Deep Thoughts and Sportsmanship: Vuelta Stage 4

Should you stay or should you go? That’s always the question when a big crash happens. Should those at the front of the race ease off the pace and let those who crashed catch up, or should they continue to ride and/or attack? I’m of the mind that it depends on the situation. If the leader crashes, then you should wait, especially if it’s a large crash with lots of people. If it’s a mechanical (*cough*Andy*cough*) or a solo fall, it’s less clear to me, but I’m generally okay with continuing to ride- this is a bike race, not a summer camp. If the leader isn’t in the crash, but it’s still a big one with lots of people- that one really has no right or wrong answer for me.

Today, after watching the crash and subsequent chase, it’s a bit hard for me to criticize Sky and those who pushed the pace after the crash too much. The crash happened right after Sky attacked- Sky didn’t attack once the crash happened. It was a large crash, so Sky couldn’t know right away that Valverde was in the crash. Why they didn’t slow down after they found out, I don’t know. But then other teams were coming to the front to push the pace. I think it got to a point where the pace and wind and the echelons had broken up the peloton so much, they couldn’t afford to slow down.

  • It’s pretty awesome watching echelons form and reform. I’m sure it sucks to ride it, but it’s fun to watch.
  • When the Spanish commentators say “Froome,” it sounds like “Froomey.” And “Roche” sounds like “roach.”
  • In terms of GC, the last climb of the day wasn’t nearly as exciting as yesterday. There were a few little attacks, but mostly they just marked each other.
  • Oh you know what’s super awkward? A guy sprinting for 6th or something and thinking he’s won. That’s awkward for everyone involved.
  • And that’s all I have for today.

Stage results and results, and video


Posted on August 21, 2012, in commentary, Vuelta a Espana and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I find it hard to be objective when Mr “Oh, sure, it’s my DNA in the blood bag, but that’s totally not my blood. Or my dog’s name after the first four letters of my name on the label. Honest.” is involved in these incidents.

    I’m off to write “He has served his suspension, and is entitled to ride just like anyone else” 100 times.

    • TheBloomingCyclist

      Haha! Well, as a cycling newbie, i’m untainted by these thoughts and can be objective enough for all of us 😉

  2. It’s always difficult to say whether racing should keep going or wait for the leader to rejoin. In this case the crash did happen after the attack had started which seemed to lead to the opinion that it was okay for them to keep going, whereas back in the 2010 Tour Contador was thought to have attacked after the mechanical so maybe that is a distinction?

    Rodger Hammond on ITV also pointed out that there are less “big personalities” in the peloton to enforce these unwritten rules so incidents like this are going to happen.

    • TheBloomingCyclist

      In my opinion, the Bert situation was a little different because Bert was right there when it happened- he saw it happen right in front of him and then made an attack. In this case, the attack happened before the crash and it was a bit behind them so they didn’t know Valverde was involved until later. Bert’s case is also different because it was just him and Andy- it wasn’t a giant crash with lots of people. This did involve a fair number of people. So in that i think there is an argument to bet made for them waiting.

      At the time of chaingate, I cursed Bert, but now I see he wouldn’t been a fool not to and he was totally right to have attacked. In this case, I think they are okay as well because, it happened after the attack, they didn’t know Valverde was in the crash, and it wasn’t a giant, super dangerous crash. Also, I think they were really worried about the break as well. So, in this instance, I have a hard thing judging them too harshly!

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