Sunday, July 4, 2010

Tour De France: Stage 1

The opening stage to the grand tours is usually one for the sprinters.  It's a flat stage that lets the riders get into their rhythm and so ease into the competition to come.  The problem with this particular stage was that it had some twists and turns inside the last 3km and that caused some problems.  Flying along in a pack of over 100 riders at 35mph, and hitting a tight right hand turn is never a good thing.  The favorite of the day Mark Cavendish went down on such a turn with 2km to go.  The second pick on the day, Tyler Farrar, got hit by another cyclist with just 300m to go, and that left Alessandro Petacchi for the win.  There was a time when Petacchi dominated the sprints but that was quite a few years back, in fact this was his first Tour stage win since 2003.  

All of the big crashes came in the final 3km and the rules state that in such cases everyone involved in those crashes gets the same time as the winner, so this meant no changes in the overall standings.  But Lance Armstrong had his second stroke of luck.  Ivan Basso, winner of the Giro d'Italia, and Alberto Contador both got caught up in crashes today, but Lance came through unscathed.  These little crashes can add up to a lot of pain and bother over a three week race.

General classification after stage 1
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Team Saxo Bank 5:19:38
2 Tony Martin (Ger) Team HTC - Columbia 0:00:10
3 David Millar (GBr) Garmin - Transitions 0:00:20
4 Lance Armstrong (USA) Team Radioshack 0:00:22
5 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Professional Cycling Team 0:00:23
6 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana 0:00:27
7 Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin - Transitions 0:00:28
8 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Team Radioshack
9 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Professional Cycling Team 0:00:32
10 Linus Gerdemann (Ger) Team Milram 0:00:35

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