Comfortable Cavendish, Olympics for Chavanel
Greipel to ride in swim shorts on Champs-Elysées
Next time, Lotto-Belisol rider André Greipel will think twice before accepting a bet with teammate Adam Hansen. Before stage eight to Porrentruy, the German was certain that green jersey wearer Peter Sagan (Liquigas) would take another stage win, but in the end, the Slovak only finished 55th.
"I have a bet with @AndreGreipel. If Sagans win 2day I must ride a lap in Paris wearing boardshorts & flipflops. If Sagan loses, Andre must," the Australian tweeted.
But this bet may not have been the last one at this Tour. "Unfortunately I lost a bet against @HansenAdam...Will have to find a way to equal this bet or better Adam is coming with me!" Greipel responded. To be continued... HK
Tour's red lantern in quarantine
Saur-Sojasun climber and 2009 Tour de France stage winner Brice Feillu is having a hard time at the race this year. The Frenchman is 1:11:39 minutes down on Bradley Wiggins (Sky), at the very last position on general classification, which makes him the famous "red lantern". Feillu is suffering from a viral gastritis which he contracted at the very beginning of the Tour, and as if that wasn't enough, he cannot even complain to anyone about it as his team doctor has put him under quarantine to stop the infection from spreading.
Feillu is spending his time alone, having dinner in his hotel room instead of sharing it with his teammates in the hotel restaurant, being driven to the stage starts in a team car instead of the team bus, and finally barely hanging onto the last rider of the bunch in the race.
"Last Monday I was dropped, empty, feverish, I hadn't slept duing the night," he told L'Equipe. "I tried to make my temperature drop by watering my face. Yesterday [on stage eight to Porrentruy - ed.] I had some bad moments, but fortunately with the crashes the peloton slowed down and I caught up with other dropped riders. They got rid of me again on the climbs but I was able to finish the stage slipstreaming in the team cars.
"Suffering pushes you further, it elevates you. I know that if I'm still there in the Alps tomorrow, it will seem easy to me, with what I've been going through..." HK
We can only hope that maillot jaune, Bradley Wiggins is slightly more comfortable with Mark Cavendish revealing on Twitter that his hotel room for the rest day left a little to be desired.
"My hotel room for the rest day has 1 electrical socket & a plastic chair. I shall say no more on the matter."
Olympics look good for Chavanel, Martin remains upbeat
Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) may have been off the pace of stage winner Bradley Wiggins (Sky) and second-place Chris Froome (Sky) however, the French national time trial champion was pleased with his 5th-place result.
"It was a great crono, I finished very well. I had power on the climbs and I was really focused, he said "In the final I had a point of reference in front of me, a Katusha rider, so it was a little bit easier."
Chavanel will represent France at the Olympics shortly following the conclusion of the Tour de France and is aiming towards the podium.
"I think it was my best TT ever at the Tour and it confirms the good progression I have made this year in the TT since the beginning of the season. Heading to the Olympics, this is not so bad, I have good condition and I think I can fight for a medal. It would be great. As concerning the Tour, I tried again a lot of times and for sure I will try again when I have the chance Even as a team we did a great performance. We are definitely among the best in this discipline"
Omega Pharma-Quickstep finished the 41.5km time trial with three riders inside the top-15. Chavanel, 1:24 behind the Wiggins, Peter Velits in seventh (1:59) and reigning world TT champion Tony Martin in 12th (2:16).
Martin was clearly not the same rider who was on track to win the opening Tour prologue before a puncture derailed his chances. After spending the entire week at the rear of the peloton nursing a fractured wrist, his moral wasn't great coming into the long time trial. And, to make matters worse he again suffered a puncture, after just 4km into the race. Martin tried to remain upbeat following his performance but it was a testing day for the rider who is yet to decide whether to start the next stage.
"I tried the whole race to keep on fighting even if it wasn't so easy to maintain the concentration and motivation. I could feel the pain in my hand every hole I hit. I was lucky the roads were not too bad so I was ok. But, I still have pain and today I was riding without protection, so it was even harder.
"It's unbelievable so much bad luck happens to me, but I think it's not something we have to think about. We have to keep looking to the future. It's not a time to be disappointed", he said. AM
Tejay Van Garderen keeps the faith in his boss
Cadel Evans may have lost nearly two minutes during the first individual time trial but his man for the mountains, Tejay Van Garderen tolfd letour.fr that Evans "can crack Wiggins". Van Garderen’s performance outshone that of his team leader and this in turn placed him back in the young rider’s jersey.
"As soon as I put this on, I was thinking, ‘Oh man, I miss this shirt.' But the goal still remains the same: we've got to get Cadel in yellow," he said.
Van Garderen understands his role hasn’t changed, regardless of his lead in the young rider classification and while it’s going to be a difficult talk to unhitch Wiggins’ Sky team, the team will give everything to achieve another overall Tour victory.
"It was predicted that Cadel was going to lose a bit [of time] and he lost more than he would have wanted to. But the thing is, I think nothing changes, you saw yesterday that Sky's team got a little weakened after controlling a hard day and Cadel was able to attack Bradley. He had to pull the gap back himself. If we can isolate Sky again and Cadel can go on the attack, I think he can crack Wiggins. I'll do the best I can to be there for Cadel." AM
Today's Tour de France news
- Tour de France rider galleries
- Video: Tour de France Stage 9 highlights
- Video: Van Garderen surprised himself with Besançon time trial result
- Cancellara praises Sky's strength
- Evans's Tour defence suffers first setback
- Video: Wiggins proud of his time trial performance
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