Monday, July 05, 2010

Suicidal Dogs And Stroppy Swiss Blokes 

Yes, Le Tour rumbles on with plenty of interest and controversy already int he opening two days cycling. Yesterday saw numerous crashes including the one with the most comedy value featuring a suicidally confused Labrador dashing into the peleton and bringing down David Millar and others.  As the race neared the first finish line there were further crashes, one apparently caused by Brit Mark Cavendish as he steered badly into a corner and felled a number of riders, and then a huge pile up only yards from the finish line which temporarily halted the greater part of the pack.

Today saw Sylvain Chavanel (pictured) forge ahead of the peloton and seize the yellow jersey. Behind him there was confusion in the ranks, stage one leader Fabian Cancellara was seen talking to race officials in the closing kilometres of the Brussels to Spa leg.  Cancellara then talked to the leading riders and the peloton slowed down and deliberately chose not to try and chase down the solo rider ahead. Some riders seemed unsure as to Cancellara's motives and tried for a sprint finish just before the line to the obvious dismay of the yellow jersey wearer.

What did the Swiss rider discuss with the race organisers ? Why did he slow down the chasing pack and allow Chavanel to win ? There are rumours that he thought the yellow jersey might be stripped from Chavanel as the other riders protested about the dangerous conditions and numerous crashes which split the peloton, but to anyone watching, Chavanel rode a great leg and won the section fair and square.  Eddy Merckx certainly seemed to think so and made a point of publicly congratulating him.

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