Sky rides on the front in the Tour de France today from Samatan to Pau, but missing one man. It may be hard to believe now, but the team went from nine to only eight riders with the crash of Kanstantsin Siutsou shortly after the race started in Liège.

“He has sent messages to me and has wished the team all the best,” sports director, Sean Yates told Cycling Weekly. “He misses us and we’re missing him.”

On the twisty roads to Boulogne-sur-Mer in Northwest France, Siutsou crashed and fractured his left tibia. He was only one of three riders who accompanied Wiggins on his winning rides in Paris-Nice, Tour of Romandy and Critérium du Dauphiné. Losing him ahead of the first mountain stages seemed like a massive blow.

Sky has bounced back well. It took the yellow jersey with Wiggins and ruled the race over the last two weeks.

“I think, obviously, we’d love to have Kosta here. When you’re riding along and everyone’s attacking, you do sort of think that it would’ve been a luxury to have him,” Richie Porte told Cycling Weekly. “The other guys stepped into that role, like Christian [Knees] and Mick [Rogers] have just killed themselves.”

Siutsou was due to ride at the front in the flats and in the first kilometres of the climbs. Without him, as Porte said, the roles have been shifted and the pressure distributed.

The race travelled through the Alps and yesterday, entered the Pyrenees. Siutsou comes from Belorussia, but after a few days in Paris, took a flight back to his base in Villongo, Italy, to be with his wife and two children.

“It’s two to three months before he can get on the bike,” Yates said. “Most crashes, within a week, you’re back on your bike. When you’ve got to stay in bed for months… You feel damn sorry for the guy.”

Yates and Siutsou trade messages about his and the team’s progress. It’s gone well, even without Siutsou. Wiggins leads by 2-05 minutes over team-mate Froome. Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) is another 18 seconds back.

“Everyone’s improved with the fact that Bradley’s in yellow and Froome’s in second. It’s lifted the whole team, we all know what it does when you have the leader in the team,” Yates continued.

“Bernie’s [Eisel] been fantastic on the road as a captain in the flat stages. He’s a great leader. [Mark Cavendish] Cav’s been doing his bit, chipping in and riding on the front, coming back for bottles. We’ve all adjusted.”

Tour de France 2012: Latest news



Evans suffers multiple punctures after Tour tack attack



Froome not winning this year’s Tour is ‘very great sacrifice’



Frank Schleck criticises ‘boring’ Tour de France



Wiggins: Cycling’s new boss?



Wiggins still Sky’s main man as Tour heads towards Pyrenees



Millar’s Tour win comes after ‘second chance’



Froome explains his attack on La Toussuire



Nibali fails to crack Sky but pleased with Tour mountains performance



Roche ready to achieve career-long Tour top ten ambition



Wiggins: ‘I’m not some s**t rider that’s come from nowhere



Nibali hits out at Wiggins after Tour frustration



Cavendish enjoying new Tour role



Wiggins taking nothing for granted in ‘dream scenario’



Sky keeping Tour focus on Wiggins



Di Gregorio arrested by police at Tour de France


Tour de France 2012: Teams, riders, start list



Tour 2012: Who will win?



Tour de France 2012 provisional start list



Tour de France 2012 team list

Tour de France 2012: Stage reports



Stage 14: Sanchez solos to Foix victory to save Rabobank’s Tour



Stage 13: Greipel survives climb and crosswinds to win third Tour stage



Stage 12: Millar wins Tour stage nine years from his last



Stage 11: Wiggins strengthens Tour lead as Evans slips back



Stage 10: Voeckler wins and saves his Tour



Stage nine: Wiggins destroys opposition in Besancon TT



Stage eight: Pinot solos to Tour win as Wiggins fights off attacks



Stage seven: Wiggins takes yellow as Froome wins stage



Stage six: Sagan wins third Tour stage



Stage five: Greipel wins again as Cavendish fades



Stage four: Greipel wins stage after Cavendish crashes



Stage three: Sagan runs away with it in Boulogne



Stage two: Cavendish takes 21st Tour stage victory



Stage one: Sagan wins at first attempt



Prologue: Cancellara wins, Wiggins second

Tour de France 2012: Comment, analysis, blogs



Analysis: What we learned at La Planche des Belles Filles



Analysis: How much time could Wiggins gain in Tour’s time trials



CW’s Tour de France podcasts



Blog: Tour presentation – chasing dreams and autographs



Comment: Cavendish the climber

Tour de France 2012: Photo galleries



Stage 14 by Graham Watson



Stage 13 by Graham Watson



Stage 12 by Graham Watson



Stage 11 by Graham Watson



Stage 10 by Graham Watson



Stage nine by Graham Watson



Stage eight by Graham Watson



Stage seven by Graham Watson



Stage six by Graham Watson



Stage five by Graham Watson



Stage four by Graham Watson



Stage three by Graham Watson



Stage two by Andy Jones



Stage two by Graham Watson



Stage one by Graham Watson



Prologue photo gallery by Andy Jones



Prologue photo gallery by Roo Rowler



Prologue photo gallery by Graham Watson



Tour de France 2012: Team presentation



Sky and Rabobank Tour de France recce

Tour de France 2012: Live text coverage



Stage 10 live coverage



Stage nine live coverage



Stage six live coverage



Stage five live coverage



Stage four live coverage



Stage three live coverage



Cycling Weekly’s live text coverage schedule

Tour de France 2012: TV schedule

ITV4 live schedule

British Eurosport live schedule

Tour de France 2012: Related links



Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Cavendish



Brief history of the Tour de France



Tour de France 2011: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index



1989: The Greatest Tour de France ever

 

Cycling Weekly April 17 2014 issue
This article is from

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