Tour shorts: Twitter shots, Vuelta bound

Froome doing his duty, not according to some

Twitter is becoming the latest ‘status updater’ for many a professional cyclist. Immediately following a stage, riders are back in the team bus and on their phones, telling friends, family and fans how the day went. But it’s not just the riders who like to say thanks.

Catherine Wiggins, wife to Bradley (Sky) failed to include his teammate Chris Froome’s name amongst those who helped her husband throughout the stage and in response, Froome’s partner jumped in.

"Typical! RT @Cathwiggins1981: See Mick Rogers and Richie Porte for examples of genuine, selfless effort and true professionalism," Michelle Cound said on Twitter. Followed by "If you want loyalty, get a Froome dog...a quality I value...although being taken advantage of by others!" she said.

Wiggins found himself having sending a Tweet to demonstrate the unity in the team - which has been under attack since Froome’s apparently superior strength in the mountains.

"Great day today for Team Sky, boys rode incredible today and Chris Froome super strong, big day behind us," Wiggin said.

The Tour is over, next stop: Vuelta a España

Robert Gesink (Rabobank) hasn’t enjoyed much of this year’s Tour de France. He’s been involved in numerous accidents, sustaining injuries from high speed falls and has been trailing in well behind where he should be for days now. It’s time he called it quits.

"When I really go deep and breathe heavily, it stings tremendously. The ribs and the muscles around it have taken a big blow. During the Tour de France you don’t get the time to recover from this. It is really annoying. It feels as if I am riding around on a flat rear tyre. I just miss the power, the power I need and that was absolutely there in the first days of the Tour. It is not a sensible idea to keep riding for a sixtieth place in the overall. I’d better focus on recharging for the Vuelta now," said Gesink on his team site.

Gesink’s departure from the Tour leaves only four Rabobank riders left in the race. Both Mark Renshaw and Bauke Mollema failed to finish the 11th stage.

"I’ve been forcing it for a couple of days already. I might as well recover properly, this is pointless. You especially suffer in a long stage like this one. Everything is stuck. Obviously the legs aren’t good anymore either when that happens," said Mollema.

"Mark mentioned that that was the hardest day of his career. Today he was forced to drop off very quickly and never managed to get back into contact with the grupetto. That’s when it was curtains," said team director Adri van Houwelingen on Renshaw’s condition.

Sky don’t have a spare team car for attacks

Sky Procycling have yet to place a rider in any breakaway at this year’s Tour de France and according to Movistar director Jose Luis Arrieta it’s because the British team don’t have a spare car to do so. The team may have one goal at this year’s Tour de France but their star sprinter, Mark Cavendish is still the world champion and this carries some additional weight for the team. It’s not just Bernhard Eisel who remains with the Maxman, it’s also the team car.

“The sprinter and world champion always requires a team car for when he gets dropped,” said Arrieta to elpais. “Since each team has a maximum of two vehicles, and that one must be with the team leader, any desire to attack prevents Froome launching an attack or another like Hagen or Knees.”

Argos-Shimano not taking it easy

It’s a common statement that sprinters can take it easy during mountain stages, riding in the groupetto or “bus” as it’s called, pedaling softly up the climbs and rolling in just within the time limit. However, this is not the case as Argos-Shimano riders knowstoo well. Without a general classification rider they don’t find themselves in the front on a day like stage 11 but that doesn’t mean it’s any easier.

“Today was one of the toughest days I’ve ever experienced on the bike. We climbed 4,700 meters in altitude over a distance of only 148 kilometers and we also had a tight time limit. Days like this are anything but easy, not even when you’re in the bus,” said Tom Veelers.

“Right from the start the race exploded and that’s what makes it so hard. "In some stages the grupetto is formed during the final climb and then you can lose forty minutes during one climb. That's a lot easier. But now we had to race all day taking on four massive Alpine cols,” he said.

Today's Tour de France news

Lampre-ISD lose two on the way to La Toussuire-Les-Sybelles
Menchov's podium goal crushed by Sky
Farrar battles on at Tour de France
Nibali on the offensive on La Toussuire
Evans fails after brave attack

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