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Monday, July 6, 2009

Stage 3 – another Cav-alcade?*

“It's the same problem for all the teams, because Cav is very fast, it's a question of how you beat Cavendish.” Cervelo’s Brett Lancaster, Australian riding for Thor Hushovd (www.sbs.com.au/tdf)
The final 78km of this stage is almost as flat as lavash and the final 800m, straight. This one’s for the sprinters. Any breakaway will just be about getting sponsors on the telly.

The rest of the 196.5km course includes some wavy terrain and Category 4 climbs at the Cote de Calissanne and the Col de la Vayede. Sprint points are on offer at La Fare-Les-Olivers, Mouries and Arles and of course, the finish.

Expect to see the Saxobank super domestiques out front again and the sprint teams saving energy in their slipstream. The peloton is beside the sea for the last 40 kilometres as the sprint teams sort themselves out. Here the wind could make things interesting and not such a fait accompli.
Considering yesterday’s form though, how do you beat Colombia-HTC (especially Renshaw) and Cavendish? If he’s isolated can he still win? Yes, of course. He’s that fast. Petacchi beat him on Stage 2 at the Giro by sprinting early and keeping Cav at bay. Is this the only way to beat him and if so, can the other teams do it?

Don’t know, but watching will be “eeek” out loud fun.
(*I even groaned at that one)

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