As Bobke and Versus co-host Craig Hummer navigated the roads of France (and momentarily got stuck on the wrong highway "Zappy, I have to call you back, we're in thick with the French highway schloogs!"), we eventually got his report from Friday.Here's Bobke's Take On:Tyler Farrar:
“He had just had enough. He was in a lot of pain and that was not an easy stage to survive. Tyler got dropped on the first climb and the rest of the day wasn’t going t get any easier so he pulled the plug and let the water drain from the tub. The sprint game is a tough one to play.” Mark Renshaw:
The head butts were grounds for getting relegated to the back as was his move on Tyler. Separately, those two things were no big deal, but taken together, as in him doing both within 100 meters, that becomes unsportsmanlike and the Tour had to throw him out. Renshaw is an old track racer and he will always respond every time and Julian Dean did move in on him first. Renshaw will protect his stretch of highway, it’s his instinct and it’s his job. Was Mark’s move on Tyler on purpose? Sure, but again, it was in response to Dean.Mark Cavendish:
Cav will be just fine with Renshaw there as his lead out man. I bet Bernhard Eisel will be his new lead out man. It might be a little tougher for Cav, but you don’t come in to the Tour without a back-up plan. What makes Cavendish so special is that he can get from 500-1500 watts in a blink of an eye – no one else can do that. Petacchi might get up to 1800 watts, but Cav can get to 1500 faster and hold it longer and that’s his advantage. It’s like measuring roll-on speed, Cavendish is the Yamaha V-Max (above) of sprinters and Petacchi is like a Suzuki HayabusaFriday’s stage:
It was a deceptively hard one. The peloton was going as hard through the stage as the break was. Ryder and Vino forced the Saxo to work and they got totally fragged so they had to recruit Lampre and Cervelo to help them out. Astana played a great tactical game today, even if it wasn’t part of the game plan, which is what it looked like when you saw the Vino/Contador drama unfold. As long as the conjecture game is in full-flight I would imagine the conversation at Astana’s dinner table will be a bit frosty tonight. Alberto probably can’t believe that he’s in a similar situation as last year with a division in the camp. It’s not as bad as last year with Lance, but even though Vino has said he’s there to work for Alberto, he certainly seems to want things for himself as well. Bobke answers Bikechicks question:
I'm on twitter as @Bikechik. I tried to enter this on the Versus site but it kept reloading beer ads. Maybe this will be interesting enough for you to ask and Bobke to answer.
Teamwork and "pulling" on the front for the leader are standard features of bike racing. But when wind resistance is mild on a climb how much of the pulling is for aerodynamic advantage and how much is psychological?Bobke:
"On the steep climbs, yes, it is definitely more psychological. In fact, I’d say it’s about 99.5% psychological."