29 June 2013

Le Tour De France 2013: A Busload of Chaos

About 30 minutes before the end of the stage today, a bus ran into the race banner at the finish line and got stuck. Better worded, there is a joke there. Too bad it was what actually happened today.

The first stage of Le Tour 2013 was marred by what can best be described as a giant cluster right at the end. After 4 hours in the saddle, the boys in the Peleton were told they were going to finish normally. Then they were told they were going to finish 3k before the original finish. Then back to the original finish. Then 3k from the 3k banner, which theoretically meant 3k before the finish depending on when you listened to your radio, there was the kind of pile up that ruins a classic bunch sprint. .
Multiple riders went spralling, including Peter Sagan. Mark Cavendish didn't fall, but because the splat occurred near the front, he got caught up and had to move around it. About a K later, the other pre-race favorite in the sprint, Andre Gripel popped his chain.
The riders left at the front were literally looking at one another waiting for the big men to show up and confused by the absence. All this, while still wondering, "where is the finish again?"
Never mind the guys in the GC who were likely freaking out as they got caught behind the wreck after fighting to stay safe all day. Contador and a few others would have lost about 10 minutes, if not for the Race Organizers deciding that at 3k to the 3k marker was at one time the 3k to the finish then the rule that says everyone gets the same time 3k out to the finish would apply because WHO THE HECK KNOWS WHAT'S GOING ON?!?
Seriously... wacky first day. We have a relative nobody in yellow, compared to the expectation of someone like Cavendish, Sagan or Gripel. The GC riders weren't screwed by the madness, thankfully. The course this year is going to be evil enough without shenanigans like the kind of chaos a bus jammed under a finishing banner can cause.

Anyway, made for compelling live TV. Even if I did fall asleep and have to wake up and watch it on DVR.

Tomorrow, more on the island of Corsica. This should favor the Classics specialists, unless the inflatable Mickey Mouse gets stuck... then who knows where this will go.


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