Monday, July 04, 2005
TdF Stage 3
ROUND 2 ALSO GOES TO BOONEN! A second day of a relatively flat and long ride east across the northern plains of France yielded another bunch sprint at the finish line. The peloton chased down three riders who attacked and escaped the group at the 28 km mark--but not until the last kilometer! Then it was a heyday for the world's elite sprint specialists--what Paul Sherwen of OLN TV calls today's Gladiators. Round 2 of the sprint finishes was won--for the second day in a row--by Tom Boonen of Belgium.
THE GREEN JERSEY. For his efforts Boonen wears the Green Jersey (maillot vert) as the points leader for the sprints that are sprinkled throught each stage...and at the finish line. Australian sprint specialist Robbie McEwen has some ground to make up if he is to be wearing the Green Jersey in Paris.
WHERE THE LEADERS STAND. Since he finished in the main peloton with the stage winners, American David Zabriskie continues to wear the Yellow Jersey of the overall race leader (also called the General Classification leader, or GC leader). Lance Armstrong also maintained his position in second place in the GC, just 2 seconds behind Zabriskie.
TOMORROW...LANCE LOVES YA, TOMORROW. Tuesday, July 5th, is a special stage. It is the only Team Time Trial of the Tour de France. Each team of nine riders measure their best time in a 64-kilometer team effort against the other teams. This is similar to the individual time trial in that each team is racing only agains the clock. Every team member must work hard and work together to achieve the best possible time. At the finish line, all riders receive their team's time--whether it was slow or fast--and that factors into their over all--or General Classification--time. A great rider on a slower team will lose time; a fast team can help their team leader move up in the race standings. The Discovery Channel team of Lance Armstrong is one of the fastest teams, from top to bottom. Lance could be wearing the Yellow Jersey by the end of the day tomorrow.