Shit happens in bicycle racing. But anyone who’s spent time in a competitive peloton at any level – and certainly any rider good enough to find themselves riding in a Grand Tour – knows it happens a whole lot more at the back than it ever does at the front. This is why there’s a race within every race: and why teams and riders spend so much energy getting to the front and then trying to hold their positions.
No one likes crashes, of course. But the fact is they do happen. Riders do come down. And if you’re gunning for GC at the Giro d’Italia, for example, you might just lose a shed-load of time on your rivals if you come down in the mess or simply get stuck behind the carnage. Blame no-one but yourself in such situations.
Despite all the bleating to the contrary about BMC gaining an unsportsmanlike advantage overnight, luck really has very little to do with it. As the ever-astute Evans always does when he’s in contention, he and his BMC team-mates intentionally rode towards the front of proceedings as things started heating up; a bunch made even more nervous by a perilous triumvirate of wet roads, a large bunch and plenty of street furniture.
It isn’t rocket science there may have been trouble. It happens often enough. Yet for whatever reason Movistar, Tinkoff-Saxo, Katusha, Omega Pharma Quickstep et al weren’t smart enough – or strong enough – to be ahead of the trouble with 11km to go. Chapeau to BMC, I say. They played it perfectly.
You ride at the back, you take your chances. That’s racing.