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Archive for Ricco

TDF – Stage 13: Another Big Sprint Opportunity

Narbonne – Nimes 182k

The riders have traversed one of the most heavily Roman occupied regions in history, evident by the massive fortifications, aqueducts and temples dotting the area. Trivia: the word “denim” comes from the name of the town Nimes. Just thought I’d toss in a bit of something different today.

As the riders travel parallel to the lovely Mediterranean Sea, one of my personal favorite locations, on another hot summer’s day, I’d like to start you off with a quote from another blogger:

“Just wanted to say, having watched the replays and highlights of yesterday, what a relief it is to only have one rider wearing yellow. I know that’s not the issue, but SDV’s yellow jerseys have been annoying me for ages. Can you ask them to sort that out, while they’re sorting out next year’s riders” Peter Gosselin

By the way – for my readers – you do know that I’m editing these entries as the races progress, don’t you? So, you’re getting live commentary as fast as I get the news and can type (barring interruptions from people like my boss, lol!). Just keep refreshing the page every few minutes!

The riders are at around 53k into the race and approaching their first climb of the day, a Cat 4 at Resclauze.

Two riders, Florent Brard (Cofidis) and Niki Terptsra (Milram) lead the peloton by 6.52 minutes; the peloton doesn’t seem very anxious to chase them down, just yet. They’re about to descend Resclauze.

What say we look to Cavendish for another spectacular sprint today?

Sebastien Lang, wearing the polka dot jersey, took the final point over the summit and the peloton is slightly over 7 mins behind. Anyone want to tell the guys out front that the peloton is happy to let them wear themselves out?

Seriously, folks, the most excitement among the Tour bloggers this morning is the celebrity look-alike “contest” – Cadel Evan’s spooky grin makes him look like Jim Carey’s Grinch; Andy Schleck looks like…well, Frank Schleck; Patani resembles Dumbo. The list is growing and rather hysterical. I’ll save you the pain, though.

By now, the riders have conquered their second Cat 4 of the day and enjoying a nice, easy descent to the flats with about 69k to go. Correction: 65k

Cavendish takes another stage!

McEwen, Feillu, Haussler follow.

Stage results
2 006 MC EWEN, Robbie AUS SIL
3 124 FEILLU, Romain FRA AGR
4 114 HAUSSLER, Heinrich GER GST
5 133 FREIRE, Oscar ESP RAB
6 081 HUSHOVD, Thor NOR C.A
7 186 DUQUE, Leonardo COL COF
8 151 ZABEL, Erik GER MRM
9 193 DEAN, Julian NZL TSL
10 162 CHAVANEL, S├ębastien FRA FDJ

GC standings
1 001 Cadel EVANS AUS SIL 54h48’47” 00”
2 017 Frank SCHLECK LUX CSC 54h48’48” 01”
3 191 Christian VANDEVELDE USA TSL 54h49’25” 38”
4 115 Bernhard KOHL AUT GST 54h49’33” 46”
5 131 Denis MENCHOV RUS RAB 54h49’44” 57”
6 011 Carlos SASTRE ESP CSC 54h50’15” 1’28”
7 041 Kim KIRCHEN LUX THR 54h50’43” 1’56”
8 104 Vladimir EFIMKIN RUS ALM 54h51’19” 2’32”
9 022 Mikel ASTARLOZA ESP EUS 54h52’38” 3’51”
10 067 Vincenzo NIBALI ITA LIQ 54h53’05” 4’18”

The Cav-man is on a roll, literally! I cannot believe he actually outpaced Robbie McEwen, the one who has been known to rocket out of nowhere. We are really seeing a changing of the guard in this Tour. woo-hoo!

I’ll be back sometime tomorrow (have a short 3-mile group run to kickoff a new training season). The boys on wheels will be back tomorrow as they head into the Alps. Two Cat 4 climbs on the second half of the route, the last being within the final 10k, should provide another shakeout in the GC and see the sprinters begin to drop off.

Have a good afternoon!

TDF – Stage 6: Kirchen captures yellow

Did you miss me? I was really busy at work, today; even had lunch with a buddy from my Austin Plone User Group who, I learned, is an avid distance cyclist and takes to the hills around here with the best of them. This is, after all, Lance’s hometown.

Neither rain, nor wind, nor heat of sun was going to stop Kim Kirchen from taking the best of Super-Besse. He may not have taken the stage, but he did take back the green, and the best prize of all, the yellow jersey for the day. What a lucky break that he didn’t go down with Schumacher on that most unfortunate fall just inside the last kilometer up to the finish!

Bravo, Valverde, for pushing up right behind Ricco to a hard finish line, with Cadel Evans at his side. While new faces are capturing the stages, the veterans are still proving they have the right stuff to keep things fresh and interesting.

Tomorrow’s stage heads toward the Pyrenees, one of my favorite segments of any Tour. Why? The pure beauty and challenge.

1. Riccardo RICCO
2. Alejandro VALVERDE
3. Cadel EVANS
4. Frank SCHLECK

GC standings
2. Cadel EVANS
4. Christian VANDEVELDE
5. David MILLAR

Question: Do you miss the in-car videos of Johan Bruyneel careening around the mountains while chatting up his riders?