July 07, 2019 0 Comments
For this year's Tour de France we've teamed up with The Velocast to share with you their nominated Conquistador of the Day. During their daily stage review podcast, Scott and John will announce the rider who they feel deserves a special mention for their efforts that day.
By no means an easy task during a Team Time Trial, Mr John Galloway explains how he got to his selection today:
"My Conquistador of the Day is Simon Yates, who got dropped like a stone early in the stage! Mitchelton-Scott have got a really strong two-headed attack with the Yates brothers. They are both capable of winning a Grand Tour given the correct circumstance. Adam of course still has to drive that home and get the job done, but Simon has already done it, so it would have been very easy for them to just sit on their laurels and keep those two guys there and ready.
Just before Yates got dropped we got some of the rather wonderful Bradley Wiggins on a moto bike that Eurosport have given us this year and he said they are going really well, the brothers are driving through well and Michelton-Scott look really strong. And then suddenly Yates is off the back. But he's not off the back in a: "I've popped and I've blown-up" kind of way. He's off the back in a: "Right, I'm not gonna go to the absolute limit as will be required in this team time trial, I'm gonna keep my head down, sit at ten beats below threshold, and just get home in a reasonable time, but save some energy.
He's said during the days running up to this tour and when it's started that he more or less expects to lose time hand over fist. He wants to be there with his brother, to support is his brother in that difficult final week. We talked yesterday about Greg Van Avermaet and his clever plan to go out and get the polka dot jersey. What we saw from Simon Yates today was a conscious effort to try and save energy and I expect to see this on stages where he doesn't think he has a hope. As this race progresses he's trying to keep as much in his legs as he possibly can to help his brother in that final week. So the reason he's my Conquistador of the day is he has a long term plan, and he's executing it. He didn't look like he'd blown and he's in control, he's just saving his legs.
John does go on to devote a secondary award for the day to Dan Lloyd for his time trial commentary, but you should head over to the podcast to listen to the gory details of the man-love expressed for the former pro and the level of insight Dan provided, which had John salivating.
STAGE SUMMARY FROM ASO
Photo credits: A.S.O./Alex BROADWAY
Team Ineos in the lead from the beginning
22 teams of 8 riders each took part in stage 2, a 27.6km long team time trial in and around Brussels, from the Royal Palace to the Atomium. Last in the team's classification after stage 1, Team Ineos got the ball rolling and set a reference time of 13’59’’ at Bois de la Cambre (km 13.2), 21’11’’ at Schaerbeek (km 20.1) and 29’18’’ on the finishing line at an average speed of 56.5km/h. Even though David Gaudu slipped in the last curve, Thibaut Pinot’s Groupama-FDJ bettered Astana by nine seconds on the finishing line as Jakob Fuglsang didn’t suffer much after his spectacular crash the day before. The time of Katusha-Alpecin at the first checkpoint came as a shock as Alex Dowsett dragged his team-mates to a faster time than Ineos (by 3’’). It was confirmed by the second one (by 2’’). But six seconds were missing on the finishing line for the Swiss-registered squad to beat the British outfit.
Last on the road, first at the end
Ineos was still leading after half of the teams completed the course. Sunweb equalled Katusha-Alpecin’s time 6’’ adrift. Deceuninck-Quick Step was close to dethroning the leaders but their fourth man wasn’t able to hold onto Julian Alaphilippe’s slipstream at the end. Eight-tenths of a second was missing for the Belgian squad. However, as soon as Jumbo-Visma hit the road, they were clearly one class above all other stage contenders. They were ahead at all time checks and clocked a faster time than Ineos by twenty seconds. It’s the first time since 2001 (Stuart O’Grady’s Crédit Agricole) that a yellow jersey holder wins the team time trial. Teunissen is the first Dutchman to wear the yellow jersey for two days in a row since Teun van Vliet in 1988. Panasonic was the last Dutch team to win the team time trial at the Tour de France.
Conquistadors of the Day - Tour de France 2019
Stage 1 - Greg Van Avermaet (CCC Team)
Stage 2 - Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott)
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