Ride the Puddles

Tour de France 2010: Stage 5

Posted by bikezilla on July 8, 2010

Nice to see Mark Cavendish win again. Does it mean he’s back? Probably not, yet.

More importantly, what happens the next time he figures out that he lacks the legs / heart to win one? More “line changes”? More destruction? More tantrums? Does he quit and sit up before the sprint is over, again?

I think he broke down afterwards more because he was finally, if just for today, worthy of the work his leadout and especially Mark Renshaw has done for him. I think it was crushing him to know that they were better than he was deserving of, that he was repaying the beauty and pain of their unwavering effort and loyalty with failure and embarrassingly immature outbursts on and off the bike.

It was nice, very nice, to see the post race interview with Cav. It was the first time I can remember him at least seeming to take blame for the bad press (and bad blog) he’s gotten. It was the first sign of an introspective Cav.

Does that mean a new Cav? Does that mean an end to the tantrums, the “line changes” and the quitting on his team? Or is he just what he is and this seeming meek and inward searching Cav an apparition?

Article after article keeps saying that he’s “silenced his critics”. Really? With one win and one really good post race interview?

That’s like saying that Lance Armstrong silenced his critics because RadioSkank’s team trash went one entire day with no suspicious medical waste and Lance went one entire day without being manipulative and controlling.

One other thing about Cav’s win: to me it didn’t appear as dominating as most articles make it seem. To me, he looked to be at his absolute limits and maybe even dropping off a little before he crossed the line. And 23 year old Boasson Hagen from Sky was closing on him.

That’s not domination and it’s not “back”. “Back” is when Cav crosses the line pumping like a locomotive and looking like he could do it for another 50 meters without sweating or breathing hard. “Back” is when Cav makes the other sprinters look like they’ve all been playing for second place and they’ve all known it.

But, Cav Schmav. For me, the best part of the the final sprint was watching Garmin. What a fantastic leadout they gave Tyler Farrar and how cool it was to see Tyler in contention for the stage while riding with a broken wrist.

In HIS post race interview Tyler took the entire blame for his failure to win after the perfection of that leadout. I’m watching him thinking, “This guy’s been grinding it out every damned day with a broken wrist, and he’s frustrated with himself for mistakes he made in the closing meters of a bunch sprint?”

The fact that he was in position and going for the win was a lot more than I expected. Mistakes? Dude, give yourself a break.

And somehow Robbie “Headbutt” McEwen (Katusha) hits top ten finish after top ten finish, even riding injured. Damn, but I hope he manages to heal up enough to hit it like I know he wants to.


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