Monday, July 06, 2009

OK, about the Tour

The Tour de France started with a 15.5km (9.6-mi) individual time trial in hilly Monaco (Monte Carlo). Team Astana (Lance's team) showed their cards with 4 riders in the team placing in the top 10, namely, Lance Armstrong (10th), Levi Leipheimer (6th), Andreas Klöden (4th), and Alberto Contador (2nd). Lance has won the Tour 7 times before "retiring" for a few years, Levi was 3rd in the 2007 Tour, Klöden was 2nd in 2004, and Contador won in 2007. Cancellara won the time trial, which means he wore the maillot jaune (yellow jersey) the next day. (Cancellara also won the opening time trial in the Tour in 2004 and 2007.)


Contador, time trial champion of Spain (hence the Spanish colors)

Stage 2:
I think stage 2, the opening road stage, was a pretty normal 4-1/2-hour opening road stage, with a 4-man breakaway out in front most of the day, caught just in time for the sprinters' teams fight it out for the stage win. Cavendish won the stage by three bike lengths. He's on an American team, but is British, and won 4 stages in last year's Tour.

Cancellara in all yellow:


Stage 3 was more dramatic than expected. Certain 'workhorses' on Team Columbia-HTC didn't appreciate how the other sprinters' teams didn't want to work to reel in the day's 4-man break (there was another today), so they decided to make everyone work. With the strong winds, the team dropped all but 27 riders, who finished 40 seconds before everyone else. Cavendish again won the stage, but this time the general classification changed. Yellow jersey Cancellara was in the front group without any teammates; Lance was there with 2 teammates. Teammates Contador, Leipheimer, and Klöden, however, were not.

Cancellara retains his lead and yellow jersey. Lance is now 3rd, 40 seconds behind. Astana is on top in the teams classification.

Wednesday's stage 4 is the first team time trial in several years. Astana (Lance et al) could take the lead here (but we'll have to see).

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Daniel. This makes it more understandable to me. It's like Rob explaining the strategies of baseball which makes it much more enjoyable to watch .