At long last, a stage with no Carnage Report. Maybe we’re done with those nervous crashes...The run-in to the Finish Line in Vitre was a worry because of the treacherous, narrow course, but the Tour poobahs changed it for safety reasons. So the Lampre and Davitamon teams hauled arse the final kilometers, trying to position their sprinters. I think that Cedric Vasseur has had more daily close-up TV time than anyone else in the peloton - he’s always working so hard. The grimace on his face is a testimony to the long, hard work that the domestiques do up front for their sprinters. It’s not just at lead-out time, either.
Brard, Geslin and Backstadt were so determined in the break-away. Brard, the French Champion, wasn’t willing to sit-up and let the peloton sweep by - he suffered to the last minute, trying to make it to the finish, but was caught at 4k.
Today, Steegmans was a hero in his lead-out for McEwen (yesterday, he was not). It was a perfect lead-out, and Geert sat up grinning, with his arm in the air before Robbie even crossed the line. He knew he’d done his job for the McEwen’s third stage win. Very cool... Needless, to say, Robbie was elated and gave Steegmans the biggest hug after the finish.
The look on Boonen’s face as he gave it his all, realizing he was in the wrong spot, was just terrible. He pounded his handlebars in frustration, after he’d bumped shoulders with Jimmy Casper and got boxed in by Jimmy. Tom came in third, and Phil Liggett wondered if Tom has lost his fast-twitch fibers. The huge Lampre driving effort resulted in a second by Bennati, and they were pleased.
Great, exciting finish today, and tomorrow will be the day to watch. I wanted to shoot a local crit tomorrow, but I gotta watch the TT live! Maybe I’ll try to do both and catch the last of the local race. I am already hating that I will miss watching next Tuesday through Friday while I’m in Utah. I’m sure the cheap-o Days Inn where they booked me doesn’t have OLN. It does have wi-fi, so I can catch it on the Internet. I’m not sure how early we’ll take off in the mornings, so may or may not have time to post to this blog until evening. Aargh.. I hate to miss the Tour live.
BTW - I finally did a podcast yesterday, with tons of "uhs" and "you knows" in it - I hate when I do that
Oh yes - check out the new icon at the top of my menu on the right. Road ID is a very cool and smart idea from a couple of cyclists. There is no way that any of us should be out on the road or trails without some personal identification on us. Cycling, running , walking, hiking, skating - whatever we do, we could be the next accident that happens. Quickly accessible personal identification could save our life or the life of somebody you love. I saw this and signed up immediately as an Affiliate, mostly to get the word out. Yeah, I make a teeny amount on each sale, but I support this idea 100%.