Cancellara doesn't miss the Tour
The Tour de France has become “too big, too much stress”, Fabian Cancellara said. The RadioShack-Leopard rider is in the Tour of Austria this year, having decided to skip the Tour, which he says he doesn't miss.
“The Tour is a lot of stress. Everyone is walking around on their tiptoes, from the staff to the riders. Even the smallest detail must be in order. The Tour is so big, the Tour has become too large.”
As to whether he will ever ride it again, “that depends on the Tour organisers,” he said. “This year I I already have other goals, and there was no prologue. I don't miss the Tour. Because of the Tour you don't lead a better life, you don't become a better person. Only the last day, on the Champs Elysees, do you have time to enjoy with the team, girlfriend and family. Friday they come, they go shopping Saturday, and Sunday they see daddy. If you weigh all those things ....”
Ten Dam attacks Contador, Mollema reaches new Tour heights
Sensing he may be flailing Laurens ten Dam attacked Alberto Contador on the final ascent to Ax 3 Domaines to round out what was a solid showing for Team Belkin. Teammate Bauke Mollema finished slightly ahead of his compatriot to land the duo in fourth and fifth on the stage and on GC.
"To have both of us in the GC shows that we are one of the big teams, with Sky and Movistar. Contador was behind us. It was surprising. Even Rodríguez would not ride with me, I just held my tempo. I saw Contador in trouble, and attacked him," said ten Dam on his team site.
"I never was this good before, especially in the Tour de France. Also we had Laurens up there, it was great to be there and working together. Getting the first mountain stage out of the way is a relief, but you have to be good every day. I'm happy with today, to enjoy it. I hope to do the same again and to keep my classification," added Mollema.
Descending a problem for Pinot
Thibaut Pinot’s Tour hopes unravelled when he was dropped by the leaders on the descent of the Port de Pailhères. Descending has been a weakness for Pinot ever since he suffered a bad crash on a downhill as a junior and FDJ manager Marc Madiot acknowledged that it had become something of a mental block.
“I’ve told him that I was a bad descender when I was starting out too, so I know it’s a vicious circle – the more people want to reassure you, the more it blocks you because everyone’s talking about it,” Madiot told L’Équipe.
Pinot himself was downbeat on Saturday evening. “After months of work, one descent and it’s over,” he said. “I’m so disappointed I don’t know if I’m going to get over it. I’m pessimistic for the rest of the Tour.”