Jean-Paul Van Poppel drops a bollock

Pauwels & Bertagnolli

Why do directors try and make bike racing more complicated than need be?  Cervelo Team director Van Poppel is sat in the car with his rider Serge Pauwels heading for a stage win and Sastre, his gen. class. man tucked nicely in the group of favourites (less the Little Prince and the Big Twat) when he suddenly has a brain storm. Call Pauwels back to “help” Sastre! Help him do what? Cruise to the finish in a fast but steady group? Surely a Tour winner can manage that on his own. No wonder Pauwels looked shocked and was very reluctant to obey orders.

When he eventually sat up he was joined by three survivors of the day’s break and rode with them to the finish where he easily took second place less than a minute behind his former companion Bertognolli. An untroubled Sastre rolled in a minute later with all his rivals for the pink jersey.

Van Poppel has suggested in his defence that Sastre asked him to call back Pauwels but so what? V.P. is the man in charge and he should have said NO.


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