Ruthless battle in the team classification

One should never try to predict how a race is going to pan out or concoct special scenarios because one thing I’ve learned in all my years in pro cycling is that there are sufficient reasons why a stage is ridden tougher than one might expect.

Let us assume that we’ve only got two riders in the general classification who are going for the overall win in the Tour. I don’t think I need to mention their names. Then take the stage route and the team talk in the bus into consideration and you already think you know what’s going to happen on today’s stage. However, appearances can be deceiving because the very narrow point margins in the battle for the green and polka dot jerseys open up other possibilities. But that isn’t everything because there’s also the team competition. If you now throw all this into one hat along with 100 highly motivated racing cyclists, you really do create an explosive mixture. Today it took a total of 89 kms until a 10-strong group was able to break away. In the early stages of the race we rode a possibly record-breaking average speed of 47.6 km/h. However, it was never possible to put together a suitable group of riders and create a different and more pleasant race. Once we had the wrong rider in the group because of the chase for the polka dot jersey, another time it was the same thing with the green jersey. Then we had the problem that the Radio Shack team had one rider missing in the group, so Caisse d’Epargne rode at full steam ahead.

Therefore these two teams will continue to eye each other and serve up new tactical surprises in the coming stages.

Whilst Jurgen VDB once again put in a superb performance, the rest of the team also got through this second stage in the Pyrenees very well. Tomorrow it’s the Queens stage and after that the rest day. To be perfectly honest, I have a great deal of respect for tomorrow’s stage and am even in awe of it. If you really want to know why I feel this way, then simply take a look at the stage route on the Internet because with all the unexpected factors I’ve already mentioned it’ll be a fast and painful start.

There’s a really nice saying that Leif Hoste told me this spring after a serious crash and a stage that just didn’t want to be over.

Today will end just like every day does

See you tomorrow, Seb

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