Sunday, July 7, 2013

What a difference a day makes.

24 little hours. In my recap of stage 8 of the 2013 Tour de France, I opined about how this race can throw a wrench into even the best teams, best laid plans...and she did just that today. At the end of the day yesterday, Team Sky's Christopher Froome and Richie Porte were a foreboding 1-2 in the overall standings, and looked ready to possibly put a stamp on those positions today, or at least maintain them. The talk all over twittersphere was about where the drama was going to come from over the next two weeks of racing as the Sky train looked as dominating and imposing as it ever has. 

I think we got an answer today, as Porte had the quintessential "bad day in the Pyranees" and dropped over a quarter hour to the leaders. His hopes for a podium, and the hopes for a second consecutive Team Sky 1-2 GC finish are dashed - or rather obliterated thanks to Porte's visit from the man with the hammer. A secondary result was a Maillot Jaune which was isolated and continuously attacked throughout the remaining 100km of the stage. Though he rode brilliantly and managed to grow his overall lead (thanks to Porte's plummet...) he has got to be starting to question the decision to leave Team Sky's Colombian climbing specialists - Henao and Uran Uran - off the team. 

To say the chosen squad has let him down on these first two mountain stages would be a bit of an understatement. In the crucial moments of the last 2 Pyranean routes he had only Porte - and only on yesterday's stage 8 - there to support him. What of the rest of the team? Particularly the two Belarusians Kiryienka and Siutsou, who were named to the team specifically for their climbing prowess? Brailsford et al, had best get the team refocused and prepared for the upcoming high mountain stages of the Alps. 

My guess is they will, and Froome won't be as lonely as he was today. I'm sure he hopes so, because if not it could be a long, long two weeks for the current Maillot Jaune. 

No comments:

Post a Comment