Saturday, July 10, 2010

Stage 3: The Cobblestones Taketh...

Sylvain Chavanel loses the yellow jersey.

Stage 3: Wanze, Belgium --> Arenburg Port Du Hainaut, France, 213k/132 miles, the same distance as Los Angeles to San Diego

This was the first time cobblestones had been added to the TdF. A lot of riders didn't like them, and I can see why: they introduce an element of luck that many would have rather not had to deal with. Sylvain Chavanel (FRA, Quick-Step) had three flats on these. Although many riders had one, I don't know of any who had three--except for him. He ended up losing the three minutes he'd gained on Fabian Cancellera (SUI, Saxo Bank), who ended up reclaiming the yellow "overall leader" jersey. (Though to be fair to Fabian, he won the 2010 Paris-Roubaix race, which is all about cobblestones. So maybe he would have won it back regardless.)

Looking at the cobblestone roads, I was surprised at how out-of-the way they appeared to be. These were main roads to nowhere. I'm guessing they hadn't seen this much excitement since the days of Napoleon.

I'm so lonely...


On a more serious note, Frank Schleck (LUX, Saxo Bank) fell and broke his collarbone. So, he won't be able to support his brother Andy, who came in third overall last year.

Thor Hushovd (NOR, Cervelo TestTeam) ended up winning the stage, though Ryder Hesjedal (CAN, Garmin Transistions) rode well enough that the commentators mentioned it. I guess it's been awhile since a Canadian has ridden this well.

Yep, there are riders in all that. Yet another reason to be in front.

Lance Armstrong, dusty.

Thor Hushovd, winning stage. He's wearing the flag of Norway, as he's their national champion. You'll see the champs of other countries wearing theirs, too. The world champ, unbelievably, wears a rainbow. I'm not sure if I'd want that.

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