Jul 8, 2007

tdf stage 1

HUGE stage today. Robbie McEwen takes the ending sprint after being left for dead after a nasty crash late in the stage. This is one of those wins where you have to see the last 4 minutes of the stage to appreciate what McEwen did. After a nasty crash which definitely hurt McEwen (you could seem him grimacing and flexing his hand), he found himself at the end of a big peloton. The announcers had given up on him because they couldn't even find him.

When you watch the peloton flow down the road from aerial shots you get some idea of how hard it would be to work your way up to the front of the peloton. First, the peloton is moving amazingly fast. Second, the peloton takes up the entire road. To make up a lot of lost time in a short amount of space means threading yourself through a lot of tight spots.

So as the peloton was being set up near the end there was no sign of McEwen or his team. In fact the other sprinters had their domestiques setting up the peloton very nicely towards the end. Lots of riders on two key sprint teams and they were hammering down the road at a brisk pace.

And then out of nowhere, just as the domestiques peel off and the sprinters start sprinting, like a bat out of hell McEwen FLIES past the rest of the sprinters. If he can maintain that power on the finish line he is unbeatable as a sprinter.
Here's the finish at Versus. Click on "McEwen Amazing!"

No comments: