I will admit to being bored to death by the first 130k of stage 11. It was a bunch of "Sky at the front, with a big breakaway puttering along", it was a very monotonous day. The only action was when there were elbows thrown at the polka dot jersey sprint, and those were some weak elbows.
But then it got good, while Kern was creating space (typesetting jokes NEVER get old) for Rolland in the front group, Tejay Van Itowedcadelallday jumped, and was soon joined by Cadel Evans. This was an excellent move, had Cadel been on a good day, but alas, he was not on a good day, and they were sucked back by the Sky Dyson.
Rolland was in a group of four at the front on the descent before the ascent, and found the ground on a tricky corner. He managed to get back up and continue with the lead group though, making both France and Kern very happy. Soiler alert, Rolland would drop everyone else and continue the French domination of stage wins.
But back in the pack, the Sky Saturn rocket was burning away it's lycra clad boosters, first Rogers, then Porte and then it was finally down to Froome to deliver the Wiggo payload to the line. Then there were attacks, and more attacks. Nibz tried his luck, but Sky lowered the Froome. Nibz was brought back.
It was after this flurry of activity that things took a turn towards the interesting. Froome was able to drop Cadel, and Evans would eventually finish down 2:23 on the day, a time gap which could mean his Tour is done. But it seems that Froome, with about 2k to go felt frisky, jumped and was able to immediately get a gap, distancing Wiggins. In a testament to the quality of the Sky race radios, Froome then abandoned his attack and put his keyster back in it's rightful place—in front of Hinault, um I mean, Wiggo's nose. But even though he came back, it was hard to notice that he could've jumped away and done some damage. (more on that below)
Later, Wiggo and Nibz had a nice man hug moment as they crossed the finish line, kissing and making up after Wiggo gave Nibz a look that Nibz took issue with the day before. Wiggo started the love fest and Nibz reciprocated. Awwwwww…
And then, in a sequence that could only happen in 2012, Wiggo's wife tweeted these 41 characters:
@Cathwiggins1981: See Mick Rogers and Richie Porte for examples of genuine, selfless effort and true professionalism.
That Tweet totally didn't mention Froome—and she even had enough characters left!
Well, Froome's lady wasn't having it. And boom! RT with an edit:
@michellecound Typical! RT @Cathwiggins1981: See Mick Rogers and Richie Porte for examples of genuine, selfless effort and true professionalism.
Yeah, it just got real. Later Cath backed down a little:
@Cathwiggins1981 @Rhodos5 I think people read far too much into 140 characters sometimes.
But as of this morning, we still might be in a situation:
To those that have been criticising my comments from yesterday, I stand by them. I know all the facts, all the details that you don't.
So there you have it, the Twitter battle of the Real House Skyves. Which, because I am a bad person, I might find to be more interesting than the actual racing today.
You know that old box of bike parts you've put in your closet?
Recorded inside the press room at Grenoble Velodrome, we bring you Episode #8 of the Insider from the 2011 Tour de France, our final podcast.
Recorded 1,850 metres above sea level atop the famed Alpe d'Huez, we bring you Episode #7 of the Insider podcast from the 2011 Tour de France.