Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tour de France 2009

Stage 4 > Day 4 > 39KM Team Time Trial (TTT) in the town of Montpellier

For the TTT all 9 riders of each team ride together, at least 5 from the team have to finish. The clock stops after the 5th rider for the team crosses the line.

The TTT just looks plain cool. So if you haven’t seen one, check out the Versus reply tonight.

Today’s time trial will give Lance a very realistic chance of getting back into Yellow for the first time in 3 years. Team Astana is a very strong Time Trial team and Lance is only 40 seconds off the lead in 3rd place.

Well that turned out to be s truly exciting race. Yes really, it’s true. I know that it might not seem thrilling to watch 9 men in skin tight spandex ride bikes for 46 minutes (unless of course you are Madonna or Richard Simmons) but trust me it sure can be.

So as I said, Lance was down by 40 seconds overall and his team beat Fabian’s team (Team Saxo Bank) by 40 seconds. But alas the Tour can’t have 2 riders wearing yellow at the same time. Ties are like Kissing Your Sister. The Tour doesn’t normally record time in 100th of seconds but they did this time. So Lance is in second place by a few one-hundreds of a second. In addition to Lance, Team Astana also has riders in 3rd, 4th, 5th, 7th, 11th and 18th place. An astounding 7 of their 9 riders are in the top 20. Their other two rides are in 165th and 177th place. I wonder if those two slackers have to eat at a different table.

Complete Stage 4 Results

1. ASTANA 00:46:29
2. GARMIN - SLIPSTREAM 00:46:47 00:00:18
3. TEAM SAXO BANK 00:47:09 00:00:40
4. LIQUIGAS 00:47:27 00:00:58
5. TEAM COLUMBIA - HTC 00:47:28 00:00:59
6. TEAM KATUSHA 00:47:52 00:01:23
7. CAISSE D’EPARGNE 00:47:58 00:01:29
8. CERVELO TEST TEAM 00:48:07 00:01:37
9. AG2R-LA MONDIALE 00:48:18 00:01:48
10. EUSKALTEL - EUSKADI 00:48:39 00:02:09
11. RABOBANK 00:48:50 00:02:20
12. QUICK STEP 00:48:55 00:02:26
13. SILENCE - LOTTO 00:49:05 00:02:35
14. FRANCAISE DES JEUX 00:49:15 00:02:46
15. TEAM MILRAM 00:49:18 00:02:48
16. COFIDIS LE CREDIT EN LIGNE 00:49:28 00:02:58
17. LAMPRE - N.G.C 00:49:54 00:03:24
18. AGRITUBEL 00:50:47 00:04:17
19. BBOX BOUYGUES TELECOM 00:51:11 00:04:41
20. SKIL-SHIMANO 00:51:52 00:05:23

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 the Mountain) – Jussi Veikkanen – Francaise Des Jeux
White (best young rider) – Tony Martin - Team Columbia

Tour Fun Fact

Helmets: Mandatory, dude!

To reduce or eliminate deaths from crashes, every rider in the Tour must now wear a helmet during every stage of the race, including time trials. At their own risk, cyclists may remove their helmets during the final climb to the summit if the climb is at least 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) long. A Tour course marker designates the point on the course where cyclists can remove their helmets. Removal of helmets on mountain stages is never allowed before the start of a climb.

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