I wonder if Canc will make the peloton wait when Gesink falls off on the cobbles?
If they decide to wait, the Tour organisers have rushed out a menu of the different tarmac surfaces from all but the Nordic countries, that are considered for the 2011 Tour, so they can have a communal pow-pow until Gesink catches up, and let the organisers know which surfaces get the general thumbs up. Sprinklers will be on hand to simulate freak occurrences like rain during a road race.
If Gesink takes a bit longer than expected, there will be a bonus quiz with gotcha questions like "how many riders can safely ride side by side on wet Ardennes road" and "how long in advance do we tell you where the road furniture is placed"? The winner will gets a motorized bike signed by FC, as long as they really really promise not to use it during races.
Look, I am all for waiting for GC riders, or those that have deserved to be at the front in a particular stage, if they are set back through no fault of their own (and as long as it doesn't mean also bringing back other contestants that are still fighting for position against those that are forced to wait as a consequence). But once they have caught up, it has to be game on, out of respect for everyone involved. Fellow riders with a stake in a result that stage, spectators, organisers, sponsors, and towns that have paid a small fortune for the privilege to see an actual race arrive in their town.
A 200m oil slick doesn't stretch all the way to Spa. If several people are injured and can't keep up, it is up to their team to keep them as close as possible. Folk crash and get injured. It isn't a new thing. It's seriously bad luck if it happens to you, but you deal with it in the race
. It is part and parcel of cycling. And it has been like that for as long as I can remember. I can't see any reason why the crash today was so special that that wouldn't apply.
The TV comment just illustrated that some riders have expectations of "acceptable race conditions" that apparently include HD TV reception in DS cars co they can be told how to handle a race. Pick a different occupation if you are that inept on your own, or tested by "nothing too special" will you?
A lot of comments illustrate just how many skills these Tour riders have lost over the years, and given how much better the pay and general conditions has become for most over that same period, it seems a bit odd.
I get neutralizations when rider's safety is really at risk. Not when their precious team leader's General Classification is at risk. Up until the rejoining the first was probably in play. From that point onwards, it was only the latter. And that's when it became a disgrace.
They have set a standard that will lead to justified outrage by teams that were forced to soft-pedal today and gave up realistic aspiration to make a difference here, but won't get the same courtesy extended when their main man will get into trouble on a wet and slippery patch. A bad bad day for all, knowing that comparable "uncontrollable" crashes will befall other riders during this Tour. What do they do then, hey?
I sure hope Gesink can get through tomorrow. I was so looking forward to seeing him in action, side by side with Menchov. If he goes out because the rest "now" suddenly decides to race, it will just be another bitter pill on top of a pretty bitter one already. I bet tomorrow they will argue that being a bit busted means you are "fair game". If they do, I might just head up a mountain with a vat of oil myself.