It was an interesting stage today, which saw a somewhat complacent peloton after yesterday’s constant attacks. Still, a very impressive group of 10 riders managed to get away. They quickly splintered under Hushovd’s impetus, and he managed to time trial his way to the end, beating Moncoutie and Roy, who would have given the first French victory of a stage. Still, it isn’t all bad, as Roy takes on the Polka Dot jersey as the leader in the KOM comp. Gilbert is chipping away at the lead in the Green Jersey comp, as is Rojas. They won’t make winning it easy this year. Cav is over confident enough that it will be his downfall.
The Tour de France started again yesterday. I haven’t had time to watch much cycling this year, because I simply didn’t have the time. Graduate school, teaching a full load of classes, freelance blogging just got in the way. However, I never miss the Tour de France and I was happy to see it again on my computer screen. It took a while for me to get the stage, but I kept away from news feeds and watched it late last night.
It was a wonderful start to the race. The fact that they changed the way that the Green Jersey points are given out makes all of the sprinting teams jockey for position for their lead-out trains mid-race, which is something that I’ve never seen before. Like all stages, there were some crashes, but nothing too serious. Van de Walle (OLO) took the hardest crash, but was back up and racing to help his team leader Gilbert win the stage. It’s been 86 days since Gilbert lost a race, so he’s this year’s golden boy. Even the Schleck brothers couldn’t match him up during the season.
I don’t like seeing Contador in the Tour de France. If he gets banned, he will get stripped of a lot of race wins, from last year’s Tour de France to this year’s Giro. Hopefully Andy Schleck will beat Contador cleanly so this won’t happen with this year’s race. Since Contador was involved in a crash within 8km of the end, he’s already 1:19 behind the leaders, but it’s still early going.