Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Choo Choo! Columbia uses Stage 3 for TTT training! Canberra's own Dodger is BACK!!

"...everyone was nervous about the time trial..(we were the) only ones willing to ride..(this shows our) domination of a Tour in the first week." Mark Cavdendish on Colombia's deliberate plan for Stage 3.

Just when you think you can't get enough of the six-pack jerseys hurtling along, not only does Cav take 2 from 2 - closely followed across the line by Thor Hushovd - but the Columbia Train took everyone by surprise, splitting the peloton in the cross winds with 30km(ish) to go. Because of the wind, many said this could happen today, but seeing it eventuate was another exciting story.

The split saw the main GC contenders - except Armstrong - eventually finish 40 seconds behind the lead group of around 25 riders. Astana teammates Contador, Leipheimer and Kloden as well as Evans, Contador, Sastre..and, well, pretty much everyone, failed to read the move. Columbia-HTC crossed the line with 8 riders only dropping Grabsch after he'd finished his work for the team.

Yes, Armstrong. Guess who's 3rd on the GC now after cunningly reading the Columbia move? The Boss is 19 seconds in front of Contador. Armstrong could take the yellow jersey from Fabian Cancellera - who also stayed with the split - tomorrow following the Team Time Trial.

Armstrong v Contador - 1 all.

But the most exciting news for this little Canberran is that Mick Rogers has moved up to 11, making up for the 30 seconds he lost from a chain slip in the TT. Evans moves out of the top five to eighth.

I could talk about the breakaway that occurred from the outset and continued until about 34kms to go, and I could tell you about the Polka Dot jersey, but it's been all wiped away by the adrenaline rush of watching the finish.

No doubt the finish took it out of the peloton for tomorrow's TTT as they tried to remedy the split. Not so Columbia-HTC - it was TTT training!!

Cavendish in green, Fabian still in yellow. For everything else, visit

Top 11 in the General Classification:
2. MARTIN Tony + 00' 33"
3. ARMSTRONG Lance + 00' 40"
4. CONTADOR Alberto + 00' 59"
5. WIGGINS Bradley + 01' 00"
6. KLÖDEN Andréas + 01' 03"
7. GERDEMANN Linus + 01' 03"
8. EVANS Cadel + 01' 04"
9. MONFORT Maxime + 01' 10"
10. LEIPHEIMER Levi + 01' 11"
11. ROGERS Michael + 01' 13"

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