Monday, 19 July 2010

Furious Schleck blasts Bertie as his reign comes to an end

Andy Schleck, leader of the Young Riders competition, lost the Maillot Jaune to rival Alberto Contador in a move that has proved to be somewhat controversial today. For many within the peloton it is bad form and unsporting to take advantage of the misfortune of the Maillot Jaune at a critical time, but as Schleck dropped a chain in the critical moments of an attack on his rival, Contador accelarated onwards leaving Schleck fumbling in the dust behind him. Twitter immediatedly felt the ricocheting aftermath as fans and journalists, other riders and team support staff commented on the action on the road.

What some saw as evidence of poor bike handling ended up costing Schleck his reign in yellow and a bitter return to the Maillot Blanc that Geskink had been keeping warm for the young Luxembourg rider. Arriving at the finish in Luchon 39 seconds down on his rival, he slipped into second place in the overal competition, trailing Contador by a meer 8 seconds. As Contador stood on the podium celebrating his win, the fans made it clear how they felt with reports of booing coming from the audience. Meanwhile on twitter Contador was further lambasted for a lack of remorse at the challege that had seen him take the yellow in bitter circumstances.

The rival pair had been seen chatting amicably on many occassions during the Tour, and indeed rumors have circulated that Contador may soon announce a move to join the Schleck brothers possibly in a new team that will emerge like a phoneix from the flames of the crumbling Saxo-Bank team. Speculation followed interviews with the former yellow jersey where he stated that he had "anger in my stomache" vowing to get his revenge, and soon, that this amicable relationship may now lie in ruins.

Meanwhile Thomas Voeckler (BBT) stormed to victory way ahead of nearest rivals Menchov and Sanchez, a lone survivor from an earlier 10 man breakaway. Echoing yesterday's scenes where Riblon was a sole survivor of a breakaway, the Frenchman was almost in disbelief as he crossed the line, looking back several times expecting to be caught or at the very least challenged in his bid for stage glory.

Robbie McEwan guided the sprinters home at 28 minutes 49 seconds off stage victor Voeckler as the peloton fractured into four main groups on the final climb. Britain's Bradley Wiggins came home in 48th place 9 and a half minutes down on the stage winner, having suffered a series of set backs during the Tour. Interviewed before the stage, he was uninhibited in his response in his charactaristicly colourful language. Disapointed by his current placing, he believes in should be put into the wider context of his career and abilty rather than held as a comparison to his placing last year.

Tomorrow's stage will be interesting as Schleck seeks revenge for his stolen yellow jersey as the race heads into Pau via Tour favourite the collosal Col du Tormalet for the first of two ascents. The stage finish is 60km from the famous climb so any attacks on the ascent will need to be cool and calculated, measuredly executed if they are to really throw down the gauntlet, otherwise the victims may regroup on the descent better equipped to twist the final knife in on the run into Pau for the finish. A breakaway is sure to be caught and with 8 seconds to make up Schleck is sure to be hungry.

No comments :

Post a Comment