Watched in disbelief as the four away got to the " kite " marking the 1 km to go , with 13secs lead , and then they gave up the race to the sprinters ! During the last three kilometers , it was clear , that these guys were unable to agree about getting to the last few metres , before deciding who would be on the podium tonight ! That the Belgian racer ,Ghyselink , racing with Cofidis colours , was eager to get to the finish line was clear , since he took off and left the other three in his wake , but in the slight uphill that was the false flat racing alone, he faded into the first fifty home . Read later elsewhere , that some suspect he would not have been able to hold off Urtasun of Euskadi ! Will he get an award as the " Most Combatative Racer " today ? Who knows ? Who cares ?
Had those four worked together , they would have been " Podium Material " , certainly one of them would have gone in the " History books "as Etappe winner ! Oh yes , they had to get to the line before a thwarted peloton who at 40+ km were 1 1/2 mins behind and at 10km were 1 min behind and at 4km were still 28sec behind ! Don't tell me they were under team orders to " STUFF " the bookmakers , that their teams would have been in trouble , had they stayed away for a victory ? The Euskadi guy , Urtasun , was interviewed on Eurosport Extra but as he was speaking in Spanish , goodness knows how he felt , since i do not understand the language .
Recall being at the Bellinzona South area on the Tour de Suisse route , some years back , and cheered Matt White , Mick Rogers , Comezzo and Oscar Freire as they chased past on the way to the Podium ! Oscar hopped a lane separator and took off , 10+km from the finish and Comezzo worked for a while with the Aussies but managed to get in 7th , but where were my mates as the Peloton swept them up within metres of the finish line ? After several hundred kilometres of racing there is rarely much left in the tank and it is hard to continue the fight when you are suddenly on your own ? Having watched the four pass i had rushed to a bar thinking i would see a fight to the finish but i could not tell you now who the racers were that separated Oscar from Comezzo !
Well it is easy being an " Armchair Critic " ! Even when i have ridden the day's Etappe , i still do not have a real feeling for the difficulties the Racers endure ! explains why even with the wind behind me the best i can hope for these days , is to be within 20% longer on the route !