Whilst the Stockeu crashes, the medical bulletin and tensions in the bunch over Saxo’s shutdown rages, let’s not forget Sylvain Chavanel.
He factured his skull in Liege-Bastogne-Liege but on the same roads yesterday he was the first to attack. He initially rode alone, building up a lead as a wild chase finally allowed a few other riders to get away. Chavanel was then joined by a selection of proven winners, almost every rider with him had bagged at least a semi-classic during their career. Then slowly he rode them off his wheel, one by one.
Now you might say he could have been caught by a chasing bunch and I’d give you that. But he never crashed and in keeping up the road, he didn’t have to worry about the bunch, its dangers and politics.
So here’s a salute to Chavanel. Note the razzia has massive rewards. As well as the stage, he’s in green and yellow, plus team mate Jerome Pineau took the mountains jersey. The two French riders have saved Lefevre’s bacon.