Crash, Bang, Wallop – What a video!
Whist I haven’t been driving barefoot to Dundee scoffing Toblerone, it has been an odd weekend for me on a sporting front and it seems injuries continue to plague my sporting selections. This, coupled with a bit of punting stupidity/rashness has contributed to the mixed bag of results of late.
I will start with the Horse Racing. Last week was pretty successful however this Saturday was poor, mainly due to a lack of time spent on the research and in the future my selections will come with the standard point ratings associated with most tips. All my selections don’t carry the same amount of confidence so to ensure clarity that will be a little tweak to the selections. My first main frustration on Saturday was Delegator’s flop in the July Cup which is likely to be due to the going and he is still one to keep an eye on in the future when running on Good to Firm ground. Despite this horse losing me all the profits I made when backing him at Haydock it often pays to follow certain horses and I suspect he will bounce back. My second frustration is that two horses I confidently selected at Royal Ascot (both didn’t win) bolted up on Saturday at good prices. Brae Hill (11-1) and Green Destiny (6-1) both went unnoticed by me (despite the fact I have been trying to keep an eye out for the latters next run). A lack of time and research contributed to this; did nooo get an agenda for that sort of sloppiness.
Sandy Casar and Thomas Voeckler brought some much needed success in the TDF. Corinthians article was spot on and I was confident Casar would feature in the breakaway either Saturday or Sunday. He got a flat tyre near the finish on Saturday but obliged on Sunday and with him and Voeckler trading near the 50/1 mark at the start of the day any followers would have had an each way touch as they finished 2nd and 3rd.
Selections for the British Open will be up next week. I was thrilled to see SL’s favourite golfer shoot a stunning 62 today to win the Scottish Open. I found this a very weird tournament. Obviously the weather played havoc but the course was surprisingly easy and I’m not sure we can read lots into the links form of the competitors. Having said that a few of my pending selections performed well which shows at least they were in some sort of form. I found it funny to hear Luke Donald pre tournament say he was maybe not looking to win the tournament, but just like after the Par 3 at Augusta he will be thrilled to have won and won’t care much for superstition or doubters saying he has peaked to early. Sandwich will be much tougher and he will be now too short to back, but I’d love him to win.
Adding insult to inury
Innocuous injuries seem to be plagueing my selections. Milos Raonic was 200/1 and playing well at Wimbledon before a freak accident put his tournament to bed. I was ready to select David Toms and sad to say have backed him already to see he has withdrawn from the Open next week with a wrist injury. Chris Horner (a confident selection at 100/1) has had to retire from the Tour De France with injury too, although this is becoming very common place as I will investigate further.
This year Le Tour operators deserve a lot of credit for the route this year. It has resembled the Ardennes classics at times and has made the tour exciting and at times unpredictable. Cavendish claims it is to negate his and HTC (his team) dominance on the flat stages. To be fair it has stopped the frequent bunch finishes so reminiscent of the first week of the tour, though it hasn’t stopped the Manxman claiming two stages so far. You would think that less bunch sprints would lead to less crashes but it has been the complete opposite!
So far this year :
Wiggins (Collar Bone) , Boonen , Brajikovic (Collar Bone) , Horner (Concussion) , Vinokourov (Femur) Van Den Broeck (Collar Bone) , Zabriskie (Wrist) and Garate have all retired through injury. Of these Cyclists, five would have been in serious contention for the podium. There normally is one or two that have to retire but it is crazy this year and it is a real shame so many have had to retire from the race, let alone have to go through the rehabilitation process of getting over a serious injury. It has mainly come because the favourites are bunching at the front trying to stay out of trouble, but in turn that has caused congestion and crashes at high speeds near the front of the pack, inneviatbly ending in disaster. ”It is just bike racing” said Wiggins philosophically, however this has to be becoming a little too commonplace and hopefully the problems will be solved amongst the riders.
Whilst these casualties seem to be acceptable as a result of the nature of bike racing, what is totally inappropriate is the behaviour of some of the motor vehicles. What happened today was the worst thing I have seen from a following car. The French TV channel RTL was following the race when they tried to overtake the lead breakaway only succeeding in wiping out Hoogerland and Flecha. Hoogerland ended up wrapped around a barbed wire fence and Flecha (who was hit full on by the accelerating car) was patched up at the side of the road. Miraculously both riders finished the stage. Add this atrocity to the Sorenson crash involving a Motor Bike, the spectators and press need to realise it is not about them and the riders safety has to take priority. All these incidents have proved to me is how super tough these Cyclists are. Chris Horner finished the stage with concussion and a broken nose. He later asked what happened and couldn’t remember even getting back on the bike! This is one of the most grueling sporting events in the world. Hundreds of miles on a bike, day after day for weeks on end, with little rest, over the largest mountains in Europe. The speeds, intensity and stamina on show and required to succeed in this sport are above and beyond almost any other sporting event and I tip my cap all of them.
No cheats have been uncovered this year (I’m not sure if this is good or bad) and lots of crashes seems to have taken the attention away from Cycling’s ugly side. Despite being an enthralling TDF, I genuinely think it has the potential to be one of the best ever, though sadly some of the man protagonists won’t be there to slug it out.