Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Norwegian alpine triumph continues as Boasson Hagen takes second stage

After the premature exits of Bradley Wiggins, Team Sky faced an uncertain Tour. Boasson Hagen however laid that ghost firmly to rest today with a second stage win proving why this Tour will be remembered for Norwegian alpine triumphs. Following yesterdays second place finish behind fellow compatriot Thor Hushovd who took the stage glory in Gap, Boasson Hagen celebrated his own perfectly timed attack with a stage win in Pinerolo.

Navigating the tricky descent with ease, the Sky sprinter faired better than current GC leader Voeckler who overshot a bend to find himself on the driveway of a private residence. The faux par saw him finish 4 minutes 53 seconds behind Boasson Hagen.

After a bizarre stage on Tuesday that saw the Schlecks vocalising disappointment at the tactics of Contador that lead to much consternation amongst fans, the peloton faced a big challenge in stage 17. With five climbs spread either side of a sprint, the main concern for Cavendish as leader of the points competition was the prospect of elimination. However there was also the prospect of Belgian rider Gilbert using this stage as an opportunity to take points at the intermediate sprint. A thorn in the Manxman's side, the Omega Pharma Lotto rider made a fatal error on stage 15 that saw him lose out on points. However Cavendish had no need to fret as a big breakaway group went out early ensuring points earned did not threaten his jersey.
Yesterday's stage winner, Thor Hushovd, tried in vain to bridge the gap, but the peloton soon shut him down, clearly waking up to the new found power this big Norwegian now wields.

Spanish riders, reigning Tour champion Alberto Contador and descent specialist Samuel Sanchez, paired up on the descent of the days final climb, the Cote de Pra Martino, in a bid to put distance and most importantly time between themselves, Cadel Evans and the Brothers Schleck. There bid ultimately failed as the GC trio caught them on the line.

Tomorrow the Tour climax begins with the first of two epic stages that will see the peloton travel to where heaven and earth meet: the Col du Galibier.


  1. Wish I had discovered your blog earlier --- great job! Looking forward to Stage 18 entry!
    --- Nick P.

  2. thanks so much for kind comment :) Liz

  3. Great post about the tour!! Thanks for the link.