Stage 1 race report
Welcome to the first edition of the Le Tour tipping report. What started as a stage that was going EXACTLY to plan went pear-shaped soon after Orica jammed the venga bus under the finish line. Seriously you can’t make this up.
But more on that later. Back to the start and a positive and motivated peloton were met by a cracking day in Corsica where all the latest fashions were out on show: Sagan’s dirty goatie, Degenkolb’s absolutely filthy mo and the master of ceremonies Marcel Kittel, who looks like the lost BROS brother.
Soon the race was on and Froome managed to can it in the neutral zone. Awesome effort.
The break went ZUPER early (i.e. basically once the flag dropped) and it was Juan Antonio (who is riding for a new contract) and Lars BOOM the key agitators amongst the 5 that got away.
And that was really it for a while. The sprinters teams kept the gap acceptable and even bought it down to the sub-minute mark for a while before realising there was more work in catching the break than letting it sit out in the wind. And so it was the dance of the break while the peloton continued.
The KOM was won by Lobato of Euskatel, who while he doesn’t have an X or Z in his name (surely a pre requisite for any rider in Euskatel) does have the full name of Juan Jose Lobato Del Valle which must have impressed the Euskatel management sufficiently to give him a jersey for the Tour.
It was now that we reached the bewitching time of the coverage and apart from a brief discussion of bovine economics from Sean Kelly regarding the opportunity cost of transporting cows won in competition we really were struggling to keep our focus on the TV and not the glass of ’06 Nine Popes GSM sitting in front of us.
With about 40km to go the break was shut down and the GC contenders teams jumped on the front, heart-starting the race and stringing the bunch out. Now it was starting to look like the first stage of a Grand Tour!
And any first stage would not be a first stage without a litany of epic stacks but apart from a brief Benny Hill moment for Johnny Hoogerland there was nothing. Then the Orica GreenEDGE bus driver decided to take control of the situation and provide the excitement we all wanted by jamming the bloody bus under the finish line. This was pure genius and one the greatest things we have seen in quite a while. As Paul Sherwen would say “This was surely throwing the cat amongst the pigeons”.
While the team Director Sportif’s all had cardiacs trying to communicate the race finish was now 3kms earlier the crashes started. The mother of crashes occurred with 5km to go (which was actually 8km to go after the bus was moved), when Chavanel went down, causing Sagan and Contador to hit the ground hard. As Hesjedal went down it was clear that the group was split to pieces and soon Cavendish was also out of contention. Add a mechanical to a very efficiently displeased Greipel and the race win was wide open.
Coming into the finish Terpstra took advantage of the confusion (and lack of a leader) to launch a late attack and it was only a rapidly closing Lotto train that shut him down before Greg Henderson and Matteo Trentin opened the sprint. This was just the invite Kittel needed and he opened up the throttles to take the win easily. Showcasing the confusion of the finish David Millar came 5th. In a Tour sprint!
Right. It was about as dull a stage as you could imagine from a tipping perspective. Absolutely no interest. When everyone ends up with the same time it doesn’t leave much to report in the GC.
But let’s pause for a second to recognise Andrew Spencer who tipped JJ Lobato and is rewarded for his efforts with a KOM point and sole control over the KOM Jersey. Very impressive tipping — nobody else (in any pool) managed to tip the break at all.
Not surprisingly, there were a number of people who managed to pick Amand Van Kittel, including 36 in the default pool:
Jérémy Pen, Thomas Dalsted, Craig Turner, Nick Anskey, Gary Pickering, Logan Bradley, Tom Galbraith, Buds Fuller, Ashley Bleeker, Jason Scott, Steel Jones, Serge Krepak, Anthony Lowes, Colin Cheng, Simon Edmed, Tim Stirling, Ben Doldan, Damien Kearney, Trevor Seaman, Paul Lumsden, Jonathan Roberts, Luc Delaney, Jonathan Hurst, Martin Thornton, Douglas Innes, Dennis Munster, William Stokman, Luke McDermott, Ryan Crabbe, Vincent Lavallee, Clasicómano Luigi, Tom Mabelson, Tim Hodge, Neil Christensen, Olly Stevens and Ollie Holden.
Outside of the default pool, a further nine tippers managed to stick the result: David Conallin, Simone Giuliani, Koen Marx, Sam Neeft, Scott Weston, The Racecaller, Adam Segrave, Brian Mazzei and Richard De Martin. Great start to the competition.
Right, that’s all for now. We entertained penalising anyone who had tipped an Orica GreenEDGE rider 30 seconds for causing horrendous crashes and general difficulties. Maybe another time.
So after stage 1 we have a billion people in the lead and that’s to be expected. no point sharing the leaderboard as it literally is everyone on first.
General Classification tipping ladder top 50 after stage 1
|43||Dzingai Giulio Machingawuta||00:56:52||8||0|
|47||Paul Le Fevre||00:56:52||9||0|
To view the full CyclingTips competition ladder, click here