Tour de France 2020

Tour notebook: Melted tubular glue and an apology

The VeloNews Tour team gets the lowdown on melting tubular glue and a Christian Prudhomme apology

Our Tour de France reporters already bring you the biggest stories and best analysis every day. But what of the notes they scrawl in the margins, those little bits of gossip and narrative that are as much a part of the Tour as Chris Froome and the color yellow, but which rarely see the light of day? You’ll find those here.

Notes from the margins

Tour says sorry
Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme hopped on the Orica-Bike Exchange bus on Saturday morning and apologized to Adam Yates for the flamme rouge inflatable arch debacle.

Mal anniversaire
Forty years ago today, Régis Ovion became the first ever rider to be ejected from the Tour de France for a doping violation.

Hot and not sticky
Wilco Kelderman rolled a tubular on the descent of the Peyresourde. But don’t go pointing at the mechanic: his LottoNL – Jumbo teammate George Bennett, who was just behind the crash and gave Kelderman his wheel, said the heat was to blame. “The glue melted,” he told VeloNews after the stage. “It was so hot I burned my hand trying to change [the wheel].”

Alberto Contador cannot let his fans down.
Despite two heavy crashes in the first week, which left him on his back foot going into the Pyrenees, Tinkoff’s Alberto Contador said he doesn’t want to disappoint his backers lining the road. “Every day I can sense the support from the fans, and that’s why I am continuing in the race,” Contador said. “There will be even bigger crowds in the Pyrenees. Thanks to that support, it helped me get through the first week. With my injuries, it’s impaired me from recovering properly after each stage. We’ll try to get through it the best I can.”

Kreuziger set free
There are no more polemics inside the Tinkoff bus. Roman Kreuziger now has his freedom to race for GC. “Already yesterday Roman had the freedom to race,” said Alberto Contador. “I knew it would be a hard day to survive. My body isn’t responding as I would have liked. I am someone who always has a lot of morale, but there is a lot of time now to the leader.”

Coming up

Sunday’s stage: Vielha Val d’Aran to Andorre Arcalis, 184.5km. This is the big one. Three category 1 climbs and a category 2 lead up to a Hors Category summit finish in Arcalis.

Weather update: Still super hot.