Astana sports director Johan Bruyneel has slated Garmin-Slipstream for driving at the ront of the peloton in the final kilometres of stage 14 in to Besançon.

Bruyneel argued that Garmin-Slipstream’s strategy effectively prevented George Hincapie (Columbia-HTC), present in the break of the day, from taking the leader’s yellow jersey.



The Belgian alleged that Garmin-Slipstream’s reason for chasing so hard could be because they were not interested in another US team taking the yellow jersey.



“I don’t understand why Garmin were working so hard, it seemed like they weren’t happy that another American team should have the race lead,” Bruyneel said.



“This episode could have longer-term sequels. Racing against another team like that is not good, not something that should happen in the Tour.”



Hincapie was a key part of the US Postal and Discovery Channel line-ups that helped Lance Armstrong win seven Tours in a row, and Bruyneel admitted that he would have liked the veteran American to have taken yellow.



“If he or [Christophe] Mevel had taken yellow that would have been another team to control the race tomorrow. Rinaldo Nocentini [Ag2R] remaining in yellow is not great for us. But that’s cycling.”



Asked who he thought would be in yellow on Sunday night, Bruyneel was less forthcoming, saying simply “I’ve no idea, none at all.”



Lance Armstrong was equally forthright in his Twitter feed about Garmin, saying; “No one, and I mean no one, wanted George in yellow more than me.”

TOUR DE FRANCE 2009 LINKS

Tour de France 2009 – the hub: Index to reports, photos, previews and more.

STAGE REPORTS



Stage 13: Haussler braves rain for victory in Colmar



Stage 12: Sorensen wins in Vittel as Cavendish goes for green



Stage 11: Cavendish takes fourth win to equal Hoban’s record



Stage 10: Cavendish spoils Bastille Day party to take third stage win



Stage nine: Third French win as contenders content with ceasefire


stage eight: Sanchez wins from break as Tour favourites cancel each other out




Stage seven: Feillu wins at Arcalis, Nocentini takes yellow, Contador leap-frogs Lance



Stage six: Millar’s brave bid denied on Barcelona hill as Hushovd triumphs



Stage five: Voeckler survives chase to win his first Tour stage



Stage four: Astana on top but Armstrong misses yellow by hundredths of a second



Live Tour de France stage four TTT coverage



Stage three: Cavendish wins second stage as Armstrong distances Contador



Stage two: Cavendish takes first sprint



Stage one: Cancellara wins opening time trial

LATEST TOUR NEWS




Tour de France 2009 News Index>>




Cavendish reveals he is going for green



Tour comment: The suspense is killing us



Analysis: Why Cavendish is one of the modern greats



Radio ban over-turned for Friday’s Tour stage



Arvesen out of Tour with fractured collarbone



Tour analysis: Why the go slow did cycling no favours on Bastille Day



Cavendish’s odd stage 10 finish celebration explained



No radios today, but experiment could be a one-off



Tour audio: Mark Cavendish after stage 10



Contador brushes aside talk of Armstrong conflict



Cavendish odds-on favourite for Bastille Day victory



The Tour de France Comment: Monday, July 13



How the favourites are doing (first rest day)



Wiggins stays with leaders at Tour



Armstrong: ‘If Contador wins, I’ll be second’



Wiggins ‘on cloud nine’ at Tour de France



Armstrong says Contador attack wasn’t in the plan


Cavendish survives the first Tour mountain stage with ease



Wiggins, the Tour de France overall contender, has arrived

EXCLUSIVE VIDEOS



Garmin-Slipstream’s HQ before the Tour



David Zabriskie’s time trial bike



Mark Cavendish on the Tour’s team time trial



David Brailsford interview



Mark Cavendish on the Tour



Jonathan Vaughters on Bradley Wiggins’ chances

TOUR DE FRANCE 2009 PHOTOS



Stage 12 photo gallery by Graham Watson



Stage 11 photo gallery by Graham Watson



Stage 10 photo gallery by Graham Watson



Stage nine photo gallery by Graham Watson



Stage eight photo gallery by Graham Watson



Stage seven photo gallery by Graham Watson



Stage six photo gallery by Graham Watson



Stage five photo gallery by Graham Watson



Stage four TTT photo gallery by Graham Watson



Stage three photo gallery by Graham Watson



Stage two photo gallery by Graham Watson



Stage one photo gallery by Andy Jones



Stage one photo gallery by Graham Watson



Team presentation by Andy Jones



Team presentation by Graham Watson

TOUR GUIDE

Tour de France 2009 – the hub

Tour de France 2009: Who’s riding

Tour de France 2009: Team guide

About the Tour de France

FEATURES

Tour de France 2009: Who will win?

Tour de France 2009 on TV: Eurosport and ITV4 schedules

Big names missing from 2009 Tour de France

Tour de France anti-doping measures explained

Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Cavendish

Cycling Weekly’s rider profiles

TWITTER



Follow the Tour on Cycling Weekly’s Twitter feed

  • Gary Brown

    The comments by Bruyneel and Armstrong sound like those of big spoilt babies who can’t get their own way or is their way of off-loading their own guilt about their own tactics in yesterday’s stage. I’m pretty sure that Astana were pushing the pace along at times, which the commentator’s on ITV attributed to a need to prevent too big a break. Apparently, a few years ago, during one of Armstrong’s victorious Tours, a break of 35 mins occurred, which caused big problems for Armstrong. Hincapie is a strong rider. What if he had taken a five minute lead and the yellow jersey. The Columbia team are strong and could possibly have defended it all the way to Paris. Hincapie may be a friend of both Bruyneel and Armstrong but in the TDF everyone is a potential enemy and there can be no room for sentiment.

  • Nigel

    Mind games from Bruyneel unless his well-documented tactical nous has deserted him or he’s giving in to sentimentality. I suspect that while it might have suited him to have Columbia defending the jersey, fomenting discontent between Columbia and a team with two well-placed GC riders is more to the point here. Even with participating in the chase, Garmin’s GC riders dropped places. Being leap-frogged by Level is hardly worrisome but having someone of Hincapie’s class ahead of you on GC is a different matter. He’s shown he can climb in the past, he can TT and he has good form. Who in their right mind would sit by and let their GC riders lose time unnecessarily. Even Astana worked earlier so George didn’t get too much time.. I feel a bit sorry for George but I’ll feel sorrier for Brad if George ends up finishing ahead of him on GC…

  • GR

    Garmin … what scumbags !! How could you deny a man who has contributed so much to the sport the yellow jersey.