Velogal's Blog

Monday, July 03, 2006

Final sprint and time bonus sprints were where the action was today in Stage 2 of Le Tour. The Golden Viking, Thor Hushovd, with bandaged arm, outsprinted and surprised Robbie McEwen for bonus points at one of the intermediate sprints - really exciting to watch. And Thor was sprinting in the final run-in, but McEwen powered on to win. Thor pulled his foot out of the pedal and lost momentum. But, Thor picked up time to regain the leader’s jersey from George Hincapie, and the tough Viking looked a little emotional on the podium.

As a result of Thor’s injury in yesterday’s finish, where Tom Boonen also got whacked by a fan’s camera, those ugly, green PMU hands are banned in the last two kilometers of a stage. The Caravane cannot hand them out, nor can fans wave them about. I think the Tour security guys will be watching the finish lines very closely for fans who hang out into the way with junk or cameras in their hands.

Thanks to my Belgian connection, here is a quote from Tom Boonen about yesterday’s stage, "I got hit in the shoulder by someone's camera, right at the spot where I fractured that collarbone last year. My shoulder went numb. Next thing I knew, there was blood everywhere. On my jersey, my shorts, my shoes, blood everywhere. I knew it was not coming from my shoulder, and I could not figure it out. It was scary. Then when I crossed the line, I saw Thor on the ground, bleeding profusely. It was not my own blood, it was his blood I had on me. Had that cardboard hand sliced a major artery, and with his heart pumping the way it was, it would have killed him."

I wanted to note yesterday that Jimmy Casper won his first stage at the Tour, and Jimmy Casper has also been the Lanterne Rouge at the Tour, not once but twice. How sweet it must have been for him to be first - he’s experienced both ends of the Tour.

Caught an OLN Craig Hummer interview of George Hincapie in front of the Discovery Team bus, where Chris Brewer was predominately in the background. Chris was looking very bodyguard-ish, kinda mean and don’t mess with me. He was gesturing “no” to people who were trying to get in the scene or cross the yellow tape. Doing a pretty good job, it looked like to me... So George is down now by something like nine seconds, which means nothing this early in the game. And I think that Johan didn’t want to use the team’s energy to defend the leader’s jersey this early in the Tour - so no problem that George loses the jersey right now....


  • I thought George's comportment while wearing the yellow jersey was really wonderful. Fantastic that he got it, but also in a way that Thor got it back, after that ugly arm-slicing yesterday.

    Really enjoying your coverage. :)

    By Blogger Lostcheerio, At 2:05 PM  

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