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Archive for mark cavendish

Tour de France 2011 Stage 8 Who’s left to challenge

Bravo to Cavendish for a repeat of a stage win where he won his first in the 2008 Tour; and what a great day for him, making his 17th stage win of his Tour career.

Stage 7 decimated the field of favorites with more crashes, the loss of Tom Boonen and Bradley Wiggins, and injuries stealing time from other potential GC contenders. Radio Shack has the worst track record for crashes, thus far, it appears.

Boonen has not had the greatest of luck at the Tour, this is his 4th time out. It’s tough enough to have not been included on the team in the past for drug problems, but injuries have plagued him, as well, in other Tours. The scene of him sitting on the side of the road after a crash that caused his knee injury is still so clear in my mind. So, we learned that, this time, he suffered a concussion. Better to have made the difficult decision to step off the bike than to try to push on. Back to Monaco he’ll go after seeing his doctors, not so bad a destination for recovery.

Bradley Wiggins (AP)

Bradley Wiggins (AP)

Bradley Wiggins was looking great and we were hoping to see him rise to the top. He’s one we’d like to see return next year and show his full potential. Here’s wishing him a speedy recovery.

Chris Horner is in a scary situation, staying overnight in hospital to make sure he has not suffered as serious a head injury as it looked in overhead shot of him lying motionless in the ditch. He had made the comment before the beginning of the stage that his mom sent him a text saying to be safe. As a mom, I can only imagine what she was feeling, seeing the broadcast.

UPDATE: Chris has a broken nose and an injury to his right leg that will keep him from continuing the race, another major loss for Team Radio Shack.

Contador rose back up in the rankings, even though he’s still 1’42” behind Hoshovd. But, in spite of what anyone thinks about his doping charges, he’s phenomenal in the mountains and he’ll need to make sure he plays his strategy right to position himself well enough to close the time gap.

Cross-winds are to cyclists like wind shear to aircraft. Sprinter Tyler Farrar lost a lost of time after the crash that took out Wiggins, and he’s now 16 mins behind the GC leader. That’s a chunk of change to make up in order to try for a place on the podium. Chris Horner is almost 13 minutes behind; while Philippe Gilbert is much better positioned, as are the Schlecks.

Who’s left to challenge the G-C for the GC we shall see. Predictions, even by Thor Hoshovd, is that he’ll be relinquishing the yellow jersey to a new bearer after the steep climb into ski country. I’m looking at the standings and seeing Cadel Evans, the Schlecks, Andreas Kloden, Philippe Gilbert and even Vinokourov. This is not a finish for sprinters, so it’s more likely those with legs for the mountains will prevail. Who will rise, who will fall…literally, the way this Tour is going!

TDF 2011 Stage 3 win for Tyler Farrar

Garmin-Cervelo dominated the finish and helped Tyler Farrar earn his first stage win of the Tour. G-C keeps the GC for another day.

The other story of the day: what happened to the Cav-man?

TDF 2009 Stage 21 The end and the beginning

Let’s celebrate the end of a good Tour. Was it predictable? Perhaps. Was it disappointing? Maybe. Nonetheless, hats off to Contador for his magnificent defense of his 2007 yellow jersey, and to Lance Armstrong for his extraordinary comeback. Congratulations to Johan Bruyneel and Team Astana for making this Tour as exciting for us as for them. The Schleck brothers are equally deserving of their dedication to each other’s successes. But, while I admire Cavendish for his sprint skills, in my book, he doesn’t hold a candle to Thor Hushovd in the class department.

Trivia Remember in the beginning of the Tour when I mentioned there are two Japanese riders in the Tour? And, so they do. Here’s a video on Yukiya Arashiro (BB-B Telecom) from July 18, and some shots taken around Fumiyuki Beppu (Skil-Shimano). Both ride into Paris today making history as the first from their country to actually finish.

So, today we say au revoir as the Tour ends, then look forward to 2010 with another return, the next time with his new Team Radio Shack, his loyal director Johan Bruyneel, and his new resolve without the distractions of dealing with an upstart competitor. We’ll have to wait a year to see if Lance can make another record win with a third American team.

Notes of a consummate tourist Last night, my sister and I were talking about Paris, as she has been there most recently than I and said that the city was in preparation for this final stage when she left. Some day, I would love to be on the Champs-Elysee to watch the final stage, as once I was in Grenoble to witness the Tour for my first time back in the heyday of Eddie Merckx.

TDF 2009 Stage 19 Wasn’t that special (not)

No change in the GC standings, and Lance remarks again about his new forthcoming pro cycling Team Radio Shack.

The news of the day, though, is Cavendish streaking ahead of Hushovd at the finish line, as if to stick it to him that HE’s the faster sprinter. Well, Cav, who’s still wearing green, while your green is only envy?! If you hadn’t been such a buttface to Thor, perhaps things would have turned out differently for you. Meanwhile, grow up!

TDF 2009 Stage 17 What a difference a day makes

I really miss being able to report up to the minute on the Tour and having to come in with hindsight.

Has Armstrong ever been 3 minutes behind the lead in a Tour? I can’t find the stats, but I think he has and made up the time. This year is another story. However, he did say he’ll be back in 2010, and THAT will be another story. If Lance does join another American-based team, will Bruyneel follow or stay with Astana and Contador? Frankly, can Contador win without Bruyneel?

It sounds like Cavendish was behaving rudely and rather childishly toward Hushovd, and Thor proved he deserves to be wearing the green. Well wishes to Jens Voight for a speedy recovery from his nasty crash. Poor Denis Menchov just can’t stay on his bike. What a day!

Tomorrow will be the individual time trials, an opportunity for Lance to demonstrate his legendary skill. Let’s wish them dry roads (remember Jan Ulrich’s horrible crash into the barriers?).

1- Contador
2-3 The Schlecks
4 – Armstrong

Looks weird, doesn’t it!

TDF 2009 stage 15 moving mountains

In the aftermath of a stage riddled by disappointment and tragedy, the mighty Alps loom ahead where all standings can change dramatically.

Hincapie will probably not have the legs to vindicate himself today, and there will be some bad blood in the field about yesterday’s unsportsmanlike maneuvering by Garmin.

Cav has no chance of retrieving the green jersey after being dropped to last place, part of his fine for blocking Hoshovd at the finish.

Contador and Armstrong will have to battle it out on the mountain for the yellow, and the commentators are fully expecting younger legs to take the top of the mountain.

Then, there’s Carlo Sastre.

Let the battle begin!

Boy, I need to double check what I wrote before hitting “update!”

So, if it was according to Bruyneel’s plan (that he would not divulge), then the plan was executed beautifully. Contador reclaims the maillot jaune, Armstrong and Team Astana performed superbly. Way to go!

Now, let’s play the hindsight game: did Contador accelerate as if to say, “hey, old man, catch me if you can!” Did Armstrong give Alberto one of his looks as if to say, “hey, go – now!” Did Team Astana form a little pack to crush Garmin as vindication for their pal, Hincapie? In the end, it’s all a race. We’ll see who the rock star (aka king of the Alps) will be next week.

TDF – Saunier Made Paul Sherwin Mad

All the chatter today has been about Ricco’s arrest for EPO and Saunier Duval abandoning the race. Paul Sherwin said he was not only disappointed, he was mad about all this news. Well, there are casualties in every war, and this is a war in the cycling world.

Well, let’s give you some positive thoughts to close your evening with:

Mark Cavendish is the first Briton to win 3 stages in the same Tour. Go, Mark (he’s not tired enough, yet)! Go, Columbia!

Jersey standings:
yellow 1 EVANS Cadel SILENCE – LOTTO 50h 23′ 05″
green 133 FREIRE Oscar RABOBANK 162 pts
red 117 LANG Sebastian GEROLSTEINER 58 pts
white 67 NIBALI Vincenzo LIQUIGAS 50h 27′ 23″
team TEAM CSC 151h 01′ 25″