Nicolas Roche, Chain Recovery Step 1 - Cycling.tv
Cycling.tv is still a long way from an easy-to-view service but a little persistence has paid off this week with some great race coverage from McCrossan and Backstedt.
Excitement. Stage 3 saw an incredible attack by the whole Rabobank team with 45km to go that shredded an inattentive peloton as it hit a stretch of road open to the wind. Within minutes the race was strung out and in survival mode as Rabobank doled out unrelenting destruction from the front. An alert Sylvain Chavanel used the orange and blue assault to launch his late surge that got him the stage and the yellow jersey from an isolated Contador.
Stage 4 was equally compelling. First there was an amazing bit of bike skill by Nicolas Roche. After dropping his chain on the penultimate climb he calmly hopped his rear wheel to make sure the chain wasn't wrapped on the cassette then still moving uphill he reached down and put the chain back on the front ring. As Backstedt and McCrossan cautioned "don't try this at home" Roche made it look dead simple and kept all his fingers. I'd have been at the side of the road cursing.
Nicolas Roche, Chain Recovery Step 2 - Cycling.tv
If you've been following the race you know on the approach to the last climb Christian Vande Velde dropped the hammer and just powered away. No one in the break stood a chance of staying with him and he seemed to be grinning as he did it. Meanwhile back in the chasing peloton Contador decided he could take some time back on Chavanel on the climb, so he got out the saddle and showed that ridiculous uphill acceleration he's famous for. Fantastic stuff.