Parcour sabotage, rough night and Leipheimer blame
Frison loses "naked" bet with Greipel
Herman Frison, team manager of Lotto-Belisol, really ought to know better than to bet against his ace sprinter Andre Griepel. He said he would visit the nude beach at Cap d'Agde if Greipel won Saturday's 13th stage.
"I promised to visit the nude beach if Greipel won. I did not take into account that he could win because we particularly wanted to lose no time for Van den Broeck," he told Het Nieuwsblad.
"Besides, I thought the last slope would be too demanding," the 51-year-old said. "Greipel was in front with a group of 50, 60 man. I'm not going to walk naked on that beach, but will fulfill my promise tonight in the shower in the hotel. "
Peraud airlifted to new baby
French cyclist Jean-Christophe Peraud was given a helicopter ride to visit his newborn daughter at a hospital in Aubenas. Valentine was born earlier than expected, during stage 13 on Saturday. Following the stage, the race organisation put one of its helicopters at Peraud's disposal so he could fly the 200km from Le Cap d'Agde to Aubenas to see his wife and new family addition.
Peraud returned to the Tour caravan road last night and was ready to start stage 14 this morning.
Overenthusiastic spectators have always run alongside the peloton, often in a hazardous way, risking being run over by the race vehicles or punched by a rider - but Sunday's scattering of tacks along the road was likely not an act of extreme fan-dom. Could it be sabotage in the form of some unknown protest? Hatred of cyclists? Or, as L'Equipe's Stéphane Kohler suggests, a form of dyslexia?
The French word for "run" (courir) is somewhat close to that of "nail" (clouter): "Ne cloutez pas à côté des coureurs" (Do not nail alongside the riders) would likely be as ineffective as the famous phrase "Ne courez pas à côté des coureurs" (do not run alongside the riders).
Rough night for Vacansoleil
In a Radio 1 interview, Vacansoleil-DCM directeur sportif Michel Cornelisse said that he was feeling the effects of a poor night's sleep.
"The rooms weren't clean, they were very dirty," Cornelisse explained. "But that is the Tour, huh. We must do it again."
With Johnny Hoogerland the sole rider in the front group for the team on Sunday, Cyclingnews wonders if Cornelisse wasn't the only one.
Leipheimer to blame, not tacks
Robert Kiserlovski (Astana) had to abandon stage 14 with less than 40km to go after he suffered a fall on the decent coming off the Mur de Péguére. The Croatian who won the most combative award on stage 12 had been a key domestique for his team’s general classification rider, Janez Brajkovič and polka-dot jersey wearer Fredrik Kessiakoff before leaving the race with one week to go.
"Robert was important both for our team classification and in helping Kessiakoff in his goal to win the King of the Mountains competition," said team manager Giuseppe Martinelli.
"Today was particularly unlucky for us. Kiserlovski's fall was the last thing we needed. It is now going to be even harder for Brajkovič without one of his key domestiques," said the Astana team manager.
Kiserlovski reportedly punctured and lost control on the winding descent before crashing and braking his collarbone. Details emerged after the stage however, that explained the actual circumstances leading to his fall and subsequent abandonment.
"Brajkovič had a flat tyre just after the last KOM, Kiserlovski moved from left to right to give him his wheel and I couldn't avoid the collision. I hit him and I crashed. I feel bad for him, but it was an accident," said Levi Leipheimer (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) on his team site.
Leipheimer was luckier than his collision partner, suffering a couple of deep abrasions and bruising to his right hip, knee and elbow. However, the American will be at the start of stage 15, while Kiserlovski heads home. (AM)
Let someone else do it
Tejay van Garderen (BMC) was present in the front group of approximately 30 riders when his team leader Cadel Evans pulled over due to a rear puncture but the young-jersey wearer didn’t stop to give up his wheel. Evans promptly removed his rear wheel and appeared to yell at Van Garderen without success and had to wait some time before an able teammate arrived.
Evans was clearly annoyed at having to wait so long to get rolling again and considering Van Garderen was almost next to him at the top of the climb, should he have stopped and helped his leader?
"I heard Cadel had a puncture but I wasn't quite sure what the situation was. I thought we had another teammate in there but in hindsight I should have waited for him. It was loud and chaotic and could kind of gather that he had a puncture but I wasn't sure," said Van Garderen.
Interestingly Van Garderen looks back at Evans a number of times and while he slows a fraction, he quickly resumes. The young American was at the back of this group and must have seen that it was Evans and himself solely representing his BMC team. Evans gestures angrily toward the descent however, Van Garderen insists he, like many others were not certain of this exact situation.
"Like I said, I thought we had more teammates in there and I didn't hear much over the radio. There was just shouting and it was kind of chaotic," he said. (AM)
Today's Tour de France news -
- Video: Tour de France Stage 14 highlights
- Sagan makes down payment on green jersey
- Sánchez keeps up his Tour de France record
- Froome: I could win this Tour
- Wiggins reiterates willingness to publish passport data
- Video: Flats plague BMC in Tour de France stage to Foix
- Schleck gives respect to Wiggins for neutralising Tour de France stage 14
- Nibali: We were chasing Rolland
- Rolland attacks as Evans suffers punctures in stage 14 at the Tour
- Tour de France organisers doubtful of locating sabotage suspects
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