Moscon Disqualified From The Tour de France, And Who Is Sky’s Leader? | The GCN Racing News Show

Moscon Disqualified From The Tour de France, And Who Is Sky’s Leader? | The GCN Racing News Show


We’re back with the GCN Racing News Show. This week we recap a thrilling 2nd week of
the Tour de France in which many big stars have gone home – the sprinters dreams are
dashed in the mountains, Nibali’s by a spectator, and Gianni Moscon is expelled for punching
another rider. I’ll be discussing all of that, and question
who really is the leader of Team Sky. We also take a look back at all the action
from the BeNe ladies Tour in Belgium. It’s been an incredibly hard week at the
Tour de France, many of those still in the race were on their knees heading into today’s
rest day, but many aren’t here at all. First up, Vincenzo Nibali. The Italian had been riding a solid race,
sitting in 4th place overall, until this incident up Alpe d’Huez. Subsequent footage showed that his crash was
as a result of a spectators camera strap snagging on his handlebars. He got back on and only lost 13s to the winner,
Geraint Thomas, and incredibly he did so with a fractured L10 vertebrae. That meant the end for Nibali, who is now
hoping to recover for the Vuelta, but it also meant a significant change in the dynamic
of the race. If there’s one thing you could guarantee,
it’s that Nibali would not have settled for 4th place, and he would have, at some
point, caused some problems for Team Sky in the last week. It led many, including us, to ask whether
these climbs need to be barriered the whole way up. I mean don’t get me wrong, I think that
would be a terrible thing for the sport, for the spectacle, for the genuine roadside cycling
fans, but in 2018 when teams are spending millions preparing for this one race, it really
can’t be influenced by roadside spectators? What’s the answer? I really don’t know – let us know what you
think in the comments below. The other riders to have gone home are mainly
sprinters – Cavendish and Kittel were outside the time limit on that Alpe d’Huez stage,
whilst the following day, Greipel, Groenewegen and Gaviria called it quits as they realised
they had no chance of finishing inside the time cut. Some people saw that as a reason to re-think
the time limit and the way it’s calculated, whilst others said that sprinters need to
harden the……….harden up. Well, I’d like to come to their defense. Contrary to some thinking, sprinters aren’t
at the back laughing and joking around, being lazy – they are trying their absolute hardest. Going home from the Tour de France is THE
LAST THING they want, they simply couldn’t go any harder. I’ll give you an example, Cavendish and
Kittel were in a group that finished just 30s inside the time limit on the mountainous
stage 10 to Le Grand Bornand. That stage was this year’s Etape du Tour,
which was won by Victor Lafay, who is a pro with Cofidis. The Kittel/Cavendish group rode fast enough
to have beaten Lafay – they are not hanging around, it’s just that the climbers are
that much better. I have the utmost respect for sprinters – they
don’t have easy days, them riding in the mountains is like asking Usain Bolt to run
a marathon. Rigoberto Uran didn’t start stage 12 due
to injuries he sustained on the Roubaix stage – a big blow for EF Education first, whilst
Gianni Moscon was expelled yesterday for serious aggression, after TV footage appeared to show
him punching Fortuneo Samsic rider Elie Gesbert. Team Sky issued an apology, as did Moscon
himself: The problem for Moscon is that this isn’t
an isolated incident – last year he sat out of racing for 6 weeks after admitting making
racist comments towards Kevin Reza. After that incident Team Sky said that a repeat
of that behaviour would result in a termination of his contract. Later that season, he was accused by Sebastien
Reichenbach of deliberately pushing him off, although Moscon was later cleared. And finally, at the World Championships last
year, he was disqualified for hanging onto a team car. It’s such a shame, because the guy is clearly
such a huge talent on the bike, but unable to behave professionally – it’ll be interesting
to see if he has a future at Team Sky. This will hurt them in the race – Moscon has
been handling a lot of the early domestique duties each day, and means they are down to
just 5 helpers around Froome and Thomas. Which brings us onto our question, who really
is the leader of Team Sky? As things stand, 6 time Grand Tour winner
Chris Froome is 1 minute 39s behind his teammate Geraint Thomas. Thomas has continued to tow the line of saying
that he’s working for Froome, and on Alpe d’Huez, he clearly was before Froome attacked. But then it came back together, and Thomas
has looked every bit as strong as any other rider in the race, every day. So what are they going to do? The problem they have is that Dumoulin is
just 9s behind Froome, and a better time triallist. And THAT is a new situation for Sky, who’s
GC leader has always been the strongest time triallist of the GC contenders. If Froome attacks and gets rid of Thomas and
not Dumoulin, that’s a big problem, and could be a bit of a cock up. Thomas isn’t going to deliberately lose
time, and MUST be starting to think now that he’s on the verge of picking up the biggest
prize in cycling, whilst Froome who has won the last 3 Grand Tours in a row, is not going
to be happy with 2nd. It’s an intriguing situation, and I for
one can’t wait to see how that plays out in the last week, and also how Dumoulin goes,
because he has looked unflappable. Let us know who you think is going to win
the Tour de France – bear in mind that there are three mountain days and one TT to go,
so will it be Thomas, Froome, Dumoulin or Roglic – let us know by taking the poll on
the screen now. Earlier in the week, though, I thought this
was a really nice gesture – Edvald Boasson Hagen broke his bike on stage 11, and without
his team car nearby, Team Sky gave him one of their spare bikes so that he could continue
the stage. It’s against the official rules, though,
to accept equipment from another team, and so both Sky and Edvald were handed a €150
fine. And here is a picture of Edvald taking €150
back to Team Sky’s Servais Knaven the following day, a nice gesture on both sides I thought. Wiggle High 5’s Katie Archibald got her
Bene ladies tour off to the best of starts last Thursday by winning the opening 3.9km
prologue in quite dominant fashion. Not a huge surprise for an Olympic and World
Championship winning track cyclist, but to beat Marianne Vos into 2nd by 11 seconds is
still very impressive. Vos was back to her best on stage 2, though,
winning a 3 up sprint for the win, and coming home far enough in front of the bunch to go
into the race lead by 6 seconds over Archibald. 19 year old Lorena Wiebes of ParkHotel Valkenburg
continued her impressive season by winning the bunch sprint on stage 2a, in front of
Jolien d’Hoore no less – whilst Canyon SRAM took a 1-2 on the stage 2a Time Trial, with
former World Champion Trixi Worrack at the head of affairs, whilst another impressive
ride from Archibald took her to within 1s of Vos in the overall. Vos increased that lead on the final day courtesy
of some bonus seconds, on a stage won by Marta Bastianelli, whilst Archibald slipped to 3rd,
leapfrogged by Lisa Klein. And so Vos won the race overall for the 2nd
year in succession, continuing her incredible career, whilst Klein was best young rider
and Wiebes won the points. And we shall finish with the event that has
been touted as the toughest one day event in cycling – the Tour du Mont Blanc is 330km’s
long, with a total of 8000m of climbing, and just look at this profile – NOT for the faint
of heart, although I do like the look of that downhill start! The ride crosses three countries, and this
year we had a record time – it took Nicolas Roux 11 hours 17 minutes and 49 seconds to
complete the ride, an average speed of 28kph. Roux is a man who is no stranger to success
here, but hats off, that’s not too shabby with that amount of climbing! That’s all for this week, next week we’ll
be wrapping up the final week of the Tour de France, plus we’ll have the men’s and
women’s Prudential Ride London Classics, and also the North Cape 4000, a 4200km event
that takes riders from Lake Garda to the North Cape, crossing 10 countries in the process. We shall see you then, in the meantime, if
you’d like to see who’s the real boss of GCN, we did our own race recently, up the
Angliru no less,, and you can find that video down here……..