Perfect photo finish yesterday…
Not for Cav though, i think it’s fair to say there is (or has been!) bad blood between Cavendish and André Greipel going back to when they were team mates for T-Mobile who ultimately became Highroad, Columbia and now HTC. During a sprint in the Etoile de Bessèges stage race, Cavendish was suppoosed to lead out the German but kept going finishing second, and leaving Greipel nowhere.
Greipel called Cavendish “selfish”, Cavendish’s response was “Me on bad form is still better than Greipel”! Egos are an essential attribute at this level of cycling i feel! After Greipel had come off second best to Cavendish, the winner commented that he had not needed to use all his available power. According to the German, they made it up afterwards.
“We had a chat after the stage and he said he had a big respect for my sprint,” Greipel said. “I couldn’t hold him in Châteauroux but I tried to surprise him today. On Friday I didn’t have the legs in the last 50m but here I managed to get on his wheel. I have a lot of respect for Cav. He’s won 17 stages. Now I’ve got one.”
Cavendish was interviewed after the stage saying; “It was a flat finish so I tried to go at 250m off Rojas’s wheel,” he said. “I didn’t hesitate but I didn’t commit early enough. I kind of rolled round Rojas on the last corner and kicked with 170m to go and Greipel just came past and beat me. I’m happy for him. I feel I made a mistake but Greipel beat me so there’s nothing I can say about that.”
All’s fair in love and war i say, perhaps the respect has grown between them now, i guess time will tell over the course of the next few stages.
Johnny Hoogerland was back in the saddle, massive respect, he was covered in bandages but apparantly had been inundated with marriage proposals the night before yesterdays stage! Little compensation i imagine though for being woken up at 7am yesterday morning by the dope testers banging on your door!!
No change in the standings for the various jerseys by all accounts, so Thomas Voeckler was able to start and finish the day in the maillot jaune as a result of his second place in Saint-Flour on Sunday. He has a hugely aggressive attitude to retaining the leadership, after Marco Marcato, the last survivor of a long six-man break had been caught within 10 miles of the stage finish, the Frenchman was one of a small number of riders still mounting a series of solo attacks, along with Philippe Gilbert and David Millar, before the sprinters did their thing.
Another great stage for the viewers.