Ride the Puddles

Tour de France 2010: Stage 11: More Mark Renshaw

Posted by bikezilla on July 15, 2010

Watching today’s final sprint unfold I had to wonder if Katusha’s Robbie “Head Butt” McEwen had been doing a bit of mentoring during the last couple of stages.

Julien Dean (Garmin) “innocently” drifts toward Renshaw. Renshaw, always quick to evaluate and react to any situation, immediately shoulders toward Dean, quickly driving him off with a series of McEwenesque head butts.

Dean blew the whole thing off afterward, which certainly makes it seems like he knew that he forced Renshaw’s hand.

And the judges may have let that slide with a fine, a relegation or both. Like Renshaw cares about relegation, since he’s entirely there to serve Cav.

But with Tyler Farrar (Garmin) coming up fast and having a possibility of overtaking Cav for the win, Renshaw not only weaves into Farrar’s line, but attempts to drive him into the barricades, just as Cav did last year with Thor Hushovd.

Farrar, who’s repeatedly proven himself to be the most gracious and forgiving guy in the peloton actually had some criticism, though even that was ridiculously mild.

Here’s his post stage inteview:

Again, that alone, MAYBE ends with a fine / relegation.

So, was Renshaw disqualified (kicked out of the race) for a combination of both offenses? Maybe.

But I have to believe it was something more.

HTC seems to live a culture of dirty sprinting. Until now it was all Cav, though it was ugly enough to result in crashes that ruined the season and possibly the careers of Tom Boonen and Heinrich Haussler, keeping them both out of this year’s Tour.

With that sick mentality spreading to Renshaw, who said:

“I pride myself on being 1 of the cleanest sprinters in the pelo”

Until today I’d have to agree with that. He’s so good, so tough and so disciplined that he has no need to ride dirty.

So what the hell happened today? Even if you can excuse what happened with Dean, why the hell did Renshaw get all batty on Farrar?

My belief is that it was retaliation for Dean attempting to box in Cav.

Maybe Renshaw was thinking, “Ok, you think you’ll take out my guy like that, well, let’s see how you like me taking out your guy.”

Regardless of what his reasoning was, it really comes off looking like HTC is a team and a culture of immature, cheating, crybaby, thugs. Could the judges really turn a blind eye to today’s tussles when the cancer of Cav’s behavior seems to not only be spreading, but worsening?

Does HTC DS Rolf Aldag really believe that Garmin’s Tyler Farrar just had bad luck and that it’s all good as long as there’s no crash? He seems to be saying, “Oh, sure, my guys may get a bit nasty and dirty now and again, but it’s all in good fun, so just shut up and deal with it or we’ll give you worse.”

Head Butt (the original one) had a great series of insightful tweets:

“history shows that a headbutt will get dq’d from stg result (mcewen2005,Zabel 97) — history also shows that looking over shoulder at rival then taking them to barriers will also get u dq’d from stg results (cavendish2009) — history will now show that combining the 2 aforementioned tactics will get u sent home…greater than the sum of it’s parts”

Since Renshaw works for Cav, and Cav’s win was the result of Renshaw’s cheating, should the judges have taken away Cav’s win?

Here’s a video of what sprinters might get away with:

How The Race Was Won – Rules of the Group Sprint from Cosmo Catalano on Vimeo.


One Response to “Tour de France 2010: Stage 11: More Mark Renshaw”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tom, Tom. Tom said: Tour de France 2010: Stage 11: More Mark Renshaw: […]

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