Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Tour De France: Stage 4

Well this was suppose to be a simple, straightforward sprinters stage, and it was.  With Tyler Farrar riding with a broken wrist, this of course meant the roads were wide open for Mark Cavendish.  Last year Cavendish completely dominated the Tour, easily winning every sprint he had a shot at.  In fact he was the most dominant rider in the world last year, but this year has been a bit of a struggle for him.  He was slow to get his form back and has really not shown his true speed yet this season.  In stage one he didn't have a shot at the sprint because he was held up by a crash.  He never expected to fight for the win in the hilly stage two or the cobble infested stage three, so everyone knew he would be the man to beat today.  Well he was beaten, and beaten badly I might add by a 36 year old Alessandro Petacchi.  Seven years ago Petacchi came to the Tour and completely dominated, just as Cavendish did last year, but that was seven years ago, and Petacchi today is no longer the fastest man in the world.  In fact he hasn't been that for some time.  But today he was and this gives him his second stage win of the Tour. 

Now suddenly the green jersey competition looks like it is going to be between Petacchi and Thor Hushovd and this has people interested.  I'll be honest I can't stand Mark Cavendish.  Like most great sprinters he has a huge ego, and to me he comes across as a complete jerk.  He's very young and after last year I was dreading having to watch him dominate year after year.  It's been nice to see him get knocked down a peg.

Of course there was no change in the overall.  All the GC contenders stuck near the front all day to stay out of trouble.  Look for the same tomorrow.

General classification after stage 4
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Team Saxo Bank 18:28:55  
2 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Professional Cycling Team 0:00:23  
3 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:00:39  
4 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin - Transitions 0:00:46  
5 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quick Step 0:01:01  
6 Andy Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank 0:01:09  
7 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Cervelo Test Team 0:01:19  
8 Alexander Vinokourov (Kaz) Astana 0:01:31  
9 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana 0:01:40  
10 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 0:01:42  

Points classification
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Cervelo Test Team 80  pts
2 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini 70  
3 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Team Katusha 62  
4 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Professional Cycling Team 56  
5 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 49  

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