Looks like a tough sprint stage, especially if it's windy along the coast. Can Garmin stay on a roll?
Up and downs.
The peloton is really getting ripped up with all of the crashes
Kloden is looking more and more like the front runner for Radioshack, with Leipheimer and Horner having bad luck, and Brajkovic crashing out (best of luck to him). Christophe Kern from Europcar also crashed out.
Tom Boonen's line in the intermediate sprint was HORRENDOUS. Rojas got cut off really badly, much more so than Cavendish. Some of the crap these guys get away with is ridiculous, especially the obvious, prolonged motorpacing by Vacansoleil yesterday.
What a crashfest...I feel like I'm watching demolition derby.
Great sprint finish. Looked like Cav was out of it until the very end.
Great ride by Cav. I thought he was done and then he just passes a bunch of guys with ease. Gilbert looked good today. I wonder what happened to him yesterday.
Prediction: Rojas is going to win the green jersey.
I'm sure Lotto is trying to get Gilbert in green, but it seems like Greipel is maybe leading him out instead of contesting sprints, which is the reason he left HTC in the first place.
Rojas is lookin' good for green though. He's doing a good job of hanging with Thor and Gilbert on those uphill strongman sprint finishes. There are a few stages that favor guys like that over the pure sprinters.
There was a Euskatel rider that looked like he wanted to go with Roy and Voekler on the late break, but decided against it at the last second. I wish he had, as I think they could have made it with three guys, and I really wanted to see Voekler take the stage.
Very entertaining stage all around. Gotta love the Tour for having enough clout to get almost enough airtime for an entire stage on TV.
He might not even start tomorrow so it may be a non-issue anyway.
Edit: they stripped Boonen and Rojas of their intermediate sprint points - Gilbert takes the green!
There was a change to the green jersey classification after some questionable sprinting from the field for sixth place on the intermediate sprint point, Boonen and points leader Rojas were both disqualified for the bonus points. The seven points Rojas lost in that decision dropped him behind Gilbert in the green jersey competition, but the call was only made after the podium presentation had taken place.
Screenshot taken from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lcdt8zIZdwk at 0:52.
This is pretty impressive, considering Cavendish is buried that far among world class riders. He's behind the black helmet and in front of the lime helmet. It seems they're at about 250 meters according to the markers on the right.
For me the story of the day was all the crashes, a lot of which involved big name riders.
Can anybody find video of the intermediate sprint? Boonen's points were rightfully stripped, but I don't remember Rojas causing much trouble...
http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/436550...ports-cycling/ The "recap" video @17sec.
Rojas pushes Boonen to the left and blocks Cav, then Boonen pushes to the right toward a Cofidis guy and Rojas gets squeezed out the back.
OK, it's a windy day, the roads are narrow, there's been a lot of crashes, time to ride my motorcycle into the peloton. What could possibly go wrong?
Tom Boonen does not seem to have good luck at the tour for some reason...it's just not his race. He's been far behind in the points and without that or a stage win, there's not much reason for him to stick it out for 3 weeks! I had a feeling he'd probably bail and now I'm sure he will...
for guys like him the Tour is just basically riding in a pack around france for 3 weeks, you don't have a hope in hell, you have to win a stage or get the sprints and then you have to drag yourself over the Pyrenees....he's really a classics guy.
Boonen's clear to start tomorrow:
After 100 kilometres Tom Boonen had less luck. The former world champion went down together with team mates Gert Steegmans, Gerald Ciolek and Addy Engels. Ciolek and Engels got back on their bikes quickly, while Boonen and Steegmans kept their feet at the ground for some time. "To avoid the riders ahead of me I braked but my front wheel touched another athlete’s back wheel”, Boonen says .“I flew over my bike in an endo and I fell, hitting my head and the right side of my body. My helmet busted on impact."
In the fall Boonen suffered a series of abrasions to his shoulder, elbow and right gluteus, which is sporting a rather deep cut. "After the first few minutes of shock I got back on my bike and I wanted to finish the stage”, continues Boonen. Engels waited for his captain, but first brought his team mates the water bottles he got from the team car before he crashed.
Steegmans was also troubled by the hard crash. In the fall Steegmans took some scrapes to his knee and his left shoulder. The Belgian rider is also suffering from pain in his left wrist. Together with a Spaniard he continued his way several minutes behind the bunch. Behind Steegmans his team mates Engels and Boonen were doing everything they could to reach the finish in time. Eventually they managed to reach Cap Frehel in time. “I have to thank Engels for his support. Alone I would have risked ending up outside of the maximum time. Now all I only want to recover some Energy from tomorrow." Boonen and Steegmans will be starting in tomorrow’s stage.