Well, no. Not literally. Or figuratively. But there was a bomb threat at the finish of Stage 4 that delayed the start. Then Petacchi won. He makes it look easy. And I guess if you’re the fastest guy in the world, and you have 8 other guys determined to cart you to 150m before the line with the greatest possible speed, it is probably pretty easy to win bike races. But maybe not. I guess I’ll never really know.
The profile of today’s Stage 5 asked for a bit more panache from the fast men, and the call was answered emphatically by Credit Agricole’s Thor Hushovd, who had not a single teammate (but at least one Tom Boonen) in the group of 36 riders that contested the finale. VeloNews claimed the Norweigan “surprised them all with an explosive surge” (which I guess means other sprinters announce when they’re going to move…?), while Cyclingnews claims “an over-eager Quick.Step leadout” was the primary cause. I really have no idea because, according to OLN, bass fishing makes for more gripping television than the Vuelta.
Anglophones of the Britannic persuasion can drown their no-Vuelta sorrows in their very own bicycle race, the Tour of Britan. The first stage was a bit of a dissapointment for the homeboys, as Belgian Nick Nuyens (winner of Het Volk and apparently a proud member of the Happy Hands Club) tore the race open toward the end, leaving the closest Brit a distant third. But Disco’s Roger Hammond struck back by winning out of Stage 2’s early break, flashing a set of surprisingly good teeth and taking the top spot of an all British podium.