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Stage 5 winner Mark Cavendish (Sky) on the podium with his daughter Delilah.
Fans give way! A Royal arrival, Crash-insensitivity
Is Cavendish a gay icon?
That’s the rather bizarre question posed by Liberation in this morning’s edition of the French publication. Pierre Carrey, a former Cyclingnews writer says: “Cavendish isn’t yet an established gay icon, like perhaps his rival Tom Boonen involuntarily is, nor is he a bisexual muse like the Italian rider Filippo Pozzato.”
Wait, there’s more: “Awaiting that, he [Cavendish] confesses that he eats Special K with soy milk for breakfast, his first bike was a girl’s frame and that he listens to Callas in a loop. The latest provocations of a boy lost in the kingdom of the rutting stags." DB
Bozic questionable for stage 3
Astana's sprinter Borut Bozic was not able to contend for the stage win in Tournai, as he was suffering the after-effects of a mid-race crash. The Slovenian crashed mid-way through stage 2. The official report from the team has director Giuseppe Martinelli tactfully avoiding the cause of the crash. "Today’s sour note was Bozic’s crash halfway through the stage, when he hit his right elbow. We are taking him for some tests to assess the accident's consequences."
However, Astana's team GC hopeful Janez Brajkovic was not quite as diplomatic. He wrote on Twitter: "Bad day. @BorutBozic was hit from behind by organization car. Org car could avoid him, but would bump into other car. He chose hitting rider".
If true, the incident recalls the still-unresolved crash of last year's Tour de France, where a media car clipped Johnny Hoogerland, sending him and Juan Antonio Flecha flying.(LW)
Riders plea to fans: stay off the road!
After a massive pile-up on stage 1 was caused by a spectator standing on the road to take a photo, riders again were a-twitter complaining about fans getting a bit too close to the racing action.
RadioShack-Nissan's outspoken German Andreas Klöden led off the banter on Twitter: "I like also a lot of fans on the road... But how stupid can you be,if you are standing almost in the middle on the road ??? we ride almost 60kmh on a flat part and there are sometimes crazy people middle on the road. f----- dangerous for riders and fans .. and take your children off the road.... Please..." read his series of posts.
Baden Cooke (Orica-GreenEdge) chimed in as well: "I clipped about 4 spectators in the last 30km. People taking photos don't realise how close we are. Stand off the road please."
His teammate Matt Goss agreed. "Request to spectators: we a moving FAST on the roads and if you stand on the road and we hit you its gonna hurt both of us a LOT! #standback
Garmin-Sharp's Christian Vande Velde suggested a solution for the problem: "New law. If you are caught in the middle of the road taking pics, you have to do a week in Cook County jail...... Scared straight program." (LW)
Fans and riders were up in arms over a less-than-sensitive question posed by US Tour de France broadcaster, NBC Sports on its Twitter feed @NBCSNCycling: "Talking about crashes. What is your most memorable TDF crash?"
Former Cervelo owner Gerard Vroomen answered: "Dunno, never been in one & some who were can't tweet cause they're dead."
Anonymous commentator @TheRaceRadio put it bluntly: "@NBCSNCycling the sport is more then crashes. This is not NASCAR or cage fighting. No need to pander to casual fan looking for blood".
Elite US road champion Julian Kyer (Juwi Solar) @juliankyer suggested a different topic: "@NBCSNCycling what's your favorite anchor firing? Let's talk most memorable misfortunes in all walks of life, not just cycling."
While Omega Pharma-Quickstep's Levi Leipheimer, who suffered a horrifying crash in training when a car struck him from behind earlier this year, agreed. "@juliankyer @nbcsncycling Exactly. I wonder what the families of Fabio Casertelli or Wouter Weylandt would say?" (LW)
A royal arrival
King Albert II of Belgium was present at the finish of Monday's second stage in Tournai. He was expected to arrive at the Culture House at 16:30, where he would be received by both the provincial governor and the mayor. He would then be seated in the main grandstand to watch the expected mass sprint finish. SW