Costa goes for a solo win before Froome/Contador downhill sneezing. Rui Costa just proved he’s the strongest man in the leading group, passing the finish line to grab his 2nd victory in Tour de France.
“Well, I had to be very attentive on the last climb, while watching the others,” said Costa. “ I felt it was the right place to go. I knew how much further it was to the top, and I knew that if I got to the top first, I had a great chance to lead in the descent.”
Back in the MJ group, Saxo boys attacked and thinned the group to 8 riders - Froome, Porte, Mollema, Contador and his teammate Kreuziger, best young rider Quintana and Valverd; and the Purito J. Rod. Contador successfully got rid of Porte. The acceleration force Froome to chase, boosting another hot race among the GCs.
Ring any bells?
As we mentioned that the descent down to Gap is tricky. Pressure was on Contador, and Froome clung to the Spinard’s wheel. Contador missed the apex of a sharp right-hand corner and forced the pair (AC and Froome) to stop. Rest of the riders including Quintana and Mollema cruised down the line. Porte picked the maillot jaune up and Contador took a free ride. It seemed to have a quarrel right after they finished the descent. Contador did not contribute his power in the chase.
This commentary sounds familiar because it’s not only for 2013 (AC/ Froome) but also 2003 (Beloki/Armstrong)
On a hot day, on the descent of the Col de Manse, a Spanish cyclist attacking the dominant race leader overcooks a turn. Race leader (who vehemently denies doping), has to ride off the road to avoid crashing.
Old video: Beloki crashed. Armstrong had a great MTB experience.
Today’s a snoozey old day at TDF. Thanks to Orica-GreenEdge’s lovely bus in the first week, we avoided this awkward and had good races during the first 1.5 week - until your majesty the Queen Team Sky prevailed in the Peloton.
When the Tour last visited Gap, the winner was Thor Hushovd who raced with the Garmin team at the time. He had worn the maillot jaune for 7 days in Le Tour of 2011, but by the time the race arrived in Gap, he was back in the world champion’s jersey. Hushovd beat his compatriot EBH in a two-up sprint on a very wet day on Tour. At that time we were joking that he might be the most powerful “climber” among the sprinters. This year, Peter Sagan does the same thing. Green jersey is no longer a patent for toughest sprinters, but more suitable for all-rounders.
Long Breakaway And A French Victory?
The breakaway was aggressive and left a huge gap before arriving in Gap. Navarro was the top man in the escape regarding the overall standings. He was at 23:36 behind Froome.
Recalling the leading group, the rider with the most stage victories in the Tour de France in that group was Thomas Voeckler. He has won 4 stages. This year we haven’t seen a single French rider winning Le tour. Brits obviously took over their own glory. In today’s stage, the descent down the Cat. 2 Col de Manse into Gap is the same that saw Joseba Beloki crash and break his femur, elbow, and wrist, in 2003 - and saw Lance Armstrong ride through a field to avoid him. One of the most surreal moments of Armstrong's seven-year reign, to be sure.
French hopes of seeing a home stage winner on the Tour de France dashed today when climbing specialist Thibaut Pinot pulled out before the start of the 16th stage. The Francaise des Jeux rider, who won the stage to Porrentruy and finished 10th overall on his debut last year, has been suffering from a throat infection in recent days. That means if our learned French friends want a home stage winner, they need riders like Thomas Voeckler. Determined and heroic. But this year? I don’t think so.
Another interesting thing you might want to know. One of the Italians in the escape group today is Manuele Mori of the Lampre-Merida team. His father, Primo Mori, was once a professional cyclist, serving from 1969 to 1975. He won the 13th stage of the 1970 Tour de France which ended in Gap, the town of today’s finish. In fact, Primo Mori was not a blast at the moment. It was the only Tour de France stage victory. During his professional career, he’s covered 3 years of Tour de France.
Mr. Primo Mori
“In my view, it was a bit dangerous of Alberto to ride like that on the descent. It wasn’t good,” said a shaken Froome at the finish.
As for GC riders, Dutchman Laurens Ten Dam dropped our of top five after being distanced on Col de Manse amid AC and Sky boys’ attacks and counter-attacks. He was almost one minute down on his rivals.
回到講評觀點，當然這是個人意見時間（不然就不是觀點了）。今天的主題就是：別太認真。講到Gap就會忍不住提到Beloki摔車的彎，當時雖然大多數人把事故的原因歸咎於「運氣不好」，不過從Col de Manse下滑到Gap的這段路，本來難度就很高。在美利達自行車Facebook專頁的賽中閒聊中，不斷強調今天的比賽除了「尬體能」之外，下坡的技術也是一大重點。無獨有偶的，兩個認真魔人Contador 和 Froome 就在這裡出包了；對照10年前Beloki 和當時的黃衫壯哥，怎麼有種似曾相識的感覺？
回到上坡路段，在爬上Col de Manse 的坡上，終於看到Contador的攻擊，今天的攻擊「稍微」有點強度，不過Sky 車隊的副將Porte就擋的差不多了，還用不到主子出馬。昨天肥油貓的回顧文已經把我想講的事情說完了：不論Froome有沒有出「奧步」（可從來沒指控他用藥唷），只不過無論是Ax 3 Domaine 還是 Ventoux的成績排名，左看看右看看，大家剛好都被抓到有用藥的歷史。人客啊，我說Froome絕對沒有作弊，真的是天生神力，這會兒您相信了吧！
騎得莫名其妙的另外一位就是 Ryder Hesjedal。這位老兄今年鏡頭非常之少，少到讓人覺得他是不是得罪導播了？Hesjedal 贏了去年金變態的環義，即使狀況不佳，登山/計時對他來說應該都不致於騎得這麼慘烈才對。好在Garmin 今年有Dan Martin 出頭拿個單站，否則還真不知道這票講英語的人是來搭巴士旅遊觀光還是比賽的？
( ) 1. 為了慶祝葡萄牙選手Costa奪冠，葡國央行決定推出特價葡萄牙債券，歡迎參觀選購。
( ) 2. 主辦單位聲稱今年在Beloki摔車地方灑水降溫，不過是委託山頂修道院的神父辦理，當中不小心順便趨魔了一下。
( ) 3. SNCF 鐵路公司賽後遭到法國車迷抗議，指責其平交道放下的時間太短，且為何經過的火車只有兩節車廂？