often its hard to tell whats going on 5 wheels in front of you
40km remaining. From LeTour.fr: The six at the front are lifting the tempo while Sky seems content to allow them to build their advantage that has grown to 7'35".
It looks like the day's winner will come from this breakaway.
Hello, from the press room, everyone. Settling in here.
Bonjour, Matt. Just a little speculative Rolland-basing happening here. What's the word in the press room? Does anyone believe he "didn't know" that Sky was holding back the front of the race to wait for Evans?
impressive riding from the break... they persisted and really kept the pressure on when the gap started to fall. now it looks like they will be rewarded for their efforts.
A few things, everyone. One, we talked with Bernhard Eisel this morning, and it was pretty clear Sky wasn't going to work in chasing anything back on Cav's behalf.
A reminder of the six breakaway riders: Sorensen (STB), Vande Velde (GRS), Dumoulin (COF), Voeckler (EUC), Devenyns (OPQ) and Fedrigo (FDJ).
Brent: Is this the point when everyone in the break starts thinking about how not to go to the line with Dumolin?
Two: No one seems to believe that Rolland didn't know. Wiggins, as noted in a story I posted yesterday, said only Rolland would know if "he knew," but Wiggins made it pretty clear he thought Rolland knew what was up. They reeled him in once, then he rode off again. Hard to imaging he thought Cadel Evans had simply vanished.
Neal: I think yesterday's move by Sanchez is a perfect plan for one of these riders in the break today. He knew he couldn't go to the line with Sagan, so he didn't. Just how he drew it up in the bus that morning, I'm sure!
From LeTour.fr: Leaders on second climb
Sorensen, Vande Velde, Dumoulin, Voeckler, Devenyns and Fedrigo are on the second categorised hill of the stage: the cote de Simacourbe is ranked cat-3 and there are points for the first two at the top which is at the 123.5km mark. It is 1.9km long with an average gradient of 6.3 per cent.
Also, from the busses: After Sanchez tried a move on Bastille Day on the beach and Wiggins ended up leading out Boasson Hagan (in vein) Sanchez wondered at the line if Wiggins "had to have everything." It was nice to see Sanchez get a win. At the time, Wiggins said: "God Bless him."
yes, its becoming clear they they will stay away so although 35 km to go is a bit far to start the fireworks, they are all starting to think and formulate their plan now
it looks like there is a good chance I will be at the Vuelta. plans for that part of season are starting to take shape now. Once the Tour finishes I will likely have some more definitive news there. While the Tour is happening, everything else takes a bit of a back seat. that in itself has been a new experience this year
Well, racing Utah and Colorado wouldn't be so bad, either, eh Brent?
I remember we were talking with Garmin a bit before this Tour, and it was clear they wanted to animate the race. This is not how they'd imagined it, but they're making the best of it.
I gotta say I'm pulling for Christian. Team America! He is no doubt capable out of a group like this. experience will count for a lot in a situation like this and no doubt Christian has that