These are the dog days of the Tour de France—not only is it butt-ugly hot out there, melting the tarmac and gumming up everybody’s wheels, but we’re in a post-Alpine, pre-Pyrenean part of the race that’s testing the patience of even hardcore fans. It was possible to nod off for long stretches today without missing anything, and the result was another ho-hum victory for Mark Cavendish, his 3rd of the year and 13th overall. Cavendish was helped a bit by some tough-guy tactics from his teammate Mark Renshaw, who used the business end of his helmet to move aside fellow leadout man Julian Dean near the finish line.
Race officials took a dim view of Renshaw’s move and immediately kicked him out of the Tour, although it was not entirely clear who the instigator was. That will complicate things a bit for Cavendish, who counts on Renshaw to put him in the right position to sprint for the line, but I’m not sure it qualifies as news. Who cares about the sprinters, really? They’re mostly a bunch of pretty boys who ride really fast for a couple hundred yards at a time and spend the rest of the time trying to avoid being eliminated from the Tour.
The real action that settles who’s going to win the whole kit caravanserail won’t start till the weekend, so why belabor the point? I think I’ll go enjoy the sunshine instead.