You have to feel for Richie Porte, Australia’s best chance of winning the Tour De France (TDF 2018), Stage 9 Arras to Roubaix over the dreaded cobbles, was always going to be a stern test of GC riders. It’s a very bad case of deja vu for Porte, who fractured his pelvis on the corresponding stage, last year. That horrific crash on a high speed descent, left MMT thanking the stars he has disc brakes on his Domane.
To crash out at the 10km mark, before reaching the cobbles, was just plain bad luck. The team doctor’s assessment of ‘Disjonction acromio-claviculaire de l’epaule droite’ was later updated to fracture of the right clavicle. MMT can’t see how Porte could be ready in time for 2018 version of La Veulta. This shameless plagiarised article from yesterday’s Sun-Herald, tells the tale of woe.
In fact, this blog could have just as easily been about Chris Froome who also had stack but had the good fortune to land on grass rather than bitumen. Almost all of the GC riders had some kind of misadventure over 156km mini-Paris-Roubaix par cours.
Team BMC had a pretty poor day, despite Greg Van Avermaet’s second place and successful defense of the Yellow Jersey. Tejay van Garderen, BMC’s other GC hope, lost almost 5 minutes on the stage, with a succession of crashes. Bruised and battered by the day he’s almost 4 and 1/2 minutes behind Chris Froome. Froome sits in equal 8th with Michelton-Scott’s Adam Yates. Provided Froome stays upright on the remaining 11 Stages, he will win his 5th TDF and complete a TDF-Giro double.
MMT can’t wait for the weekend and the bulk binge of SBS Tour de France (TDF) highlight packages he intend to watch. Sadly, Michael Matthews has already withdrawn from the TDF with some form of YAFF and will not defend his green jersey from last year. Mind you it looks like Peter Sagan already has this in the bag, with none of the other sprinters really doing too much. It looks like the changing of the guard is starting to occur. Yes I’m looking at you Messrs Kittel, Greipel and Cavendish.
However, MMT is much more interested in the fate of the remaining Australian’s competing this year. To this end, MMT has put together a General Classification focused graph showing how remaining ten Australian’s are going. MMT had considered including non-Australian members of the Michelton-Scott team eg Daryl Impey and Adam Yates, but thought better of it. So here’s the graph.
What this reveals, is that Australia’s only GC rider, Richie Porte is having a fair crack, being 11th on overall time. The next best Australian is Simon Clarke in 70th. Everyone else is outside the first 100, which is consistent with these guys being either team captains eg Simon Gerrans or domestiques eg Luke Durbridge.
MMT will update this graph next week. Hopefully Richie Porte is in the top 5 by then. MMT is really looking forward to stage 9, which retraces most if the Paris-Roubaix route. While a GC rider may not win the tour on this stage, they certainly can lose it by either crashing out or losing time on the back of pack splitting the peloton. Either way MMT can’t wait….woo hoo!!
Sometimes cycling and everything else you do life just don’t mix. June was a busy month for Team MMT. His adorable half-pint daughter, turned 2 years old in mid-June. The very lucky/spoiled toddler received 2 birthday parties, one in Perth and the other in Melbourne. This combined with a minor YAFF, meant that MMT spent some time off the road bike. MMT would have loved to ridden a few of the coastal bike paths in Perth. However, given how infrequent his family’s visits are to WA, it just didn’t seem to be the right priority. Oh well, may be there will be another time.
The other thing about June was the weather has really turned on ‘Antarctic’ mode with icy gales and rain coming from deep south. Those northerly winds that lead in the high pressure zones after a cold front are just as nasty, providing chilly head winds on most of MMT’s favourite routes. MMT’s weekly washing has almost trebled with multiple base layers being needed per a ride. Anyhow whinge over…here’s the log.
The graphic form of the log is presented below. It pretty obvious where the gaps are in the graph, that this was a disrupted month. The total of 567 km was about 57km short MMT’s monthly target. Based on MMT’s usual routine, he lost about possible 6 days in the month, that he would have usually ridden.
MMT is now preparing for extreme sleep deprivation with the Tour de France underway. MMT is really looking forward to Stage 9, which looks like a mini-Paris-Roubaix. Let’s see how many of these GC riders/grimpeurs survive that day.
June was a write-off for cycling and blogging. The whole month just slipped by in the blink of an eye and MMT had all these plans for the 2 R’s of his life. That would be Riding and wRiting. Ok that’s a bit of stretch 😉 But MMT is thrilled that the Tour De France starts tomorrow night, that its actually being broadcast on SBS. The whole streaming thing for the Giro was just too bloody hard, a return to more conventional broadcasting is a good thing.
MMT wishes all the Aussies starting tomorrow in Grand Departee from Noirmoutier-en-Lile, good luck and a zero crash day. The parcours look to suit the sprinters, as its almost dead flat. Fingers crossed for Team Sunweb’s Michael Matthews.