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Robbie Hunter’s Diary Post …Stage 10 “Hollywood Voeckler”

July 11, 2012

Today’s stage is a 194.5km humdinger that includes the first HC climb (out of category- i.e. the hardest climb) of the Tour so far, the Col du Grand Colombi.

Todays stage was always going to be a day for the break.

The day after the rest day, everybody wakes up thinking the legs are back to normal and they quickly forget that it’s still a long way to Paris. The Classification guys are now waiting for the big mountains to do more damage. Today we saw 24 odd riders breaking away which is quiet a few compared to the normal breaks that are allowed to go.

The break was made of a few sprinters like Goss and Sagan who were obviously trying to take advantage of the one sprint of the day. By going in the break it maximises the points gain on any other sprinters, as all the points are taken up by riders in the break. Slowly every day Goss is trying to chip away at the advantage Sagan has but I’m starting to think that Goss needs to win a stage to make sure he is in with a real shot for green. On the biggest climb of the day- a few riders surged ahead and they now had 6mins on the main group.

The 4 riders Voeckler, Sanchez, Deveyns and Scarponi could now for the first time smell it was going to be a fight for the stage. Voeckler after pulling a number of strange faces up the HC climb, took the GPM points and also tried a few times to attack on the downhill.

The Group led by Sky at this point had been riding a hard tempo but still there were about 25 riders who got over together. Again Sky not worrying about the break let them go and was not trying to bring it back at all. Nibali being one of the best or crazier riders, when the road goes down (decents), got a gap and tried to close the gap on the now 3 “podium places”. The only problem is that Sky had way too many riders and Richie Porte closed the gap on his own on the final cat 3 climb before the finish.

Big Jens Voigt

With the whole group together, it was 4 specific guys that were thought to fight for the win. Then out of no where- Jens Voigt (the oldest rider in the pelaton) got back on and almost directly tried to attack them. He might be 18 years older than the youngest rider in the group but he still rides like a man possessed some days. “Hollywood” Voeckler as I now call him because of the amazing faces he pulls when the camera is around, took up the chase to make sure nobody was going to get away. The fastest rider in the group was Sanchez but with a hurt wrist from a previous crash- it was debatable if he was going to be the man to beat. Also, something to keep in mind- you can never count out a french rider when racing in the TDF.

One of “Hollywood’s” faces today!

Voeckler in the last Km put in a huge effort to catch Deveyns who had taken off 3kms to go and everbody thought it was overs. “Hollywood” Voeckler managed to take stage ahead of Scarponi and old man Jensi.

I, for the first time since I stopped the TDF, went for a ride. It’s amazing that 5 days of not riding and watching the Tour- you suddenly feel like you are cheating yourself for doing nothing. I got an hour in but I can honestly say I quickly realized why I had stopped the TDF. My back is still in no way to be competing right now, never mind any major exercise. Every pedal stroke I have to be careful not to force to much as my back just screams at me if I do! I’m sure I will be trying to ride a few hours a day but I think I’ll really be acquainted with the old men who ride around the lake at 25kms/h.

Mind you, today I caught and passed a guy who was doing maybe 22km/h and he jumped on the back of me which I normally hate. But I decided to take it easy, since i doubt I could have done anything about it anyway. I was only 5kms from home. 2kms later the old dude behind me start to whistle almost as if this is a joke and I’m wasting his time. Took all the energy I had to not let go and tell him what I thought. Wanted to give him the look!

Tomorrow is a GC stage and I’m sure it’s going to be an exciting stage. The break could go all the way but I doubt it because it’s also a really short stage. I think it will be like the last time- fire works from the get go!

Robbie.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Rory Harrop permalink
    July 11, 2012 7:00 pm

    Ha ha I can just imagine your face turning red when you picked up a “Tail gunner”, only wish that he knew who was tail gunning…..As for Tommy the terrier, it was a good ride, wont be surprised seeing him in Paris with the polka dot jersey.
    Thanks to you and Helivac for the updates on twitter.

  2. Allen Mee permalink
    July 11, 2012 7:29 pm

    Thanks for the blog. Tommie is the bravest rider left. He is not scared to blow. Cadels going to need balls to win. Cheers. Get well soon

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