Stage Three was killer heat - they said the reflected temp was 122 degrees Fahrenheit - there were lots of flats. I remember being there in that kind of heat and my Nikes were sticking to the asphalt. It’s brutal, totally brutal. And so was the luck of Freddie Rodriguez, Erik Dekker and Alejandro Valverde - all victims of what seemed to be careless, slow crashes. All out of the Tour de France and to the hospital with likely broken collarbones. Freddie and Erik were riding slowly in the back of the peloton, near the curb, and down they went. Alejandro was in the closely-packed middle of the bunch - a dangerous place for a potential Tour winner to be. Almost certainly. it was the touch of wheels that brought him down and out for good.
And how about Tom Boonen taking fourth in the final sprint and claiming the GC lead with a flat tire? He’d had a slow leak since the Cauberg. Is this a Tour first - getting into the Yellow Jersey and onto the Podium with a flat tire?
T-Mobile will be happy with Kessler and Rogers taking a first and second in the stage - Now Rogers is back 0.01, Hincapie back 0.05 and Hushovd back 0.07 in the GC.
One of my favorite things to do is catch the headlines of American newspapers during the Tour. Many of the “sportswriters” don’t have a clue about cycling - some are soo dumb and funny. Here’s an example from the Seattle Times, American Hincapie Loses His Yellow Shirt. An Allentown paper zinged this headline about Floyd, From Farm to Fame...not bad, not bad.
And I listen, when I drive, to San Francisco’s KGO Radio, and I notice they give Tour headlines in their Sports Headlines report. Now, I’m usually in France during July, so maybe they’ve done this all along for the past five years, but I remember when any kind of cycling news would never show up in radio or TV sports shows. Yep, I think America loves cycling with or without Lance... No problem, we'll be watching and volunteering for cycling in America.