Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Le Tour de France 2013 – Stage 10: Saint-Gildas-des-Bois > Saint-Malo, 193km. Kittel’s Second Win

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Le Tour de France

It’s not often he gets it wrong, but he did today on the stage from Saint-Gildas-des-Bois to Saint Malo. Cav let Steegmans go and decided to go ‘in the wheels’ with Greipel and Kittel, tangled with Veelers – taking the Dutchman down – and ended up third.

As my host for the stage, Viktor said; ‘well, that’ll be the crash hat getting kicked around the QuickStep bus, then!

Here’s what the Manxman himself had to say;

“For the sprint we ran out of guys and Gert went early with just under a kilometre to go. It would have been too far if I had tried to go with him.

“I tried to get on another train, and just got beat. We could have done things a little bit differently, but that’s bike racing.”

It looked a lot less than 1,000 metres to us; but we know better than to argue with Cav.

Saint-Gildas-des-Bois
Mark Cavendish has been cleared of any blame regarding his tangle with Veelers.

And of his tangle with Veelers he said;

“The road was bearing left, 150 meters to go the road bears left. I went to come round Veelers as he dropped the wheel, but he moved right.

“Unfortunately we touched elbows and with the difference of speed, he crashed. I do not believe there is fault on either side, but I hope he is ok.”

It looked like The Missile body-checked Veelers to us because he thought the Argos man was going to come out on him.

But don’t tell him we said that; we were there when he threatened to “knock out” a photographer who was blocking his path to sitting beside his chum Lance at a Tour presentation, a year or two ago.

What ever happened to that fella Armstrong?

And you have to remember that not all press releases can be treated as gospel, if it’s been a bad day then the press officer’s; ‘what do you want to say in the press release ?‘ question to the rider.

Is often met with; ‘just you make it up !’

The stage was that commentator’s nitemare – a ‘sprinter stage’.

Saint-Gildas-des-Bois
Marcel Kittel wins his second stage in a controversial sprint finish.

The ASO press release saw it like this;

“After the excitement of the ninth stage and a day of rest, it was back to racing in the 100th Tour de France. The day was categorised as ‘flat’ and a bunch sprint was predicted… and that’s just what unfolded in St-Malo at the end of 197km of racing.

“The Break’ was composed of five men but they never really stood a chance of holding off the charge of a peloton that had been controlled by Argos-Shimano, Lotto-Belisol and Omega Pharma-Quickstep riders who were intent on ensuring that this day on the northern coastline of Brittany ended the way they had planned.

“With the lead-out duties done, it was time for the sprint to open up inside the final kilometre but that’s when Argos-Shimano threw a spanner in the works of the sprinters’ teams with a crash in the closing metres of the race.

“One of Marcel Kittel’s lead-out men looked right, then left to see where his sprinter was and he bumped shoulders with Mark Cavendish and thumped onto the tarmac.

That took the wind out of the sails of the British champion just as he was poised to start his sprint; he ultimately trailed two Germans to the line… Kittel and Andrei Greipel were mixed up in a drag race. German against German, Argos-Shimano versus Lotto-Belisol, youth against experience… and this time it was the young man who got the spoils.

“Marcel Kittel added a second stage win to his collection 10 days after his victory in Bastia on day one of the 2013 race.”

The five man break went away virtually from the gun and stayed away until the inevitable last 20 K of madness.

If you talk to men who have fought in wars, many will say it consists of long periods of crushing boredom, followed by much shorter periods of intense, desperate action – just like a ‘sprinter stage.’

But ‘sprinter stage’ or not, Vik doesn’t miss one second of the action – when Paul and Phil are interrupted by the ad. breaks, Vik switches immediately to German Eurosport.

And Vik’s favourite for the Tour?

Kreuziger.

My podium prediction is proving a tad shakey; Christopher (please note, not Fr**mey or Fr**me Dog) to win – so far, so good but let’s hope that Porte is over his ‘jour sans’ and losing Kiryienka was a sore one.

Alberto second – we’ll know better about that tomorrow – they don’t call the time trial ‘the race of truth’ for nothing.

And Tejay third.

Of Tejay, an old horse racing obsessed friend of mine would say; ‘they’re still out looking for him – with lanterns.’

Saint-Gildas-des-Bois
Vik’s pick, Roman Kreuziger.

Apart from Kreuziger, Dan Martin is looking good – his morale will be sky high after the stage win and with Millar and Hesjedal in support, there’s no shortage of tactical wisdom.

The race is still very open and full of interest – thank goodness.

We arrive in Tours, tomorrow to get credded up – the pre-race nerves are disappearing, replaced by the expectation of being there for 10 stages of the world’s biggest annual sporting event.

For all it’s commercialisation and janitorial attitudes, it’s still a marvellous show.

We can’t wait.

And we just got the Argos press release where Veelers had this to say, so he can’t be hurt too badly;

“That was a pretty hectic sprint and a rough fall, but aside from some missing skin I’m OK; Marcel’s win will definitely help, and hopefully I’ll get a good night’s sleep as well.”

But last word on today’s stage to my son; “Cav should get punished for that !

Steady son, we don’t want ‘claimed’ before we even get our creds.

Results - Le Tour de France 2013 – Stage 10: Saint-Gildas-des-Bois - Saint-Malo

Stage Result

1 Marcel Kittel (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano 4:53:25
2 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol
3 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
4 Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro Cycling
5 William Bonnet (Fra) FDJ.fr
6 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha
7 Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
8 Kévin Reza (Fra) Team Europcar
9 Danny van Poppel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
10 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar Team
11 Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
12 Greg Henderson (NZl) Lotto Belisol
13 Yohann Gene (Fra) Team Europcar
14 Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Sojasun
15 Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
16 Julien El Fares (Fra) Sojasun
17 Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-Merida 0:00:06
18 Egoitz Garcia Echeguibel (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
19 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano
20 Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) FDJ.fr
21 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team
22 Wouter Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
23 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
24 Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling
25 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team
26 Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky Procycling
27 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling
28 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
29 Juan Jose Lobato Del Valle (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
30 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team
31 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
32 Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
33 Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
34 Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Garmin-Sharp
35 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
36 Ruben Perez Moreno (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
37 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:00:11
38 Jack Bauer (NZl) Garmin-Sharp
39 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team
40 Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Astana Pro Team
41 Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling
42 Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Sharp
43 Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha
44 Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar Team
45 Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
46 Lars Boom (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team
47 Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team
48 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
49 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
50 Davide Malacarne (Ita) Team Europcar
51 Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Movistar Team
52 Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Cannondale Pro Cycling
53 Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
54 Gatis Smukulis (Lat) Katusha
55 Maxime Monfort (Bel) RadioShack Leopard
56 Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team
57 Pavel Brutt (Rus) Katusha
58 Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
59 Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Belisol
60 Matteo Trentin (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
61 Kristijan Koren (Slo) Cannondale Pro Cycling
62 Alexandre Geniez (Fra) FDJ.fr
63 Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
64 Maarten Wynants (Bel) Belkin Pro Cycling Team
65 Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
66 Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
67 Rudy Molard (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
68 Alberto Losada Alguacil (Spa) Katusha
69 Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack Leopard
70 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) RadioShack Leopard
71 Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) RadioShack Leopard
72 Cyril Gautier (Fra) Team Europcar
73 Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega