7.20.2014

Tour de France 14: Combactivity


Colours are a code. See that young man riding in Yellow: second yesterday in the Alpes but second to nobody in the Tour overall, and not for seconds because this time it's matter of minutes. Look that Green, so hard to wear. His owner used to fly but this time it's heavy, the wearing of the green, it's like a mark precluding any other joy, the colour of envie. A pure colour is White: it's giving all outside, showing all, keeping nothing. Rather cool because reflective. Red Dots are a sickness: get it and you get sick of it, lose it and you feel even more sick. You want it and you want it back. Contagious. 
But Red is the combactivity colour. The half full glass. The mark of generous unlucky moves. The mark of De Machi in this Tour. And don't forget his nick name is Il Rosso di Buja, that's The Red of Buja, by his red hair and the village where he lives. So Red is right for him and he's a Red Number Rider. Angry at first, then furious and finally proud: because you must be a big bastard to be allowed to break-away in the Tour, and to break-away almost every day - unless you are Jens Voigt - you must be brave and smart. 
"Now he's happy the bastard!" Bjarne Riis' said of Rafal Majka. Team Tinkoff-Saxo should get a collective Red Number o Red Helmets like the Yellow Helmets of the Best Team. Riis's should compete for a TM Red Number too: no fear, no stop. In 2010 he lost the Tour and half of his team, he built it again around Alberto Contador who was in big troubles, he too in need to be re-built, he lost his team completely when he had to sell it to Oleg Tinkoff but didn't give up his role and started in the Tour with the race's absolute favourite. When Alberto Contador crashed out Riis' said "We don't have any plann B" and that's true regarding the overall. But the day after there was already Nicolas Roche on the attack and a Red Number ready for his back. "We wanted to show from the start that we didn't give up". Combactivity.
Majka wasn't supposed to ride in the Tour because he was the team leader in the Giro. He even complained. In the first days he was at the back but Contador's crash created him a natural new captain. The bastard blasted in one of the hardest stages of the race, to win in Risoul.
But yesterday, in such a Tour de France, dominated by Vincenzo Nibali with such a big easyness, with such a big confidence, many were the combactives up the many climbs toward the finish. Franck Schleck: 7th. He did his maths. He said "I'm ready and I feel good", it was true. Mikel Nieve and Geraint Thomas: traumatized Team Sky plann C, all day in front riding their blood out. Simon Yates, the youngest in the break-away and in the peloton, afraid of nothing. And also Richie Porte: fighting against a chest infection since the Aremberg's stage...
I could go on. 


RESULTS
STAGE

1 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo 5:08:27  
2 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:24  
3 Jean-Christophe Péraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:26  
4 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr 0:00:50
5 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
6 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:00:54
7 Frank Schleck (Lux) Trek Factory Racing 0:01:01
8 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling 0:01:07
9 Leopold Konig (Cze) Team Netapp-Endura 0:01:20
10 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 0:01:24
11 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) Trek Factory Racing
12 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar
13 Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar Team 0:02:18
14 Michael Rogers (Aus) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:02:34
15 John Gadret (Fra) Movistar Team 0:02:37
16 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling 0:02:40
17 Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La Mondiale 0:02:44
18 Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) FDJ.fr 0:03:09
19 Yury Trofimov (Rus) Team Katusha
20 Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:03:20
21 Simon Yates (GBr) Orica Greenedge 0:03:25
GC
1 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 61:52:54
2 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 0:04:37
3 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:04:50
4 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr 0:05:06
5 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:05:49
6 Jean-Christophe Péraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:06:08
7 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling 0:08:33
8 Leopold Konig (Cze) Team Netapp-Endura 0:09:32
9 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling 0:10:01
10 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar 0:10:48
11 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto-Belisol 0:11:02
12 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) Trek Factory Racing 0:11:10
13 Rui Alberto Costa (Por) Lampre - Merida 0:12:57
14 Frank Schleck (Lux) Trek Factory Racing 0:14:37
15 Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky 0:16:03
16 Yury Trofimov (Rus) Team Katusha 0:19:12
17 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 0:19:24
18 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 0:20:18
19 Brice Feillu (Fra) Bretagne - Seche Environnement 0:21:00
20 Mikel Nieve Iturralde (Spa) Team Sky 0:21:04
POINTS JERSEY
Peter Sagan
POLKA
1 Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 88 pts
2 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo 88
3 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 86
4 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr 49
5 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 40
6 Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) Cannondale 38
WHITE
1 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 61:57:44
2 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr 0:00:16
3 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 0:14:34
TEAM
1 Ag2R La Mondiale 185:56:38
2 Belkin Pro Cycling 0:12:42
3 Team Sky 0:38:16

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