Tag Archive: Le Tour 2013

Jul 21 2013

Le Tour 2013: Stage 21

The 100th Edition of Le Tour de France comes to a close today under the lights for the first time ever on the Champs-Élysées.  By tradition there will be no actual racing except for a 10 lap sprint from the Place de Etoile to the Place de la Concorde.  This could in fact change a few results which I’ll list first below, but for the most part we are already done.

You may ask yourself, well, how did we get here?

Chris Froome, the Maillot Jaune, has continuously worn it since Stage 8, Castres / Ax 3 Domaines, first day in the Pyrenees featuring a Beyond Category and Category 1 climb, when his kick in the final 5 km put him :51 ahead of his team mate Richie Port and about a minute and a half ahead of everyone else.

This lead was cemented the very next day on Stage 9, Saint-Girons / Bagnères-de-Bigorre featuring 4 Category 1 climbs, when Froome overcame the absence of Porte and finished even with every other major contender, 1:25 in front of his closest rival, Alejandro Valverde.

It was as close as things got.

The standout from this year’s Tour has to be Nairo Alexander Quitana Rojas who not only won the Young Rider competition (eh), but also King of the Mountains(!) and finished 2nd in the General Classification.  Pretty damn impressive.

Your penultimate standings in the order of Classifications that may see any change at all-

The overall Points title goes to Peter Sagan walking away 100 points clear of his nearest rival, Mark Cavendish.  Where you might see some movement is in the 5th and 6th slots were Alexander Kristoff and José Joaquin Rojas are separated by a single point.

Points

Rank Name Team Points
1 SAGAN Peter CANNONDALE 383
2 CAVENDISH Mark OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP 282
3 GREIPEL André LOTTO-BELISOL 232
4 KITTEL Marcel TEAM ARGOS-SHIMANO 177
5 KRISTOFF Alexander KATUSHA TEAM 157
6 ROJAS José Joaquin MOVISTAR TEAM 156
7 FLECHA GIANNONI Juan Antonio VACANSOLEIL-DCM 143
8 KWIATKOWSKI Michal OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP 110
9 FROOME Christopher SKY PROCYCLING 107
10 RIBLON Christophe AG2R LA MONDIALE 104

Team time is determined by the top 3 riders to finish so it’s barely possible there may be a swap between AG2R in 2nd and Radioshack in 3rd.

Team

Rank Team Time
1 TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF 241h 52′ 05”
2 AG2R LA MONDIALE + 08′ 30”
3 RADIOSHACK LEOPARD + 08′ 52”
4 MOVISTAR TEAM + 22′ 45”
5 BELKIN PRO CYCLING + 38′ 26”

I suppose Andrew Talansky could fall off his bike but 1:20 is much larger than it looks.

Young Rider

Rank Name Team Time
1 QUINTANA ROJAS Nairo Alexander MOVISTAR TEAM 80h 54′ 36”
2 TALANSKY Andrew GARMIN – SHARP + 13′ 19”
3 KWIATKOWSKI Michal OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP + 14′ 39”
4 BARDET Romain AG2R LA MONDIALE + 22′ 22”

King of the Mountains is done.

King of the Moutains

Rank Name Team Points
1 QUINTANA ROJAS Nairo Alexander MOVISTAR TEAM 147
2 FROOME Christopher SKY PROCYCLING 136
3 ROLLAND Pierre TEAM EUROPCAR 119
4 RODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquin KATUSHA TEAM 99
5 RIBLON Christophe AG2R LA MONDIALE 98
6 NIEVE ITURRALDE Mikel EUSKALTEL – EUSKADI 98

C’mon, you’ve got to be kidding me.  Any actual change would be a huge scandal of bad sportsmanship, even if someone did fall off their bike.

General Classification

Rank Name Team Time
1 FROOME Christopher SKY PROCYCLING 80h 49′ 33”
2 QUINTANA ROJAS Nairo Alexander MOVISTAR TEAM + 05′ 03”
3 RODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquin KATUSHA TEAM + 05′ 47”
4 CONTADOR Alberto TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF + 07′ 10”
5 KREUZIGER Roman TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF + 08′ 10”
6 MOLLEMA Bauke BELKIN PRO CYCLING + 12′ 25”
7 FUGLSANG Jakob ASTANA PRO TEAM + 13′ 00”

Hope you enjoy the stately parade.

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Jul 20 2013

Le Tour 2013: Stage 20

Well it’s pretty much over except deciding the places between 2nd and 5th.  Chris Froome would have to fall off his bicycle for anyone else to have a chance.

Not even a greasy day yesterday ending in a fairly heavy steady rain made anyone take a flyer on forcing Froome to act as both he and Contador (and everyone else at the top of the General Classification) simply played it safe and let the next to last day of racing tick by without many changes.

Particularly galling, at least to Pierre Rolland, is that he still is a point behind in the King of the Mountains.  If the leaders duke it out on the final climb today up the Beyond Category Annecy – Semnoz to the summit finish, it’s highly likely that Chris Froome will be the only Yellow/Polka Dot dual winner since 1970.

General Classification

Rank Name Team Time
1 FROOME Christopher SKY PROCYCLING 77h 10′ 00”
2 CONTADOR Alberto TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF + 05′ 11”
3 QUINTANA ROJAS Nairo Alexander MOVISTAR TEAM + 05′ 32”
4 KREUZIGER Roman TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF + 05′ 44”
5 RODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquin KATUSHA TEAM + 05′ 58”
6 MOLLEMA Bauke BELKIN PRO CYCLING + 08′ 58”
7 FUGLSANG Jakob ASTANA PRO TEAM + 09′ 33”

I suppose it’s possible that André Greipel could beat out Mark Cavendish for 2nd, but other than that I don’t see much possibility for change.  Chris Froome is 9th with 92 points in a group of 6 riders including Christphe Riblon with 83.

Points

Rank Name Team Points
1 SAGAN Peter CANNONDALE 380
2 CAVENDISH Mark OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP 278
3 GREIPEL André LOTTO-BELISOL 227
4 KITTEL Marcel TEAM ARGOS-SHIMANO 177
5 KRISTOFF Alexander KATUSHA TEAM 157
6 ROJAS José Joaquin MOVISTAR TEAM 155
7 FLECHA GIANNONI Juan Antonio VACANSOLEIL-DCM 123
8 KWIATKOWSKI Michal OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP 110

King of the Mountains is pretty much up for grabs (except for tha caveat above about Chris Froome).  It finishes today as no points will be awarded tomorrow.

King of the Moutains

Rank Name Team Points
1 FROOME Christopher SKY PROCYCLING 104
2 ROLLAND Pierre TEAM EUROPCAR 103
3 NIEVE ITURRALDE Mikel EUSKALTEL – EUSKADI 98
4 QUINTANA ROJAS Nairo Alexander MOVISTAR TEAM 97
5 RIBLON Christophe AG2R LA MONDIALE 93

Radioshack made a comeback yesterday and is once again comfortably in 2nd.  There is a certain amount of speculation Team Saxo-Tinkoff is thinking ahead and playing for next year’s sponsorship money which would account for their extraordinary passivity in support of their lead rider, Alberto Contador, yesterday.  Katusha is the only other team under an hour in arrears but just barely.

Team

Rank Team Time
1 TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF 230h 46′ 35”
2 RADIOSHACK LEOPARD + 03′ 39”
3 AG2R LA MONDIALE + 07′ 37”
4 MOVISTAR TEAM + 15′ 51”
5 BELKIN PRO CYCLING + 29′ 24”

Nairo Alexander Quitana Rojas could easily finish 2nd in the General Classification and win the King of the Mountains title.  In any event it’s a pretty impressive performance for a young rider and he’ll finish on the Champs-Élysées as one of the top contenders for next year’s Le Tour.

Young Rider

Rank Name Team Time
1 QUINTANA ROJAS Nairo Alexander MOVISTAR TEAM 77h 15′ 32”
2 KWIATKOWSKI Michal OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP + 10′ 36”
3 TALANSKY Andrew GARMIN – SHARP + 10′ 52”
4 BARDET Romain AG2R LA MONDIALE + 19′ 21”

Today’s final racing stage is relatively easy as far as Alpine stages go with 3 Category 3s, a Category 2, a Category 1, and a Beyond Category.  The one descent of note is from Mont Revard to Montcel.

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Jul 19 2013

Le Tour 2013: Stage 19

Christophe Riblon is the first French Stage Winner of Le Tour had a great race, gutting it out over a U.S. rider, rookie Tejay Van Garderen, in the final 2.2 K.

Though it didn’t rain the descent from Col de Sarenne, as predicted, was pretty dramatic.

Tejay Van Garderen (leader over the top) lost gearing (I’m pedaling and nothing is happening) and had to replace and catch up with Riblon.  Riblon, the eventual stage winner, drove off a left hander and into a swampy ditch and had to pick up his bike and wade back to the road.

Toward the tail end of the descent Froome had a puncture and he too had to replace his bike before the final climb.

Contador, who was attacking all day, eventually eked out a 20 second lead over Froome going into the final ascent up Alpe Huez.  But it wasn’t enough and he was soon overtaken and finished a minute behind on the day.

It might have been different- with 5 K to go in the race Froome’s a blood sugar dropped precipitously and he had to have a team mate drop back to the support car and pick up a tube of glucose (they call it energy gel, but I’ve known Diabetics).  This is a big no no in the final kilometers and eventually he was penalized 20 seconds; not, alas, enough to change the overall dynamics of the race.  If you are a big Contador fan it’s not unreasonable to think that if Froome had not cheated he might have lost up to 3 minutes.

Nairo Alexander Quitana Rojas’ outstanding performance leapfrogged him into 3rd.

General Classification

Rank Name Team Time
1 FROOME Christopher SKY PROCYCLING 71h 02′ 19”
2 CONTADOR Alberto TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF + 05′ 11”
3 QUINTANA ROJAS Nairo Alexander MOVISTAR TEAM + 05′ 32”
4 KREUZIGER Roman TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF + 05′ 44”
5 RODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquin KATUSHA TEAM + 05′ 58”
6 MOLLEMA Bauke BELKIN PRO CYCLING + 08′ 58”
7 FUGLSANG Jakob ASTANA PRO TEAM + 09′ 33”

In the Green Jersey competition nothing much changed except that Peter Sagan is now firmly over 100 points ahead.

Points

Rank Name Team Points
1 SAGAN Peter CANNONDALE 380
2 CAVENDISH Mark OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP 278
3 GREIPEL André LOTTO-BELISOL 227
4 KITTEL Marcel TEAM ARGOS-SHIMANO 177
5 KRISTOFF Alexander KATUSHA TEAM 157
6 ROJAS José Joaquin MOVISTAR TEAM 145
7 KWIATKOWSKI Michal OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP 110
8 FLECHA GIANNONI Juan Antonio VACANSOLEIL-DCM 110

For King of the Mountains (Polka Dot) Nairo Alexander Quitana Rojas gained 2 points on Chris Froome with yesterday’s performance and Riblon and Van Garderen moved into contention.

King of the Moutains

Rank Name Team Points
1 FROOME Christopher SKY PROCYCLING 104
2 QUINTANA ROJAS Nairo Alexander MOVISTAR TEAM 97
3 RIBLON Christophe AG2R LA MONDIALE 77
4 IEVE ITURRALDE Mikel EUSKALTEL – EUSKADI 63
5 VAN GARDEREN Tejay BMC RACING TEAM 62
6 RODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquin KATUSHA TEAM 59
7 MOSER Moreno CANNONDALE 58
8 ROLLAND Pierre TEAM EUROPCAR 51
9 PORTE Richie SKY PROCYCLING 48

In Team Competition Radioshack had a terrible day, dropping about 11 minutes.  On the strength of Riblon’s victory (and of course his team mates performances) the French team AG2R moved into 2nd place and Katusha of Russia, while still under 1 hour behind overall, moved back toward the pack.

Team

Rank Team Time
1 TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF 212h 29′ 26”
2 AG2R LA MONDIALE + 06′ 05”
3 RADIOSHACK LEOPARD + 12′ 29”
4 MOVISTAR TEAM + 24′ 33”
5 BELKIN PRO CYCLING + 28′ 37”
6 KATUSHA TEAM + 48′ 06”

I must say that given the strength of Quitana Rojas I have newfound respect for the performance of the other young riders in contention for the White Jersey.

Young Rider

Rank Name Team Time
1 QUINTANA ROJAS Nairo Alexander MOVISTAR TEAM 71h 07′ 51”
2 KWIATKOWSKI Michal OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP + 09′ 06”
3 TALANSKY Andrew GARMIN – SHARP + 10′ 52”
4 BARDET Romain AG2R LA MONDIALE + 25′ 13”

Today’s Stage 19, Bourg-d’Oisans to Le Grand-Bornand, may actually be the toughest of the Alpine Stages especially considering the effort expended yesterday.  It has 2 Beyond Category climbs, 2 Category 1s and a Category 2.

It is raining on and off and there is water on track which might make for some tricky descents.

Today and tomorrow are the only racing days left so if riders are going to make a move, now is the time.  Given Froome’s difficulty on Alpe Huez it is not beyond the realm of possibility that he could break down and give back a chunk of time though I’ll not kid you, 5 minutes is a lot.

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Jul 18 2013

Le Tour 2013: Stage 18

It’s been a while since I’ve tuned into Le Tour, partly because of computer woes (my main drive was deteriorating invisibly, except for the slowness that made it positively painfull to compose).  It is I suppose no great loss except for those who are fans of the scenic countryside the race winds through, and it is spectacular.

The race itself has gone to form which has left me feeling the same ennui and diffidence I do when Vettel gets an early lead and disappears.  You are left hoping for a game changer, something that will put a contender within striking distance and force the favorite to do something other than coast to victory.

Well, if that’s going to happen, it will happen today.

The reason is the course and the conditions.  Today is the double ascent of Alpe-d’Huez and the descent after the Col de Sarenne.  In addition to the two beyond category ascents there are 3 category 2 and a category 3 climb.  Now this in itself is not much of an obstacle to Chris Froome, the maillot jaune, who has out climbed his nearest rivals time and again.

Nope, it will be the descents, especially given the heavy overnight rain and the dampness expected at altitude.

You don’t like to hope for a crash, but it’s a good way to modify the time picture which at this point is entirely unfavorable to any rivals with only 2 riders less than 5 minutes back and merely 2 more under 7.

General Classification

Rank Name Team Time
1 FROOME Christopher SKY PROCYCLING 66h 07′ 09”
2 CONTADOR Alberto TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF + 04′ 34”
3 KREUZIGER Roman TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF + 04′ 51”
4 MOLLEMA Bauke BELKIN PRO CYCLING + 06′ 23”
5 QUINTANA ROJAS Nairo Alexander MOVISTAR TEAM + 06′ 58”
6 RODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquin KATUSHA TEAM + 07′ 21”
7 TEN DAM Laurens BELKIN PRO CYCLING + 08′ 23”
8 FUGLSANG Jakob ASTANA PRO TEAM + 08′ 56”

They finish this year’s Tour with 2 more Alpine stages after today before the grand procession to the Champs-Élysées so things could still change if Froome breaks down physically or something else unexpected happens.

In Sprint (Points, Green Jersey) competition things are looking equally set in stone with Peter Sagan almost 100 points ahead and only 8 riders over 100 ponts at all.

Points

Rank Name Team Points
1 SAGAN Peter CANNONDALE 377
2 CAVENDISH Mark OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP 278
3 GREIPEL André LOTTO-BELISOL 223
4 KITTEL Marcel TEAM ARGOS-SHIMANO 177
5 KRISTOFF Alexander KATUSHA TEAM 157
6 ROJAS José Joaquin MOVISTAR TEAM 145
7 KWIATKOWSKI Michal OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP 110
8 FLECHA GIANNONI Juan Antonio VACANSOLEIL-DCM 110

If you like handicapping backmarkers there is a race for Second between Mark Cavendish and André Greipel.

For King of the Mountains (Climber, Polka Dot Jersey) as you would expect Chris Froome has a commanding lead and Alberto Contador is not even in the picture (25 points).  Only 4 riders have over 50 points.

King of the Moutains

Rank Name Team Points
1 FROOME Christopher SKY PROCYCLING 88
2 QUINTANA ROJAS Nairo Alexander MOVISTAR TEAM 69
3 NIEVE ITURRALDE Mikel EUSKALTEL – EUSKADI 53
4 ROLLAND Pierre TEAM EUROPCAR 51

In the Team Competition Sky (Chris Froome’s team) is a surprising 11th, over 1:15 behind.  Also, as you can see, there’s a lot of racing left in the top 6.

Team

Rank Team Time
1 TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF 198h 58′ 43”
2 RADIOSHACK LEOPARD + 01′ 22”
3 AG2R LA MONDIALE + 08′ 14”
4 MOVISTAR TEAM + 12′ 48”
5 BELKIN PRO CYCLING + 22′ 33”
6 KATUSHA TEAM + 30′ 58”

Youth (White Jersey) is a hard category for me to get behind, I think it a poor substitute for amature.  Still, there is no denying Nairo Alexander Quitana Rojas has had an outstanding Tour, sitting at 5th in the GC and 2nd in King of the Mountains.

Young Rider

Rank Name Team Time
1 QUINTANA ROJAS Nairo Alexander MOVISTAR TEAM 66h 56′ 09”
2 KWIATKOWSKI Michal OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP + 04′ 12”
3 TALANSKY Andrew GARMIN – SHARP + 08′ 15”
4 BARDET Romain AG2R LA MONDIALE + 21′ 45”

Sites of Interest-

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Jul 03 2013

Le Tour 2013: Stage 4

One of my favorite parts of Le Tour is the Team Time Trials because of the beautiful co-ordination of the riders.  Heck, if I had my way the race would be nothing but (except for mountain stages).  Alas U.S. Postal and Radio Shack domination of this event have led race organizers to de-emphasise it to the point where it is but a single stage.

Of the 22 teams competing this year, 16 were within a minute of the best time, so it’s a lot more competitive than it used to be nor did it bounce around the General Classification very much with 3 Orica team mates tied for first and race favorite Froome a mere 3 seconds behind in a 3 way tie for 6th place.

Tomorrow’s course from Cagnes-sur-Mer to Marseille isn’t pancake flat (classed Medium Mountain) with 3 Category 4s and a Category 3, but most riders should find it of little difficulty except for those injured in the disasterous crash at the end of Stage 1 some of whom are expected to withdraw now that the Team Time Trial is over (they’ve basically been hanging on to support the team).  There will be one Sprint Checkpoint in addition to the finish.

After 4 Stages there are 39 riders within 30 seconds of the lead-

Rank Name Team Time
1 GERRANS Simon ORICA GREENEDGE 12h 47′ 24”
2 IMPEY Daryl ORICA GREENEDGE + 00′ 00”
3 ALBASINI Michael ORICA GREENEDGE + 00′ 00”
4 KWIATKOWSKI Michal OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP + 00′ 01”
5 CHAVANEL Sylvain OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP + 00′ 01”
6 BOASSON HAGEN Edvald SKY PROCYCLING + 00′ 03”
7 FROOME Christopher SKY PROCYCLING + 00′ 03”
8 PORTE Richie SKY PROCYCLING + 00′ 03”
9 ROCHE Nicolas TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF + 00′ 09”
10 KREUZIGER Roman TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF + 00′ 09”
11 ROGERS Michael TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF + 00′ 09”
12 CONTADOR Alberto TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF + 00′ 09”
13 MILLAR David GARMIN – SHARP + 00′ 17”
14 VAN DEN BROECK Jurgen LOTTO-BELISOL + 00′ 17”
15 HANSEN Adam LOTTO-BELISOL + 00′ 17”
16 HESJEDAL Ryder GARMIN – SHARP + 00′ 17”
17 VANDE VELDE Christian GARMIN – SHARP + 00′ 17”
18 TALANSKY Andrew GARMIN – SHARP + 00′ 17”
19 MARTIN Daniel GARMIN – SHARP + 00′ 17”
20 DANIELSON Thomas GARMIN – SHARP + 00′ 17”
21 VALVERDE Alejandro MOVISTAR TEAM + 00′ 20”
22 QUINTANA ROJAS Nairo Alexander MOVISTAR TEAM + 00′ 20”
23 AMADOR Andrey MOVISTAR TEAM + 00′ 20”
24 COSTA Rui Alberto MOVISTAR TEAM + 00′ 20”
25 CUNEGO Damiano LAMPRE – MERIDA + 00′ 25”
26 NIEMIEC Przemyslaw LAMPRE – MERIDA + 00′ 25”
27 SERPA José LAMPRE – MERIDA + 00′ 25”
28 EVANS Cadel BMC RACING TEAM + 00′ 26”
29 GILBERT Philippe BMC RACING TEAM + 00′ 26”
30 VAN GARDEREN Tejay BMC RACING TEAM + 00′ 26”
31 MOINARD Amaël BMC RACING TEAM + 00′ 26”
32 BAKELANTS Jan RADIOSHACK LEOPARD + 00′ 28”
33 VORGANOV Eduard KATUSHA TEAM + 00′ 28”
34 RODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquin KATUSHA TEAM + 00′ 28”
35 MORENO FERNANDEZ Daniel KATUSHA TEAM + 00′ 28”
36 MONFORT Maxime RADIOSHACK LEOPARD + 00′ 29”
37 ZUBELDIA Haimar RADIOSHACK LEOPARD + 00′ 29”
38 SCHLECK Andy RADIOSHACK LEOPARD + 00′ 29”
39 KLÖDEN Andreas RADIOSHACK LEOPARD + 00′ 29”

The sprinters are already starting to sort themselves out with 44 points separating the leader Peter Sagan from the 3 way tie for 10th.

Rank Name Team Points
1 SAGAN Peter CANNONDALE 74
2 KITTEL Marcel TEAM ARGOS-SHIMANO 57
3 KRISTOFF Alexander KATUSHA TEAM 48
4 KWIATKOWSKI Michal OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP 41
5 BOOM Lars BELKIN PRO CYCLING 40
6 VAN POPPEL Danny VACANSOLEIL-DCM 39
7 ROJAS José Joaquin MOVISTAR TEAM 36
8 GERRANS Simon ORICA GREENEDGE 32
9 FLECHA GIANNONI Juan Antonio VACANSOLEIL-DCM 32
10 BAKELANTS Jan RADIOSHACK LEOPARD 30
11 MILLAR David GARMIN – SHARP 30
12 SIMON Julien SOJASUN 30
13 GREIPEL André LOTTO-BELISOL 30

There are only 3 Mountain Kings worth mentioning, Pierre Rolland, Simon Clarke, and Blel Kadri-

Rank Name Team Points
1 ROLLAND Pierre TEAM EUROPCAR 10
2 CLARKE Simon ORICA GREENEDGE 5
3 KADRI Blel AG2R LA MONDIALE 5

And 4 Young Riders-

Rank Name Team Time
1 KWIATKOWSKI Michal OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP 12h 47′ 25”
2 TALANSKY Andrew GARMIN – SHARP + 00′ 16”
3 QUINTANA ROJAS Nairo Alexander MOVISTAR TEAM + 00′ 19”
4 VAN GARDEREN Tejay BMC RACING TEAM + 00′ 25”

19 Teams are within 2 minutes of the lead and 9 are under 30 seconds out-

Rank Team Time
1 ORICA GREENEDGE 37h 30′ 20”
2 SKY PROCYCLING + 00′ 03”
3 TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF + 00′ 09”
4 GARMIN – SHARP + 00′ 17”
5 MOVISTAR TEAM + 00′ 20”
6 LAMPRE – MERIDA + 00′ 25”
7 BMC RACING TEAM + 00′ 26”
8 RADIOSHACK LEOPARD + 00′ 28”
9 KATUSHA TEAM + 00′ 28”

Sites of Interest-

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Jun 30 2013

Le Tour 2013: Stage 2

It didn’t really happen after all.

Tour de France 2013: chaos and crashes mark disastrous first stage

Sean Ingle, The Observer

Saturday 29 June 2013 12.33 EDT

It was supposed to be the day when Mark Cavendish wriggled into the Tour de France’s famous yellow jersey for the first time. Instead it will be remembered for an Orica GreenEdge team bus wedged under the finish line and a spectacular crash with six kilometres remaining that took out half the peloton.

With the driver trying – and failing – to extricate the bus, before throwing his hands in front of his eyes as if desperately hoping to wish his worries away, Tour organisers frantically switched the finish to the three-kilometre line down the road. Moments later the bus started reversing – and so did the organisers, who switched the finish back to its original spot near Bastia beach. It was a decision that, in the words of Cavendish, led to “carnage”.

With the peloton going at more than 40mph, Cavendish’s Omega Pharma-Quickstep team-mate Tony Martin appeared to buckle suddenly, and as his bike jumped and skipped and then slipped from under him several riders were sent flying – including Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas. Despite Thomas doing a passable impression of Superman he was cleared to race on Sunday after hospital x-rays showed no damage.

Because of the confusion, everyone was given the same finishing time as the winner, the German Marcel Kittel. That, however, was scant consolation for Cavendish, who blamed the organisers for causing the chaos with their late switch. “We were hearing in the radios with 5k to go the finish was in 2k,” he said. “Then a kilometre later, it’s at the finish. It was carnage. I’m lucky I didn’t come down. Some of my team-mates are a lot worse.”

Martin, the world time-trial champion, later lost consciousness twice on the team bus and was reported to have widespread abrasions. Even though a brain scan came back clear the chances of him participating in the second stage from Bastia to Ajaccio must be slim.

Still having trouble, more after Formula One.

Jun 29 2013

Le Tour 2013: Stage 1

100th Running!

Wars and stuff, you know.

It’s going to take me a day or two to acclimate myself to the magnitude of the task and the fact that nobody I know is racing.

Bradley Wiggins, the defending champion, is Sir Not Appearing in this Film.  He dropped out of Giro d’Italia because he was sick and then he got injured.  He’s been replaced by Chris Froome as the “great British hope” (second place finisher in 2012) and it’s unknown at this point if he’ll ever return to professional cycling at all.  Andy Schleck and Alberto Contador are the other names I’m most familiar with among the pre-race favorites.

But more on that as we go along.

In other shocking developments- No Sprint Prolog!  We race in Corsica (French btw, home of Napolean Bonaparte) over 132 miles of flat from Porto-Vecchio to Bastia.  Corsica has the only 2 Departments (States) of Metro France Le Tour has never visited, but they’ll be spending 3 days there before moving to the mainland with the only Team Time Trial in Nice.

Night Time Finish!  You heard that right.  The meaningless parade around the Champs-Élysées will take place under the lights for the first time evah!

From the official site

Running from Saturday June 29th to Sunday July 21th 2013, the 100th Tour de France will be made up of 21 stages and will cover a total distance of 3,404 kilometres (2115 miles).

These stages have the following profiles:

  • 7 flat stages
  • 5 hilly stages
  • 6 mountain stages with 4 summit finishes
  • 2 individual time trial stages
  • 1 team time trial stage
  • 2 rest days (I’ll be looking forward to these)

10 new stage towns

Porto-Vecchio, Bastia, Ajaccio, Calvi, Cagnes-sur-Mer, Saint-Gildas-des-Bois, Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule, Givors, Chorges, Annecy-Semnoz

The Route!

Today’s Stage is a Sprinter’s course which could leave one of the Speed Demons like Mad Manx Cavendish in the maillot jaune for the first time in a long time.

Guardian Guide to the 100th Tour de France

The New York Times

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