Deep Thoughts: Stage 17 TdF
Yesterday I heard the Nibali wanted to try and win a stage. This made me very happy. But then today, when he tried to get into the break, I realized this would be hard to do, as he’s so close to 1 and 2 that they wouldn’t let him get much, if any, of a lead. However, it was interesting to see it go down. When he got into the break, it seems Valverde said something to him which convinced Nibali to sit up and let the break go. I would be very interested to know what Valverde said and why Nibali shook his hand before he left…
I think this was the first time I’ve seen the whole Liquigas team together at the front. My interpretation of the Liquigas train- they wanted to try and get Nibali the stage win or give him one last chance to attack, but when they realized Nibali didn’t have it, it seemed like, well, we have nothing else to do, so we might as well just keep going. And of course Nibali didn’t have it- he’s been riding on the offensive the whole tour! Attacking on all the mountains doesn’t exactly leave you fresh.
Not surprisingly, my timeline blew up over Sky/Froome/Wiggins again. Part of me wonders why Sky just didn’t let Froome go and try and get the stage win- they were well ahead of all the competition and Nibali was clearly not feeling it today. And it would’ve shown more confidence on Bradley’s part- he was comfortable enough with his partnership with Froome that he wasn’t afraid to let him go and maybe admit he was stronger.
Then the other part of me feels that Chris, when he decided to follow orders to stay with Wiggins, should’ve just done it without all the antics- it’s a bit humiliating for your team leader to be gestured at like that. But… Brad’s the one in yellow, so in the end it doesn’t matter how Chris reacts to him- Brad’s the one everyone will remember. However, it would’ve been really nice to see Chris win a stage after all the work he’s done. And I’m sure it would’ve pleased a lot of people on Twitter to see Chris win rather than Valverde!