Friday, July 10, 2009

TdF, post 3

Stage 5 was another windy day in southern France, but the peloton stayed together. Thomas Voeckler was in the breakaway and won by the 7 seconds the charging field let him have. Cavendish took the bunch sprint for 3rd place for more points in the sprinters' green jersey competition.


Stage 6 started in Girona and finished in Barcelona. There was plenty of rain, but again the stage ended in a field sprint, even if it was uphill. Norwegian Thor Hushovd won.

Thor Hushovd

Stage 7 from Barcelona to Andorra was the first real mountain stage, finishing at the Arcalis ski station at 7300'. Frenchman Feillu won the stage (from yet another breakaway group), while general classification contenders mostly stayed together. Cadel Evans, twice runner-up, attacked in the last kilometers, but no one could stay with Alberto Contador when he flew out of the group. Astana teammates Lance and Levi had no reason to chase, and just stayed with the others.

Cancellara is out of the yellow jersey, as expected. Unexpectedly, Rinaldo Nocentini, a rider that got ahead in the breakaway and stayed ahead till the finish (but behind stage winner Feillu), now has the lead and the maillot jaune. This should be good for Team Astana as it will keep them from doing more work to keep the jersey. Nocentini's French team will now have to work harder. Nocentini is not a threat in the overall classification for the whole race.

The race for yellow now stands thus:
1 Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 25:44:32
2 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana 0:00:06
3 Lance Armstrong (USA) Astana 0:00:08
4 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Astana 0:00:39
5 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Garmin - Slipstream 0:00:46
6 Andreas Klöden (Ger) Astana 0:00:54

Feillu forgot to zip up his jersey to show his sponsors' logos. At least we know his legs are tan...

Contador crossing the finish line

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