02 July 2012

Le Tour de France 2012: Stage 1

The Rookie plants his winged flag by winning Stage 1, edging out a pretty stellar group.

Nothing magical happened Sunday, just your everyday medium mountain stage. What is note worthy was the lack of carnage we saw last year. There were a couple of falls, but nothing horrifying... other than a fan who should know better being in the actual race way.

Peter Sagan served notice to the Cycling Fans Who Only Watch Le Tour that he is a force to be taken seriously. He is in that Gilbert/Hushovd group of riders that can handle a small climb and rock out a bunch sprint with equal fervor. If Cavendish proves beatable without his epic HTC lead out, then look for Sagan to be winning a lot this year.

That said, counting out Cavendish is like counting out the rain. He will win. He may not today or tomorrow, but he will. It is inevitable... the man simply has too much speed on a flat to be denied. This is also being written before I know the results of Stage 2, so he may have already added to his tour immortality with another win.

On the NBC front, Liam has grown into a sound studio anchor, but Hummer's gravitas is sorely missed. The new field reporter, whose name I still haven't caught, is pretty awful. Here's to hoping he gets better.

All in all, a good day in the saddle and more crack from a Cat 4 climb than anyone expected. But table those thoughts for the week... the next four stages are for the sprinters. The next four are all about catching the break away and then queuing up for what should be some great bunch sprints.

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