I hate to say it, but there are more important things to worry about than who might or might not have been robbed of a chance to sprint for second place in Stage 2 of the 2010 Tour de France.
1. Did Andy and/or Frank Schleck break a collarbone? (No.)
2. Did Lance and The Shack lose valuable energy/skin in advance of tomorrow’s cobbled throw-down? Levi’s already crashed twice. (Maybe.)
3. Bradley Wiggins lost precious time in the Prologue and was one of the unlucky to fall today. As one of the riders expected to be at the front on the cobbles tomorrow (he finished 25th in Roubaix last year), will Wiggins bounce back? (We’ll see.)
4. How long will Sylvain Chavanel hold the yellow jersey? Chavanel’s handy on the cobblestones—could he be this year’s Rinaldo Nocentini? (I think so.)
5. Will Saxo Bank bounce back? Will Cancellara let his legs do more of the talking tomorrow? (Probably.)
And my own opinion of today’s events? I’m ambivalent. This is only Stage 2 and there is a lot of racing remaining. If today’s sprint went anything like yesterday’s, we might have lost even more of the men we were hoping to see sprinting today.
Suppose Armstrong/Contador had hit the deck and Astana/Radio Shack upped the pace to make the gap stick—wouldn’t many of us now be complaining about how unsportsmanlike it was? I know I would—hence my apprehension at criticizing anyone today.
In a sport that was quick to criticize Mark Cavendish for his actions in the Tour de Suisse, some of us might want to be careful how quickly we judge Cancellara. What might be aggressive racing to some is unsportsmanlike to the rest—it’s all relative.
The Tour will go on—by the time it hits the pavé tomorrow, we’ll all have forgotten about what happened today.