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Posts Tagged ‘liege bastogne’

The “Mini Liege” Stage has been done and dusted, and the next big thing in bike racing (if he isn’t already there) has shown he will be competitive at the very highest level.  Peter Sagan entered the stage as one of the favourites for the win, and was flawless in executing his victory.  He is not as quick as Cav (and never will be) but can contest so many more finales as he is able to stay with the leaders on tougher stages.  Alongside this, he will still be in the top couple for out and out bunch sprints, meaning he may threaten the Green Jersey this year, and will certainly only improve in the coming DECADE (he is that young!)

Other notable elements: the jumpiness of the peloton early in the race was on display, with Tony Martin unfortunately suffering another mishap.  I fear he is a liability in my Cycling Dream Teams!!  So selfish of me.  Mick Rogers and LL Sanchez also were in falls, and then there was the IDIOT fan standing on the road to get a better photo of the bunch approaching.  It seems to happen every couple of years or so.  Thankfully no one was too badly hurt.  I wonder if they had their camera in “video” mode…  it would be amazing footage…

Fabian has shown he is well and truly back to his best, with only Sagan being able to go with his original move, and Boassen Hagen being the only man able to bridge the gap to the lead two.  Evans showed great positional sense being in the right place at the right time, but clearly decided to not spend any pennies chasing a couple of seconds back on Wiggo.  Sky rocked up in yellow helmets in a move guaranteed to annoy both riders and fans with their cockiness, and I’m sure it worked!  Good on them I reckon.  Everyone loves the story of Babe Ruth pointing to the bleachers, so why not be obvious with their intentions?

And so the racing is underway!

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The first road stage has started!

Touted as a mini Liege Bastogne Liege, the course covers many of the same roads as the race known as La Doyenne, one of the single day Classics known as a Monument.  The last time these roads were tackled at the Tour was in 2009, easily the worst working day of my Sports Physio career.  Broken bones galore, Fabian calling a “go slow” to let Andy Schleck catch back up, Thor complaining about not having the opportunity to work for Green Jersey points, and Johan Van Summeren cheekily making sure Thor didn’t cross the line up the front to give Tyler Farrar every opportunity to win the Green if he was able to ride on.

Good times!

Today the race is lumpy, without being super difficult, and finishes with a very tough final hill.  The fast, strong lads will be to the fore, and hopefully despite the desperation that is always present early in the Tour, there won’t be any major crashes.

My money is for Phillipe Gilbert to win in his home region on the sort of course that he has shown himself to be extremely dominant over the past few years.

Looking forward to seeing if anyone has the power to match him!

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