Today was stage 3 in the tour.It was a harmless stage for the GC riders with only a 3.3km cat 2 climb near the end to really trouble them.None of the major contenders dropped any time but for Team Sky there was a massive concern.Of the 89 riders that finished together,only 3 came from Sky:EBH,Froome and Porte.Thomas and Stannard are still recovering from their crash on stage 1 and Thomas has actually fractured his pelvis,but has vowed to ride on.Kennaugh punctured earlier in the stage but that isn’t really a valid excuse as there was plenty of time to recover.The others have some serious questions to answer.Vasil Kirtienka is an excellent domestique but there are times when he has massively underperformed in grand tours.David Lopez and Kanstantsin Siutsou haven’t been seen yet and Dave Brailsford must be a little concerned by their lack of form.
Geraint Thomas has said he will ride on but surely not for long,trying to do the tour with a fractured pelvis is impossible.This means that they will also be lacking a road captain and none of the other riders in the team have any experience of doing this job.It is an underrated part of cycling but believe me,it’s crucial to the success of the team.
Before they can worry about this they have to try and avoid losing time in the team time-trial tomorrow.No Wiggins greatly reduces their success in this format,but having an injured Thomas and other off-form riders will make it very difficult.Both Porte and Froome rode in the 2012 Vuelta TTT and lost 12 seconds to Movistar over 16km.Brailsford will not sleep well tonight!
The best team today,in terms of riders in the peloton,were BMC.They finished with 7 riders in the main group,which will surprise many as they are perceived to be a weak team.The super-strong Garmin team had 6 riders,whilst Movistar,Sojasun,Lampre,RadioShack and Orica GreenEdge all had 5.
Sky started the 2013 tour with a weaker team than 2012 and it’s getting weaker by the day.Can you imagine what might happen in the mountains?
- Tour de France: Geraint Thomas continues despite fractured pelvis (walesonline.co.uk)
- Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas battles on to help Chris Froome’s Tour de France bid (thetimes.co.uk)
- No Uran in Froome’s Tour support act (espn.co.uk)