Having a look again at the stage 10 incident and sticking to my initial impression that Cavendish was at fault, I nevertheless think I understand what he was attempting to achieve. Cavendish was trying to gain a bump off Veelers in order to propel him into his sprint - a type of momentum bump really skilled riders can achieve to gain increased speed. I understand this may sound fanciful, but I have seen it done successfully before. However, even if he succeeded to get the contact he was seeking, it does appear that he was running out of metres to get Kittel on the line, let alone draw to within Greipel.
Cavendish is the type of character who excels when he feels the world is against him, and if he gets the win here he'll undoubtedly feel like some justice has been served his way. In quite a similar (7th) stage in the 2011 edition of the Tour, from Le Mans to Châteauroux over the exact same distance of 218kms -- it was Cavendish who had won his second of five stages, in a year where Hushovd and his fellow countryman EBH got two stage wins each. This year, it is Kittel with two wins so far, and Cavendish and Greipel with one a piece; although if average finishing positions were compared in stages 5, 6, and 10 -- then it'd be the Gorilla whom is one place ahead of the Manx Missile. Moreover, Germany has dominated Great Britain at this Tour so far, with four stage wins to two, and the last two in a row.
Since it is highly unlikely that the Germany-Great Britain one-two finish of the ITT will be repeated again here, or even reversed, I am looking for big prices in other riders. The first which has caught my interest is Goss, who has shown some slight improvement lately. In fact, he finished better in the mountainous 9th stage than in the flat 5th stage where Cavendish won. In Saint Malo, he was riding in 6th when he was lucky to avoid the crash which occurred right in front of him. For a sprinter down on confidence, this type of close call can act in two ways: It can scare him further and he loses any regained confidence; or it can be the adrenalin shot in the arm which causes him to again find such riding thrilling. At average prices of 50/1 with the Books, he becomes an attractive bet to find out where his head is at, and whether he can finally get an individual stage win for himself in the Tour, and a third win for the Australian outfit of Orica-Greenedge.
Also, I've been holding off on pulling the trigger on the Norwegian Alexander Kristoff until he again showed that he can repeat his 2nd place finish in the opening stage in Corsica, however with three 6th place finishes confirming consistency in stages 5, 6, and 10 -- he is too good of a rider to discount at such similarly attractive odds as Goss.
Lastly, I couldn't go past Boy Van Poppel at 500/1 -- he hasn't done anything and won't likely win, but he has beaten Cavendish in the past and has an outstanding pedigree.
I think Cavendish took Veelers down deliberately after the latter had attempted to block Cav deliberately. Both moves looked to me like cycling's equivalent of football's much loathed 'professional foul'. Fortunately there was little physical harm done in this case. However, I think the decision of the commissaires not to take action will come back to haunt them. I expect to see examples of deliberate take-downs and believe we have seen two so far on this tour. It looked to me as though Cav could have taken a lead out from Steegmans but chose instead to follow another team. He rode up a dead end. In my opinion his frustration with himself and his team led to what I saw as a spiteful move on Veelers. I'm judging this from the body language with the benefit of slow motion head on and from above. In short I don't think Cav has confidence in his team and can't back him for this latest sprint stage.
I think Cavendish took Veelers down deliberately after the latter had attempted to block Cav deliberately. Both moves looked to me like cycling's equivalent of football's much loathed 'professional foul'. Fortunately there was little physical harm d
Veelers looked back and knew what he was doing, and then Cav did something of a 'Paul Davis' on him....[although I don't think he actually meant to put him down...just a fairly standard shoulder/head butt sprint move to keep him out the way...bit like McEwen & Cooke on the Champs Elysees in '03...]
expecting fireworks in the last km today. long odds plays understandable but I would expect that Lotto & Argos will be first through the corners.
might have a look at Degenkolb @ +200's. Not at the races on this terrain or in this company...but should be right up the front at the last corner.
anyway..nice to have some competitive sprints this year.
Might well see Cav abandon his own train completely from now on. OPL will surely have to strengthen over the winter with Renshaw the first signing.
we shall see...
agree red and white Veelers looked back and knew what he was doing, and then Cav did something of a 'Paul Davis' on him....[although I don't think he actually meant to put him down...just a fairly standard shoulder/head butt sprint move to keep him o
acc stage 10 I only saw Veelers moving aside having his work done, only moving a bit back to the right as there was enough space, but clearly not impeding Cav, who hten crossed his line checking him deliberately. Cav's chamge of wheel before was due to he would have been too early in the wind following his teammate.
I hope he doesn't win any more sprints in this tour, well done in play backers on the finishing straight today
acc stage 10 I only saw Veelers moving aside having his work done, only moving a bit back to the right as there was enough space, but clearly not impeding Cav, who hten crossed his line checking him deliberately. Cav's chamge of wheel before was due