Sunday, July 26, 2009

TdF: final

Cavendish won the final stage on the Champs Élysées by a huge margin, just to have his teammate and lead-out man take 2nd on the stage.

Alberto Contador of course stayed upright and won his 2nd Tour.

Left to right: Pellizotti is "King of the Mountains", Norwegian Thor Hushovd wins the sprinter's jersey, Contador wins the overall, and Luxembourger Andy Schleck is the "Best Young Rider" (and 2nd overall).

Astana captured the "Teams competition", awarded to the team whose top 3 riders have the lowest riding time. They also won the team time trial, and Contador won 2 stages for them.

Contador on his special black and yellow bike:

Lance on his butterfly bike:

Yesterday, Armstrong said this about how he felt:
I can't complain. For an old fart coming in here and getting on the podium, not so bad.

If there was an "Old Fart" competition, it would go to Lance. He is the 2nd oldest rider to be on the Tour podium at almost 38 years of age. Poulidor, "The Eternal Second" took the record in 1976 at age 40.

It was a good day for the British as Bradley Wiggins (on the American Garmin-Slipstream team) became the highest-ever-placed Brit in the Tour (in 4th), and Cavendish (on the American Columbia-HTC team) became the first Brit to win aux Champs Élysées. 6 stage wins (plus 4 last year) is also a record for Brits, but Cavendish will most likely win more stages in future years. Good year for American teams too, I guess.

Final general classification
1 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana 85:48:35
2 Andy Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank 0:04:11
3 Lance Armstrong (USA) Astana 0:05:24
4 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Garmin - Slipstream 0:06:01
5 Fränk Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank 0:06:04
6 Andreas Klöden (Ger) Astana 0:06:42
7 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas 0:07:35
8 Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin - Slipstream 0:12:04
9 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas 0:14:16
10 Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Française des Jeux 0:14:25

To illustrate that sprinters, who may win lots of stages, are not threats in the general classification, Cavendish came in at 131st place, 3 hours 22 minutes behind.

Yauheni Hutarovich of Belarus was over 4 hours behind, in 156th and last place. Remember, 180 riders started the Tour 3 weeks ago. Finishing is an accomplishment by itself.

Japan's first Tour riders ever, Fumiyuki Beppu and Yukira Ashiro, were 112th and 129th, respectively.

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