Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tour de France 2009

Day 19 > Stage 17 of the Tour de France. From Bourg-Saint-Maurice to Le Grand-Bornand 169.5 km. This is the stage that tour junkies have been waiting for. This is a series mountina stage through the Alps.

Here is a picture from today's stage of how crazy it gets riding up the big hills with all the fans going nuts.

Lots of rain at the start, which helped cause more than a few crashes, and then it dried out. All the main contenders broke away on the second to last mountain climb. Inlducing Alberto Contador, Armstrong, the Schleck brothers, Kloden and Wiggins.

Contador and the Schleck boys were the ones together at the end and they put a decent amount of time on the rest of the field. Many will say that Lance, who dropped from 2nd to 4th, blew his chance at the title and even blew getting top 3. But he’s comfortably in 4th and the time trial is tomorrow so he should be able to make up time on the Schleck’s. in fact it could be a 1,2,3 for Team Astana come Sunday in Paris; Contador, Armstrong and Kloden.

Top 5 Overall

1. Alberto Contador - Astana at 67h 33' 15"
2. Andy Schleck - Saxo Bank at 02'26"
3. Frank Schleck - Saxo Bank at 03'25"
4. Lance Armstrong - Astana at 03'55"
5. Andréas Kloden - Astana at 04'44"

The Jersey’s are as follows

Yellow (overall leader) – Alberto Contador - Astana
Green (Sprinting points leader – Thor Hushovd - Cervelo Test Team
Polka Dot (King of the Mountain) – Franco Pellizotti - Liquigas
White (best young rider) – Andy Schleck - Saxo Bank

Tour Fun Fact

Feed zone and feeding rules

During the Tour, riders must continuously replenish foods and liquids. Before, during, and after stages, cyclists' eating and drinking habits are reminiscent of scenes of stokers shoveling coal into steam engines — they eat and drink that much.

Riders' nutritional needs are the responsibility of individual teams, with some exception. During every Tour road stage, there's a designated area on the course called the feed zone or feeding station. Team representatives carrying musettes, or feeding bags with sandwiches, fruit, and energy bars. They hand off supplies to riders as they advance through the feed zone. It's cycling's version of take-out food. New water bottles are also distributed to riders in the feed zone, but musettes and water bottles must be those supplied by Tour sponsors or otherwise Tour approved.

Outside the feed zone, riders in a breakaway can also receive supplies from their team managers' vehicles or a Tour-supplied motorcycle. Musettes and water bottles can be used in these feeding options, but these resupply situations and the designated feed zone must follow Tour-established regulations.

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