The Tour de France or the Tour de Bore
I'm already calling it - Bradley Wiggins wins the Tour de France 2012.
and neither has his Sky team. The boys in blue and black are riding smartly at the front and each and every member of the team knows their whole reason for doing so is to protect the yellow. Cavendish, who in the past has had the luxury of having a full train to help him in Tour stages, has been reduced to jumping on trains and fighting for position with minimal help. As a result he's got only one stage win to his credit in this year's Tour. Cav's former team, HTC, never had a true Tour de France G.C. leader, so he had a full complement of teammates at his disposal. Chris Froome, who arguably could also battle for the overall win in this Tour, knows that too. Also, stage 19 is a 53 kilometer race against the clock - another opportunity for Wiggins to pad additional time to his lead.
Froome told L'Equipe that he hopes that Sky will help him win the Tour one day if the course will suit him. Yeah, I wouldn't expect that happening anytime soon Chris.
With Wiggins' victory in less than a week he only solidifies his place as leader on Team Sky. It would have to be a massive Wiggo meltdown that would allow Froome to become a leader. The best Sky can do is throw Froome a bone and send a ‘B' squad with him to the 2012 Vuelta a Espana - stay tuned to us here at Roadcycling.com to find out how this works out.
So I'm going to say this once and own it: This Tour de France has been boring. There have been some moments of excitement - a Sagan victory salute or Sanchez taking a cagy stage win. But we've only had two different yellow jersey wearers. Like I mentioned earlier, Sagan has wrapped up his competition. The climbers' jersey could still flip flop to another rider, but that's it. So what can the A.S.O. do to make this a bit more exciting?
First off - change the prologue to a road stage with time bonuses. In fact all the sprint road stages should have time bonuses. This way we still determine a leader, but the riders at the front end of that classification are within spitting distance of taking the leadership, thereby creating some kind of battle for yellow. Case in point: Cancellara killed the prologue, which effectively ruined any chance of a sprinter taking the yellow in any following stages. Cavendish was already 23 seconds back by the end of the day in Liege. If there had been some time bonuses, Cav or any of the other sprinters could have snatched it away from Fabs. This would have created a different strategy for RadioShack-Nissan as they would have had to be proactive rather than just keeping it together for the sprint and thereby keeping the yellow on Cancellara's back. The Shack would have had to have been on the attack to ensure Fabian had enough time to stay ahead of the teams with sprinters.