7.06.2017

TdF 2-5: Sagan out, Cav down, Aru up and Froome in (yellow)

Was it the right decision? Yes, it was. Rules are rules and procycling is a risky sport: don't make it more dangerous by risky moves. 
Cavendish crashed out with a fractured shoulder. It could be one of his last Tour de France, maybe the last one at a very high level. And he was riding for a good cause, in Qhubeka's jersey. Sagan is also out because he caused the crash. Too harsh? I don't think so. 
Anyway without these two the fight for the Green Jersey becomes very open, thus more interesting. Démare is wearing it at the moment, can he bring it to Paris? we will see.
"When I feel good, I attack" Fabio Aru said yesterday, after a solo victory in the first uphill finish of the year. "Winning wearing the Tricolore nat champ jersey? A great thing. I dedicate it to the people who love me #ilcavalieredei4mori" he added, probably conscious that not everybody do. La Planche des Belles Filles also put him in  Polka Dot Jersey.
Dan Martin was 2nd in that stage... can this be his Tour? maybe. It is not Pinot's Tour, that's sure. Bardet looks better. But the best of all no doubt looks Chris Froome, already in Yellow, while Simon Yates is in White. 

RESULTS
Stage 2 - Düsseldorf › Liège KITTEL Marcel GC THOMAS Geraint
Stage 3 - Verviers › Longwy SAGAN Peter  GC THOMAS Geraint
Stage 4 - Mondorf-les-Bains › Vittel DÉMARE Arnaud GC THOMAS Geraint
Stage 5 - Vittel › La Planche des Belles Filles  
1. Fabio Aru (Astana Pro Team) 3:44:06
2. Daniel Martin (Quivkstep Floors) +0:14
3. Chris Froome (Team Sky) +0:20
6. Simon Yates (ORICA-SCOTT) +0:26
GC
1. Chris Froome (Team Sky) 18:38:59
2. Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) +0:12
3. Fabio Aru (Astana Pro Team) +0:14
6. Simon Yates (ORICA-SCOTT) +0:43

REACTIONS

Mark Cavendish:
“I’m obviously massively disappointed to get this news about the fracture. The team was incredible today. They executed to perfection what we wanted to do this morning. I feel I was in a good position to win and to lose that and even having to leave the Tour, a race I’ve built my whole career around, is really sad. I wish the best of luck to my teammates for the rest of the race. Now, I’m looking forward to watching the race on TV, seeing the team fly the flag high for South Africa and raise awareness for Qhubeka”.

Richie Porte:
"I can't say anymore for my teammates. They were incredible today, and I think we took it to them [the peloton]. In the final there, Aru slipped away. I'm still happy with my ride for the first mountain stage. I kind of expected a little more but there's a long way to go. As a unit today, BMC Racing Team were the team that made the race. Michi Schär and Stefan Küng basically rode the whole race on the front and then the rest of the guys towards the end. I thought we were going too fast and told them to slow down, but they actually kept it up and that's testament to how strong they are. Chris Froome is obviously going stronger than when we saw him at the last race but I think Team Sky weren't quite what they were last year. Still, I think they have a lot of pressure coming up."

Simon Yates :
“I always try. There’s not many summit finishes this year at the Tour and I think you really have to take the opportunity when it comes. I knew the climb from previous years. I felt pretty good. Maybe I burnt some matches there, but I wanted to try to win the stage so sometimes you have to risk a bit. There’s a lot of strong guys not really very far behind me so it’s going to be difficult to try to keep hold of (the white jersey) but I’ll give it my best shot. Tough day out there, I felt the heat on the final climb and at times you had the impression you were glued to the road. Fabio was strong, so congrats to him, but despite coming second, I am satisfied. I’m very confident, as I really enjoy racing here and don’t feel any pressure whatsoever. The team is on a roll, we are the best squad in the world, which you can see by taking a look over the victories and list of results since the start of the season. Of course, it’s still early and a lot can happen in the Tour, but so far I’m happy of how things went".

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