Monday, July 5, 2010

Le Tour Stage 2: Hushovd Upended!

The 'go-slow' finish that cheated Hushovd (Norwegian national jersey).



At the end of stage 2 into Spa I joined the Belgium fans at the finish expecting a challenge to the line. I was disappointed! The mayhem of bodies strewn on the downhill of the dangerous Col du Stockeu prompted a 'go-slow' protest to the finish line. It looked like a battlefield. Garmin leader, Christian Vande Velde with crack ribs abandoned. Yet another unlucky ending. I'm surprised Tyler Farrar (injured elbow) will return on stage 3.


An unlucky ending for Christian Vande Velde.


The effect of the neutralized stage stopped Thor Hushovd of gobbling more important green points and the green jersey. Petacchi, the green jersey, was among the fallen and lost big time (13 minutes). Even sprint favorite, Cavendish was way back and was ineffective to jostle for the green jersey.

Hushovd, his moment stolen from him, was so upset he had to rush off to the team bus before speaking to the media. Better to punch out something in the team bus than the media. The God of Thunder later said, "I feel frustrated by what happened today. There were a few sprinters who did not make it to the front group, but there was no reason to not contest the sprint today. I loss an important opportunity to try to win the stage and gain points."

Frenchman, Sylvain Chavanel escaped the action and created his own by winning the stage and becoming Maillot Jaune. As battlefield Belgium continues, tomorrow's pave will certainly bring more dread.


A bloodied Robbie McEwen receives medical attention.

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