There was plenty of controversy during the 2010 Tour de France and one polemic was Ag2r-La Mondiale’s John Gadret’s “moment of treachery” when team mate Nicolas Roche punctured and Gadret refused to give him his wheel, despite the Irishman being the team leader and sitting higher on GC.
Roche said afterwards that he felt like throwing Gadret through the window of the team bus adding “If John Gadret is found dead in his hotel room in the morning, I will probably be the primary suspect“. But in time the Irishman calmed down and gave all his Ag2r team mates a watch as a gift for supporting him, Gadret included.
In an interview with Vélo Magazine’s Christophe Osmont, Gadret responds to Roche’s criticisms*:
No, that day we could have lost a lot if I stopped, but I was also thinking about the team classification. If I’d waited for him, we’d have still been off the back and he would have saved what? 30, 40 seconds? I made a mistake but it happens to everyone and it’s in the past. I think that he also made a big mistake, that of speaking to the press about it. It’s bad for the image of the team, and above all for his image. I can understand he was annoyed but team mates don’t say those sorts of things.
Fair points from Gadret but it’s worth remembering he attacked. Perhaps to gain time for the team classification but I’m wondering if it was so he could become the first Ag2r rider on GC? My view is that hilst Roche did a solid ride, 15th place is something most people will forget and so it’s not worth making too much of a fuss about the incident.
Still if you’re a Roche fan and want to stick it to Gadret, Vélo also he was the first Frenchman on GC…but the “worst placed first Frenchman in history”.
* NB: my translation into English