Tour de France
Stage 4 Seraing to Cambrai
The 2015 Tour de France has started with some serious fireworks. Despite all the commentary it is really just good hard racing. What we are seeing is that the Super Contenders have had their race faces on from the get go with some superb strategic racing. The lesser teams who were gunning for early stage victories on the supposition that the big guns would take it easy are suffering and nursing some serious wounds in the panic.
Stage 4 proved less eventful with Tony Martin finally winning his stage, a calculated demonstration of pure power, well deserved.
The expected attacks on the pave towards the finish showed that Nibali is strong despite not gaining the advantage he did in last year’s more horrendous Tour de France conditions.
Nibali smacked it with about 30k to go causing momentary panic. He split the field with 8 super riders in front which include Froome.
The Sicilian wasn’t the only favorite to have a rush of blood, the yellow jersey had a crack, trying to jump away from the front to reinforce his dominance.
Contador survived another day spending much of the stage sheltered by his team. The Giro winner is looking a little fatigued, and it is suspected he has had problems recovering from the Italian Grand Tour. I don’t think he would have come into this Tour de France unprepared, expecting to actively recover before the high mountains. I suspect he like many others has been a little caught out by the intensity. Like a true champion he is protected, waiting.
The Aussie Orica GreenEdge team took a major hit yesterday. A serious strategic rethink is required for the team to survive Le Tour.
I have arrived in the north of spain and about to head to the Pyrenees where we begin our own Tour de France. I expect my own Tour de France experiences to be a little more relaxed.
Written by Phil Anderson
Photography: Graham Watson