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.
Alas I’ve become very time poor in the downhill run to Christmas. So this post is a cut paste of an article from the Cycling Australia website. Once again, as cycling is such a highly visible sport in the eye in the of the average punter…NOT, they would have missed Cycling Australia’s Gala Awards night held a few weeks ago on the evening of 18th November.
There were many winners on the night..apparently, but the one that stood out for me was Mathew Hayman.
This is were the direct <<stolen text>> starts
Canberra’s Mathew Hayman scooped the Jayco 2016 Australian Cyclist of the Year Awards winning three major awards in front of 400 of cycling’s elite at the star studded gala dinner in Melbourne on Friday night.
Hayman was awarded the prestigious Sir Hubert ‘Oppy’ Opperman Medal & Trophy after being named the 2016 Australian Cyclist of the Year.
The 38-year-old Hayman took home the Male Road Cyclist of the Year Award, with his much celebrated victory at the Paris-Roubaix in May also earning him the adoration of thousands of fans as they voted him to the Subaru People’s Choice Award win.
This is were the direct <</stolen text>> ends. This guy is a complete legend.
I’m sleep deprived but very excited. It was a late night, watching the 2016 edition of the Paris-Roubaix and the race provided a thrilling finish that made the wait so worth while. In an astonishing 5 man finish in the Roubaix Velodrome, Orica-GreenEdge’s Matt Hayman broke through for just his 3rd professional win and become the only Australian since Stuart O’Grady to win. In case, you don’t know who Matt Hayman is, this is what he looks like.
Matt Hayman beats Tom Boonen by half a wheel and celebrates in style.
2016 Paris-Roubaix Podium – Left to Right, Tom Boonen, Matt Hayman, Ian Stannard.
Whilst the weather was kind, race conditions were still pretty tricky…ask Fabian Cancellara who slid sideways on the pave or Luke Rowe who dived over the handle bars after he tried to bunny hop a fallen team mate or Luke Durbridge who was on the receiving end of an untimely puncture. The hospital casualty list included:
Sky’s Elia Viviani was hit by a motorcycle after a crash held up the peloton in Arenberg.
Mitchell Docker of Orica-GreenEdge, suffering from severe craniofacial and dental trauma, with multiple face wounds.
Etixx – Quick-Step’s Niki Terpstra, sustained a knee injury that forced him out of the race.
Others included Nikolas Maes [Etixx – Quick-Step] , Nelson Oliveira and Francisco Ventoso of Movistar and Lampre – Merida’s Federico Zurlo.
However, what became clear at around the 60Km mark was that Tom Boonen was in the right place to win and that Cancellara and Peter Sagan were not. I reckon Cancellara’s fall at the 30Km mark on pave was contributed significantly by the knowledge that he had missed the key breakaway group.
However, that doesn’t take anything away from Orica-GreenEdge’s Matt Hayman, who at the ripe old age of 37 years old, competing in his 15th ‘Hell of the North”, outfoxed and out spirited a quality group including Tom Boonen [Etixx-Quick Step] , Ian Stannard [Team Sky], Sep Vanmarck [Team Lotto NL] and Edvald Boasson Hagen [DImension Data]. The win made all the more incredible, by his rapid recovery from a fractured radius and limited racing.
I can’t wait for the next instalment of the Classics.
I’ve been offline for a few weeks owing to an unscheduled house move and a short overseas holiday at Easter time. It also meant 2 weeks of ZERO kilometres being contributed to my overall goal of riding 5,000 kilometres in calendar year 2015.
Unfortunately, I don’t have any cycling related holiday photos as I didn’t have my camera handy at the needed time. However, I was amazed to see a small peloton, riding along the main street at Kata Beach, Phuket. I had been ‘hearing’ about the emergence of cycling as a past-time/sport in SE-Asia for awhile now. Seeing a bunch dressed in their best ‘pro’ gear was impressive. Whilst there aren’t any significant mountains on Phuket there are several nasty hills with very steep roads. So combined with chaotic traffic and heat, they present a decent challenge. Also, it explained why half the group were on mountain bikes.
Earlier in the trip, I was also impressed to see cyclists out commuting early in the morning in Kuala Lumpur. If there is one place that car traffic needs reducing in, its KL. Its central area reminds me an awful lot of the anarchic roads of central London, except with hills. Having a large population commuting by car to the central area makes very little sense to me. Apparently local authorities are of the same opinion as they schedule bi-monthly a car free mornings. You can read about them here -> http://www.klcarfreemorning.com/. One of which was held on day the Wife and I left for Phuket….Bravo.
Finally, I managed to catch the Paris-Roubaix 2015 edition last night and was thrilled to see a close race. Congratulations to John Degenkolb for a well executed race.However I was appalled to the flagrant disregard by the peloton for the TGV level crossing boom gates. Some of the last to cross were very fortunate not to be collected by a TGV. If you haven’t seen the footage, click on this link to view the story published on the Guardian. This dismay turned to disbelief when race organisers ignored their own rules and failed to disqualify any rider for ignoring the signals. Unbelievable.
That’s it for now, I’m looking forward to getting back on my bike tomorrow morning.