Hey not fair, someone's racing up there!

Le Bouclier Jaune

by / / 188 posts

Geraint Thomas is the rightful winner of the 2017 Tour de France. In a travesty of epic proportions not seen at a Tour since the early 2000s, the yellow jersey he won in the opening time trial proved to be grossly inadequate in its defence of his race lead, in complete contrast to the stellar job it has since done for his teammate Chris Froome.

Maybe Thomas just didn’t realise the power of the bouclier jaune, or yellow shield, that sat upon his shoulders for a few days at the start of the world’s most boring sporting event. The magical qualities of the shield may have even been kept a secret from him by his very own team, who were obviously playing favourites when they made Thomas and his bright jersey carry drinks and food to the much less-talented cyclist, all while sticking out like dog’s balls in that yellow top. It was almost as if they wanted to humiliate him in front of the world.

What should be playing out right now as we enter the death throes of another three-week insomnia cure is that Thomas should still be happily cruising along at the front of the race dressed up like a skinny daffodil. Maybe if Froome and his boss Dave Frailford were a bit more forthcoming with the fact that the jersey means no-one else can challenge you, Thomas would be the first Welshman to win the Tour since Ryan Giggs back in 1992. Little did he know that by simply sticking his arm in the air any time that his overall lead was in danger, he could neutralise the ‘race’ and his ‘rivals’ would do all they could to stop themselves and each other from ‘racing’. Is that someone attacking? Mechanical. Bad legs today? Mechanical. Ate a dodgy curry and need to do a poo? Mechanical. Ridden too close to spectators when there’s a whole fucking road to ride on and brought yourself down? Mechanical. Mechanic too shit to prepare your bike properly? Mechanical. Just get that arm in the air and neutralise your way to Paris. Simple. Shit, you can even elbow your main ‘competitor’ into the crowd without a peep from the ‘race’ ‘officials’.

If Thomas had only been in yellow when he crashed and broke his collarbone, he could’ve stuck his good arm in the air, gotten race radio to call ahead, and the rest of the peloton could’ve had a coffee in that quaint little cafe they just passed while they waited for him to be taped back on his bike. And then had a nice relaxing ride to the Eiffel Tower, something Thomas has always wanted to see. Sure, the race might have taken an extra week, but this is a Tour after all, not a fucking race.

// Rantings from the V-Bunker

  1. It is amazing how a $15k Pinarello can consistently fail each time there is racing.




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  2. Im sure its easier to win the yellow when surrounded by your minions. Who needs to race when you can be carried along? The saga of froome/sky needs to end soon.




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  3. @Rick

    and just being cleaned & checked after each time it is ridden




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  4. “Boring”? What race are you watching???




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  5. So… Sky has a super secret formula than nobody can replicate.. yes.. that might be it…




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  6. No truer words have been uttered about this so-called race. Thank you.




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  7. It really has reached ridiculous proportions hasn’t it.

    Maybe it’s time to come up with some better unwritten rules?




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  8. Hear, Hear!




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  9. What @Dan Mc Cormack said. Fantastic Tour this year.




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  10. Quitcherbitchin. When was the last time the top 4 were inside a minute. If that’s not racing I don’t know what is.




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  11. @Dan McCormack

    “Boring”? What race are you watching???

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    So much this. Other than a couple of Kittel days (where even then, the actual finishes have had drama) this has been a cracking tour. The reinvention of AG2R as an actual team who can do actual GC team stuff especially has been a joy




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  12. @Dan McCormack

    “Boring”? What race are you watching???

    i don’t think the race is boring, either, but i think the rest of these points are pretty legit. between the Sagan debacle, and this Froome mechanical nonsense, both the ASO and UCI have pretty well screwed the pooch this July. at least they reversed the late feed penaties last week.




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  13. And Hinault (and others) never controlled things to his favour?




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  14. @Teocalli

    And Hinault (and others) never controlled things to his favour?

    Hinault and Armstrong controlled things through physical intimidation. they and their respective teams were strong enough to impose their will. while this clearly applies to Sky, in terms of team strength, my perception of this situation is that Froome has gone a little overboard with the mechanicals, etc, described. it seems to me like they have the tacit approval of the race directors, also. maybe i’m wrong, but other viewers seem to share my perspective.




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  15. Froome has had two significant mechanicals and one little excursion onto the grass.

    The first one Aru attacked immediately after, and other GC contenders decided not to ride, this was a respect for yellow situation

    The second AG2R were on the front and they carried on riding. Froome got back on through damned good riding and support from Nieve and Landa

    His little off road excursion, no one wanted to pick it up, it was too early on a big climb and they didn’t have the legs.

    So once in this tour there has been a deliberate slowing of the main GC bunch out of respect for the Yellow, the other two times no one gave up any opportunity.




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  16. I’m not sure what you’re thinking of. There was the one when Aru attacked….and…?

    Oh, the one where he broke a spoke and had to stop while the 2nd strongest team in the race attacked hard, leaving the yellow jersey and his team to V back up to the lead group.

    If you just hate Chris Froome write an article saying that, but don’t make out like he’s has some massive advantage for mysterious reasons this race as it isn’t true.

    And also don’t make out like it’s been boring; it hasn’t. It’s still not a done deal.

    Tell Romain Bardet he’s in a boring race, I think he’d punch you in the face.




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  17. I’m confused as shit here.

    It was the UCI that made the Peloton go up to Aru and tell him to back off after going under Froome’s arm when he had a mechanical? Wow, I’ve thought Cookson has been a bad President, but now……

    But hang on, when Froom’s spoke broke and the challengers *didn’t* wait for him was the UCI asleep after a bottle or two of red, so poor old Froomy had to chase back? I bet he had words with Cookson, or at least told him to stay awake to protect him in the future. Jeez….

    I guess Froome was simply protecting his protectors when he said “no, the race was on, it was for me to catch the leaders not for them to wait”. Clever guy!




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  18. This is the bike race I’ve been watching. Brett, you should check it out.




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  19. Just fueling the fire. So now we revere The Prophet for his dominance but at the time he was hated (especially by the French) for the same reasons. Anyone spot the irony here………




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  20. Where’s the old V community, the one with a sense of humour?




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  21. The most amusing accusation (if that is the right word) was that Froome didn’t back off and wait for Porte/Martin after the Porte crash. Who the heck is going to look behind on bends like that at those speeds! Plus they were round the next bend anyway in a split second not even considering how he was going to cruise up in front of everyone and slow them down!




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  22. @Brett

    Where’s the old V community, the one with a sense of humour?

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    It’s just the constant Froome bashing and ‘The Tour is boring’ stuff is so predictable it’s hard to find one’s humour.

    These points are replayed ad nauseam in every comments section of every cycling website and forum on a daily basis.




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  23. Come on chaps, admit it: it’s the grey areas that make cycling what it is. Who wants ‘rules’ in ‘black and white’ that need to be ‘followed’?

    Well, except for the obvious; no engines in bikes, and a note from your mum for any dodgy substance imbibed.

    If it had been a different rider raising their arm for a mechanical – oooh, I don’t know, one who has never won the Tour, doesn’t have waggly elbows, and isn’t sponsored by a monolithic media corporation – the reaction would have been very different.

    People are fed up with Sky, and fed up with Froome winning – just like people got fed up with Merckx winning back in the day. That’s the issue. All the gripes boil down to that.

    Keep the ‘unwritten rules’. Hell, invent a few more. And leave it up to the riders as to whether they obey or not.

    It’s all part of the fun.




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  24. This boring tour never recovered from the crummy rain soaked first stage… Hah. Boring boring boring… And who is this cat they call Jagger and what’s he doing crashing the party after winning a stage racing single speed in his 53×11? Yahhnnn… And a team full of these nasty brown and blue kits… seriously, brown bibs… what the?? riding up front when there’s no racing going on? Nairo’s so bored he’s fallen off the back sleeping. Dan Martin? He couldn’t liven up a race even if he were shooting laser beams from his eyes at others as he attacked… I mean seriously, the only real action in this entire race was this time one dude had a mechanical of sorts. And that dude and his teammate ? Nothing interesting there. Hah… boring boring boring… And I’ve not missed a single stage. So I know ! Also, the scenery on big screen high def ? Yea, it sucks too.

    Cheers All




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  25. The Giro’s been the better race for as long as I’ve been alive.

    There’s been drama in this tour but it’s not from the fucking racing, it’s been from who crashed out, or missed the time cutwhich is the opposite of a good race. Who wants to watch a break with 4 minutes, get reeled in by tower of Sky twats on the front, for Froome to spider-hump a tennis ball to minimise losses in the finale. It is what it is, which is really, really fucking boring. At least Lance looked good on a bike and would occasionally spice up bike races out of spite.

    At least the Vuelta looks like being a banger again this year…




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  26. @Brett

    Where’s the old V community, the one with a sense of humour?




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    you forgot the satire tag that you need to put on things these days.




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  27. @minion

    At least Lance looked good on a bike and would occasionally spice up bike races out of spite.

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    Things were so much better when everyone was EPO’d up to their eyeballs.




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  28. @Rick

    It is amazing how a $15k Pinarello can consistently fail each time there is racing.

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    I’m stunned how many “mechanicals” these guys get when their bike is virtually rebuilt after each stage. I put my bikes in after about 5,000km for a service, the pro’s can’t ride a 220km stage without equipment failure. Massive kudos to Rigoberto Uran who got a stage win with two gears, but I can’t recall a Tour with as many bike failures.




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  29. So bummed about Aru’s difficulties yesterday. I was hoping he might actually challenge for the win. Now they are all just racing for second.




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  30. @tinman

    @Rick

    It is amazing how a $15k Pinarello can consistently fail each time there is racing.

    5

    I’m stunned how many “mechanicals” these guys get when their bike is virtually rebuilt after each stage. I put my bikes in after about 5,000km for a service, the pro’s can’t ride a 220km stage without equipment failure. Massive kudos to Rigoberto Uran who got a stage win with two gears, but I can’t recall a Tour with as many bike failures.

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    I suspect if we could put sustained 400 watts plus through ours with bursts of 1,000 watts they may not be quite so reliable………




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  31. @Teocalli

    @tinman

    @Rick

    It is amazing how a $15k Pinarello can consistently fail each time there is racing.

    5

    I’m stunned how many “mechanicals” these guys get when their bike is virtually rebuilt after each stage. I put my bikes in after about 5,000km for a service, the pro’s can’t ride a 220km stage without equipment failure. Massive kudos to Rigoberto Uran who got a stage win with two gears, but I can’t recall a Tour with as many bike failures.

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    I suspect if we could put sustained 400 watts plus through ours with bursts of 1,000 watts they may not be quite so reliable………

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    …and that’s why I break so much stuff on my bikes!




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  32. @RobSandy

    @Teocalli

    @tinman

    @Rick

    It is amazing how a $15k Pinarello can consistently fail each time there is racing.

    5

    I’m stunned how many “mechanicals” these guys get when their bike is virtually rebuilt after each stage. I put my bikes in after about 5,000km for a service, the pro’s can’t ride a 220km stage without equipment failure. Massive kudos to Rigoberto Uran who got a stage win with two gears, but I can’t recall a Tour with as many bike failures.

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    I suspect if we could put sustained 400 watts plus through ours with bursts of 1,000 watts they may not be quite so reliable………

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    …and that’s why I break so much stuff on my bikes!

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    ooo you brute! Probably why I don’t though.




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  33. @Brett

    Before I became cynical, bitter and twisted I used to like bike races…

    It’s a pretty dangerous game to play; This is hurting so I’ll stick my arm up and they’ll ride slowly. And it hasn’t worked out too well so far. He came close to losing out big time after AG2R put the hammer down (and I don’t recall anyone at Sky suggesting that that attack was a breach of the unwritten rules).

    Froome may not be the most engaging personality in the race but he’s sucking up everything they’re throwing at him and with the exception of newspaper boy zig zagging up the runway he’s taken it all and ultimately extended his lead.




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  34. I don’t mind the Tour, though I wish I didn’t have to watch it on NBC. It’s brutally sunny and hot every damn day during my bike commute, so I’ll gladly watch something to take my mind off the weather.

    I love the AG2R kit, I do not love the UAE kit.




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  35. The one funny thing about the Tour is how it gets people who don’t ride and don’t follow pro cycling to watch. For three weeks, cycling is cool to more people. Then it goes back to…”Get the fuck off MY roads. A-hole in spandex.”

    Speaking of a-holes, what is up with the proliferation of boutique kit designers? Since when did road cycling become hip? When I’m three hours from home and have half a bottle of water left, the last thing I’m thinking about is how many stripes my socks have and how many ice cream cones are on my jersey.




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  36. @Ron

    The one funny thing about the Tour is how it gets people who don’t ride and don’t follow pro cycling to watch. For three weeks, cycling is cool to more people. Then it goes back to…”Get the fuck off MY roads. A-hole in spandex.”

    Speaking of a-holes, what is up with the proliferation of boutique kit designers? Since when did road cycling become hip? When I’m three hours from home and have half a bottle of water left, the last thing I’m thinking about is how many stripes my socks have and how many ice cream cones are on my jersey.

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    I have noticed more designer kits on the road recently as well. I tend to give the wearers ample space and try to pass them as soon as safely possible.




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  37. I don’t understand this article. I’m normally very entertained by the writing here – and I love The Rules book! But this article just seems to attack Froome for no reason. I think he’s doing a great job out there.




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  38. @Rick

    @Ron

    The one funny thing about the Tour is how it gets people who don’t ride and don’t follow pro cycling to watch. For three weeks, cycling is cool to more people. Then it goes back to…”Get the fuck off MY roads. A-hole in spandex.”

    Speaking of a-holes, what is up with the proliferation of boutique kit designers? Since when did road cycling become hip? When I’m three hours from home and have half a bottle of water left, the last thing I’m thinking about is how many stripes my socks have and how many ice cream cones are on my jersey.

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    I have noticed more designer kits on the road recently as well. I tend to give the wearers ample space and try to pass them as soon as safely possible.

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    They are a bit like Chelsea Tractors…….




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