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Tour de France 2012: Stage 15

Significant other Twitter wars and more

By Larysa Pachulski, 7:16PM, Tue. Jul. 17, 2012

Tour de France 2012: Stage 15

Samatan to Pau for a total of 158.5 km.

Stage Highlights
A relatively flat stage, claiming to be for the sprinters, but as Bobke (Bob Roll; commentator for the Tour de France, and boyfriend of Peter Sagan) predicted, the stage went to the break away riders. Namely, Fedrigo Pierrick (France) who won the stage. It appeared in the beginning that the peloton was aware of Bobke's predictions and was trying not to let a break away form at all.

However, a break away was eventually able to form, quite late in the stage, throwing off the peloton's chase timing and leading to the inevitable break away win. Blah blah blah … the real news happened over the weekend! Here's what went down.

Tour Talk
On Friday July 13, baby Elina Cancellara was born, kind of making Cancellara's abandonment of the Tour legit. (I'm still pissed though.)

Next, officially add the word "wag" to your lexicon. The loose meaning of wag is the wife of a professional footballer (soccer player, for those who speak real English), or in this case, the wife or girlfriend of a professional cyclist.

David Millar (Scotland) called an official Wag War when Bradley Wiggins' (Britain) wife, Catherine Wiggins (@cathwiggins1981) and Christopher Froome's (Britain) girlfriend, Michelle Cound (@michellecound) began a very public … um, debate over the loyalty of domestique Froome to his team leader, Captain Wiggo. During stage 11, perhaps you will recall, that seemed to be the day that both team leaders Cadel Evans (Australia) and Wiggo seemed to lose track of their young virile domestiques. Both of the young domestiques, Tejay van Garderen (USA) and Froome, were called back by their respective team leaders when they'd "accidentally" accelerated a little too fast for the men they were supposed to be protecting.

When Froome was called back to be with his team leader, rather than gain any time for himself, apparently the sacrifice was felt more by his girlfriend than by Froome himself. She immediately tweeted, "Beyond disapointed..." then, "'Don’t think there are many other pro-riders who’s partners know more about cycling than Chris’s' precisely & I know what happened just then" and for the pièce de résistance, "If you want loyalty, get a Froome dog... a quality I value... although being taken advantage of by others!" In reference to the fact that, although Froome had the legs to ride on ahead of Wiggo, when Wiggo called Froome back for support, Froome sacrificed his own overall time. Cheeky, yes, but not much of a scandal in that. Until Mrs. Bradley Wiggins stepped up for her man! She wasn't having any of Cound's criticism, which she not so subtely hinted at in her tweet, “See Mick Rogers and Richie Porte for examples of genuine, selfless effort and true professionalism.” Naming all of Wiggo's top domestiques minus Froome. Oh snap! The ladies continued back and forth with their passive aggressive British-grade insults, much to the joy of Millar and Peta Todd (@petatodd) – Mark Cavendish's (Isle of Man) girlfriend, who used their Twitter accounts to gossip about them.

I don't know what Froome and Wiggo thought of their significant others's raw displays of emotion over Twitter on their behalfs, or of others using Twitter to comment about their significant others, but I would like to personally thank everyone involved for providing me with so much gossip to write about. Cheers, you saucy minxes!

Contrastingly, Sunday's stage 14 was so infuriating for anyone who happened to catch it. Both Wiggins and Cadel - arguably the two most important riders of Tour 2012 - had punctured tires. One for Wiggins, three for Cadel. That many punctures for one person, not to mention the 30 punctures total for the stage, was highly irregular. Lo and behold, race officials found out that someone had thrown tacks on the road at various points on the route. Since it would be impossible to target any one rider this way, it is obvious that whomever did this was doing it for fun. That "fun" almost cost the two people in competition for the yellow jersey their Tours.

Commentator Phil Liggett said that those responsible should be "very self-conscious of the situation." I think that the people who did this should be forced to ride bikes down a steep mountainside, at top speed, on wet roads, while cyclists throw tacks at their wheels.

Jersey Lineup End of Stage 15
Yellow Jersey (best overall): Bradley Wiggins (Britain) Sky
White Jersey (best young rider): Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC
Green Jersey (best sprinter): Peter Sagan (Slovakia) Liquigas
Polka Dot Jersey (King of the Mountains): Fredrik Kessiakoff (Sweden) Astana

Top 10 Finalists After Stage 15
1) Bradley Wiggins (Britain) Sky
2) Christopher Froome (Britain) Sky
3) Vincenzo Nibali (Italy) Liquigas 4) Cadel Evans (Australia) BMC
5) Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Belgium) Lotto-Belisol
6) Haimar Zubeldia (Spain) RadioShackNissanTrek
7) Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC
8) Janez Brajkovic (Slovenia) Astana
9) Pierre Rolland (France) Europcar
10) Thibaut Pinot (France) FDJ-Bigmat

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