Josh Barber contributed to this report.
Week two has been a week of yellow jerseys for the British, unfortunately I’m not just talking about Chris Froomes epic week which has seen him wearing the maillot jaune since last Saturday and given him a two and a half minute lead. Mark Cavendish has had his own yellow Jersey, perhaps not the one he would wanted to have wear.
The manx missiles week of controversy started during the 9th stage. During the sprint finish cavendish clearly leant into argos shimano rider Veelers who was leading out marcel kittel and quite clearly shouldered him to the floor, seeming an obvious breech of rules it was suggested that cav would get penalised. Rival andre gripal kade his views clear, he tweeted about the incedient saying, ‘uneccaccary and scary s***’. However the race referee seemed to side with cavendish and came to the conclusion that he wasn’t to blame.
This decision caused some debate among the media and fans. However, during the individual time trial the next day the drama surrounding cav was stepped up another level. A fan roadside decided to take matters into his own hands and squirted a bottle of urine all over the british rider. Cavendish who can be quite controversial at times on twitter decided to joke about the matter, putting, ‘i think the apple juice looks far from appealing tonight and i’m not taking the p***’. However his Partner Peta todd was obviously disgraced at the situation also tweeting’ the way people behaved today was truely disgusting’.
The following stage kittel let his riding do the talking by beating Cavendish on the line. However the manx missile isn’t know as the fastest man on two wheels for no reason and subsequently had the last laugh on the 13th stage. He won the stage comfortably ahead of cannondales Peter Sagan. While Marcel kittel was no where to be seen. Finally coming over the finish line ovdr 8 minutes back.
In contrast to cavs up and down week, fellow Brit Chris Froome has performed consistently well throughout the week.
The start if the second week couldn’t have gone any better for team sky wit Fooattackingig up the final climb of stage 8, by the time he reached the sumit he was all alone having dropped his rivals one by one. This resulted in him gaining a 1 minute 45 second advantage and therefore put him into the yellow jersey for the first time. His performance could not have been completed without his team though, and what an excellent team froome has supporting him.
One of the stand out riders for Team Sky has been Peter Kennaugh the young British rider from the isle of man. Having won the lincoln grand prix in may it has been an incredible few months for the young Manx man after his late addition into the sky line up. Kennaugh has definitely justified his place too.
He was on the front for most of the second half of the 8th stage which helped propel Froome to such a convincing win. His efforts didn’t go un noticed by his team leader after he tweeted ‘ todays rider of today is @petekennaugh #incredible’
Kennaugh has looked strong and there has even been some media speculation that he could potentiality win a grand tour in future years, however there is only one thing on his mind over the next 9 days and that’s doing the best he can for Froome. He looked to have an important role on the 9th stage supporting froome until thngs took a turn for the worse.
As Ryder Hesjedal looked to move up the outside of the peloton he locked arms with kennaugh, sending him flying into to the steeped sided ditch, luckily kennaugh crawled out with no serious injuries, however the incident did leave froome isolated later in the stage.
Froome then threw out the gauntlet to his rivals in Wednesdays 33km time trial. Doing so in some style.
He took over one minute thrity seconds out of his closest GC (general classification) rivals and he looked like he was going to add winning the stage to this achievement too after he was ahead German powerhouse and world time trial champion Tony Martin at both time checks. However the german ended up winning the stage by 12 seconds, leaving froome to take 2nd place for the stage, but more importantly he increased his race lead to 3 minutes 51 seconds.
The tour is far from over though with some of the years biggest and hardest climbs still to come, froome will have to be wary of many attacks from his rivals. His job of defending has also now become much more difficult due to the loss of two team sky riders. ? Lost his plsce in the tour after he missed the time cut earlier in the week, whereas Norwegian Edvald Boasson Hagen has had to drop out of the tour following a crash which resulted in him breaking his shoulder.
Rider of the week
Again this week there have been two contendars in my opinion, Marcel kittel and chris froome. There wastough tough decision to be made after froomes great climbing earlier in the week followed by a great timetrial too. Marcel kittel was one of my pontiential riders of the week due to his two great stage wins. However he made my decision much more simple after his ride on friday, he finished 8minutes back as previously mentioned in the article. For that reason my rider of the week has to be Chris Froome.
Stage by stage
Stage 8 – Chris vfrromevproduced a sensationsl ride to win stsge eigt of thrvtour andvss a result took his first yelow jeresy
Stage 9- Dan martin won the stage. Froome managed to defend from many attacks after being left isolated by his teammates early on.
Stage 10- Cavendish didn’t win the stage, that was left to kittel. However cav took all the headlines after supposidly shouldering Veelers to the floor.
Stage 11- Froome extended his lead after a great time trial. Tony Martin took the stage from him by 12 seconds. Elsewhere cav was covered in urine
Stage 11- a fairly predictable stage until Marcel kittel out sprinted Cavendish to take the stage. Sky were reduced to 7 when Boasson Hagen crashed out.
Stage 12- Marcel kittel beat cavendish this time round to stage his second stage this week, his third of the tour so far.
Stage 13- Cavendish won the stage after getting into a break away started by Saxo- Tinkoff. Froome lost 69 seconds of his lead to contador and Mollema, now leading by 2.25 minutes.