Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tour de France 2008

Stage 11 - 168km

Despite still being in the region of the high mountains (Lannemezan is in the Haute-Pyrénées department, and Foix is the capital of Ariège) this stage features very little serious climbing: the only serious obstacle of the day being the first category Col de Portal. Consequently, the course has breakaway written all over it and will suit strong riders who have lost enough time over the preceding two mountain stages for the contenders' teams to let them go.

This mornings news. Team Barloworld's Moises Duenas Nevado has been thrown out of the race due to a positive A-sample test for EPO. That makes it the second-such occurrence in the Tour, with fellow Spaniard Manuel Beltran (Liquigas) also having been shown the exit for the same reason.

Nevado the Cheat

A dozen or so riders broke away early from the peloton. None of the riders in the break are a threat to win the overall race so the group probably won’t waste the energy chasing them down today. Instead they will take it a bit easy (as easy as you can riding 100+ miles) and save themselves for the Alps.

Amael Moinard as made a nice break from the lead riders and put up 1:30 advantage. The lead riders have responded and with around 10 miles to go they are hunting him down.
With 5 miles to go it appears that Moinard will be caught and we will have a sprint finish.

Nice finish. 3 crossed the line around the same time. The stage win goes to Kurt-Asle Arvesen of Norway who rides for team CSC. The photo finish shows that Arvesen won by perhaps two centimetres.

Race leader Cadel Evans (Silence Lotto) finished safely in the main bunch after a largely uneventful day for the general classification contenders. He thus retained his one second lead over Frank Schleck (CSC – Saxo Bank), with Christian Vande Velde (Garmin Chipotle) remaining 38 seconds back in third overall. Evans and the rest of the peloton finished 14.51 back from the leaders.

Arvesen with the narrow victory

The Jersey statuses (no changes today)

Maillot Jaune (yellow jersey - overall leader) – Cadel Evans of Australia who rides for Silence - Lotto

Maillot Vert (green jersey - points leader for sprinting) – Oscar Freire of Spain who rides for Rabobank.

Maillot à pois (red and white polka-dot jersey - best in the mountains) - Riccardo Ricco of Italy who rides for Saunier Duval - Scott

Maillot Blanc (white jersey - best young rider - under 25) - NIBALI Vincenzo Nibali of Italy who rides for Liquigas

Today's Tour Tidbit:

Peloton - from French, literally meaning ball and related to the English word platoon. The peloton or bunch is the large main group of riders in a cycling road race


Catherine said...

Next/tomorrow word 'Echappée' or 'voiture balai' (in sport, tour de France, not in marriage!).
I'm amazed about your knowing of this race! If my father in law could comment here, you should chat for hours!

Rob said...

I started following the Tour around 6 years ago when Lance was in the middle of his winning streak.

Then 4 years ago i started cycling myself and really started following it.