Monday, July 6, 2009

Tour de France 2009

Day 3 - Stage 3 - 196.5km. Marseilles (It is the Tour's 33rd visit to this harbour on the Mediterranean, first appearing in the very first Tour in 1903) to La Grande-Motte.


La Grande-Motte

This should be another 'sprinters stage'. Watch for an early break away by some riders with the pelton chasing them down so each teams sprinter can have a crack at a stage win. For the teams without a strong contender for the overall race win, winning a stage is huge. It keeps their team in the spot light and keeps the sponsors happy. The other option is that the peloton just chills today and lets the breakaway have their day in the sun. If the breakaway contains none of the 'A' riders then they might just let them go and save their legs for the mountains.

Sure enough, 4 riders broke away and stayed away for a decent amount of time but they were eventually caught. The interesting thing today was that the peloton/pack broke in two in some heavy winds. A group of about 25 (including Lance Armstrong and current leader Fabian Cancellara) reeled in the 4 and finsihed about 40 seconds ahead of the main peloton. "Co-Captain" of Team Astana (Lance's team) was not in the main group. This should make for interesting dinner conversation tonight on the team bus.

At the very end Mark Cavendish once again showed why he is one of the best sprinters in the world and took his second stage win in as many days.

Tomorrow is the Team Time Trial (TTT) and with Astana being a very strong team, Lance could actually find himself in Yellow tomorrow night.

The overall Top 5

1. Fabian Cancellara Team Saxo Bank
2. Tony Martin Team Columbia - Htc, at 0:33
3. Lance Armstrong Astana at 00:40
4. Alberto Contador Astana at 00:59
5. Bradley Wiggins Garmin - Slipstream at 01:00

The Jersey’s are as follows

Yellow (overall leader) – Fabian Cancellara – Team Saxo Bank
Green (Sprinting points leader – Mark Cavendish – Team Columbia
Polka Dot (King of he Mountain) – Jussi Veikkanen – Francaise Des Jeux
White (best young rider) – Tony Martin - Team Columbia

Tour Fun Fact

What is the gruppetto?
This is the group of riders that forms at the back of the race, usually on mountain stages. They ride at a pace just fast enough to finish within the day’s time limit (a varying percentage of the stage winner’s time). The gruppetto (Italian for “a small group”) is sometimes called the autobus, the bus or the laughing group — but this is no laughing matter. Riders at the back are often sick or injured and struggling just to finish the stage

1 comment:

votetheday said...

Contador or Armstrong? Now it is up to you to decide which one of them will win this year –