Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Sports

June 29, 2013

CYCLING: Mayhem marks start of 100th Tour de France

BASTIA, Corsica — Riders at the Tour de France know to expect the unexpected. But nothing could have prepared them for the mayhem that turned Saturday’s first stage of the 100th Tour into a demolition derby on two wheels.

Seemingly for the first time at the 110-year-old race, one of the big buses that carry the teams around France when they’re not on their bikes got stuck at the finish line, literally wedged under scaffolding, unable to move. The timing couldn’t have been worse: The blockage happened as the speeding peloton was racing for home, less than 12 miles out.

Fearing the worst — a possible collision between 198 riders and the bus — race organizers took the split-second decision to shorten the race. Word went out to riders over their radios and they adapted tactics accordingly, cranking up their speed another notch to be first to the new line, now 1.8 miles closer than originally planned.

Then, somewhat miraculously, the bus for the Orica Greenedge team wriggled free. So organizers reverted to Plan A. Again over the radios, word went out to by-now confused riders and teams that the race would finish as first intended — on a long straightaway alongside the shimmering turquoise Mediterranean, where an expectant crowd waited to cheer the first stage winner of the 100th Tour.

Then, bam! Two riders collided and one of them went down, setting off a chain of spills that scythed through the pack like a bowling ball.

And this was just Day One. The bad news for riders: They’ve still got another 20 stages and1,982 more miles to survive to the finish in Paris.

Keeping his head and riding his luck amid the chaos, Marcel Kittel sprinted for the win, claiming the first yellow jersey.

“It feels like I have gold on my shoulders,” said the German rider for the Argos-Shimano team.

The 22 teams know from experience that the first days of any Tour are always tough. Everyone is nervous, full of energy and jostling for position. Adding to the stress this year is the race start in Corsica. The island’s winding and often narrow roads that snake along idyllic coastlines and over jagged mountains are superbly telegenic but a worry for race favorites — the likes of Team Sky’s Chris Froome and two-time former champion Alberto Contador — because a fall or big loss of time here could ruin their Tour before it really begins.

Froome survived Day One more or less unscathed. Contador didn’t. The Spaniard, back at the Tour after a doping ban which also cost him his 2010 victory, crossed the line grimacing in pain, his left shoulder cut and bruised. He was tangled in the crash that threw about 20 riders to the tarmac. Contador said he’ll be sore for a few days, “but I still have enough time to recover.”

Even for the Tour, which has seen more than its fair share of dramas in 99 previous editions, Saturday’s calamitous chain of events was exceptional.

“We’ve never had to change the finish line before,” said Jean-Francois Pescheux, the event director who helps pick the route each year. “There’s never been a bus stuck before.”

The blockage at the line presented organizers with two solutions: cancel the stage entirely or shorten it, he said. They took the second option.

“We announced that in French, English, and Spanish on the Tour radio so that everybody was up-to-date,” he said.

Then, “in the following three minutes, we were told that the finish line was cleared. At that point, we announced that the finish was back to the real, original finish line.”

Because of what Pescheux called “the little bout of panic and crashes” caused by this confusion, organizers subsequently decided to give everyone the same time as Kittel — 4 hours, 56 minutes, 52 seconds over the 132-mile trek from the port town of Porto Vecchio to Bastia in the north of the island.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • NASCAR: Tony Stewart riding high from sprint car victory CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Tony Stewart heads into the busiest week of his year riding high from a win in his return to sprint car racing.

    July 23, 2014

  • Bears Preview Football [GOSHEN NEWS] NFL: Bears set sights on playoffs after busy offseason CHICAGO — It was far from a quiet offseason for the Chicago Bears, and now they really hope to make some noise.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Indianapolis Colts Preview Colts looking to take next step in 2014 INDIANAPOLIS — Andrew Luck has taken Indianapolis to the playoffs twice, won a division title and orchestrated the second-greatest postseason comeback in league history.That’s no longer good enough anymore for the Colts. They’re after a championship.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pyrenees please Nibali, Rogers in Tour Stage 16 BAGNERES-DE-LUCHON, France — The Pyrenees on Tuesday lived up to their reputation for causing ups and downs at the Tour de France: A French rider climbed in the standings, an American went down, and an Australian rebounding from an ordeal of doping suspicions won Stage 16 in a downhill breakaway. Riding in his 10th Tour, three-time world champion Michael Rogers of Australia won his first Tour stage behind savvy racing, well-paced riding and the absence of his Tinkoff-Saxo Bank leader Alberto Contador. The Spaniard crashed out in Stage 10, inadvertently freeing up Rogers to go after the stage win.

    July 22, 2014

  • New ACCNew ACC settles into era of stability settles into era of stability GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) â?? Welcome to the new Atlantic Coast Conference. It's where a founding member is out, a fast-rising program is in, Notre Dame is there, too â?? sort of â?? and nobody else is leaving. Where a one-time punchline of a conference now boasts the Heisman Trophy winner, the reigning national champion and a handful of other individual award winners. And where stability finally has arrived â?? with its status as a power conference secure entering the College Football Playoff era â?? leaving its members optimistic about its future.|GREENSBORO, N.C. - Welcome to the new Atlantic Coast Conference. It's where a founding member is out, a fast-rising program is in, Notre Dame is there, too â sort of â and nobody else is leaving. Where a one-time punchline of a conference now boasts

    July 22, 2014

  • Harness Racing - Don Eash Eash, Cross local harness winners at 4-H fair GOSHEN — Carl Putnam Jr. came away as the big winner in harness racing action on Tuesday at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair, taking the top spot in the featured race of the day — the Maple City Trot.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cycling Tour de France.jpg Tour de France heads to Pyrenees in Stage 16

    CARCASSONNE, France — Vincenzo Nibali is in the yellow jersey as the Tour de France peloton set off on the longest stage, into the Pyrenees.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN0420 harness racing Harness racing a popular attraction at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair

    There is no question about the popularity of the three-day harness racing program at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair. Large crowds of knowledgeable fans are on hands for the races, something the drivers are very grateful for.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mexico Rodriguez Madrid.jpg James Rodriguez signs 6-year deal with Real Madrid

    MADRID — After scoring the most goals of any player at the World Cup, Colombia forward James Rodriguez signed a six-year deal with Real Madrid on Tuesday.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bills Dareus Football_Selm.jpg Travel delays push back Dareus' return to Bills

    PITTSFORD, N.Y.  — Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus' return to training camp has been postponed because of travel delays.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel
Poll

Last weekend (July 12) the Goshen Parks Department held its Kid’s Try-athlon to promote childhood fitness and this week (July 18) the new bicycle trail is open to the fairgrounds in Goshen, offering residents a healthy way to get to the annual agriculture exposition. Have you joined the local fitness movement?

Yes, I work at eating healthy and exercising
No, I am happy with my fitness level
Changing my diet and exercise frequency is a work in progress
     View Results