Criterium du Dauphine 2013, Stage 2: Analysis

Yesterday’s second stage of the Criterium du Dauphine ended in an exciting sprint, which was won by Elia Viviani of Canondale.

After what was in some ways a frustrating Giro for the Italian, frustration caused by the immovable object always ahead of him, otherwise known as Mark Cavendish, the plucky Italian stole the show and comfortably crossed the line first. Three weeks of riding through the snow, sleet and rain has done nothing to take the spark from his legs.

Once again, the stage saw teams such as Cofidis get some valuable air time. Molard performed well for the cameras as too, did Taaramae in the closing kilometres. It’s always good to see riders with acceptably and appropriately colour co-ordinated kids out on the front.

It is well known that the Movistar kit is my personal favourite, but I do agree with a tweet from Tim Renowden commenting on the Cofidis kit as standing out from the droll, whilst not offending our delicate eyes a-la Lampre and Fantini.

To be truthful though, I do kind of the like the hot pink of Lampre, but then again, I’m a child of the 80s and hot pink was a very important colour in the time of the New Romantics.

Argos-Shimano on the other hand is just too much white. I’m assuming they have a major sponsorship deal with Napisan, or other such textile cleaning product. Thankfully, Damuseau was in the polka dot jersey yesterday, breaking up the blinding white of the team kit.

Changing topic and getting back to the racing, what do Orica Greenedge and British singer Maya Arulpragasam have in common?

Yep, they’re both MIA.

In defense of the Australian outfit, Wes Sulzberger, did finish a credible tenth, so maybe hiding from the cameras all day isn’t such a bad thing. Obviously, Greenedge do not see the value in getting their riders out front for some camera time, after all, they probably know that we Aussie fans are going to sit up to watch them anyway. Still, it would be nice to see our team in a break or at least looking like they were trying to win something.

This one is to the tune of Andy Williams’s 1950s classic, Music to Watch Girls By; ‘Contador is watching Froome, watching Contador, watching the scenery go by’. That’s pretty much what the big guns of the GC have been doing so far. I suspect Contador and Froome have been enjoying riding in the sunshine, pretty much for the first time this year, and taking in the beautiful scenery, while they’re at it.

I suspect the wily Spaniard, is quite happy to spend the next day or so, or perhaps even the next week or so, getting up close and personal and sussing out his main Tour rival. Hopefully though, he will dance on those pedals at some point and ask the Kenyan born Brit to catch him if he can. That’s something I think we’d all love to see.

Tonight’s stage looks like being another one for the sprinters, so perhaps we have to wait a little longer to see some action from the GC contenders. The finish should be fast and chaotic and thankfully organisers of the Dauphne have an affinity with Aussie cycling fans, so we should, once again be tucked up in our beds at a very civilized hour.

Published on The Roar 4th June 2013

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