Le Tour Diary, Stage 3
Today was one of the most thrilling days of my entire cycling life. Veeral and I started the day from Nantes and headed to the startline to catch the action. I have no idea how Veeral has successfully navigated the Giro and a few days of the TdF completely solo. Being a passenger entailed having a GPS, iPad and maps sprawled all over the front seat and going three times around every roundabout before we figured which exit to take. And that was just to get out of the hotel…
The coolest thing of the day was heading out and driving along the course before the riders departed (a green media sticker on your car gets you the privilege of driving on the closed course). The roads were lined with fans on either side for 198Km and we felt like rock stars with everyone cheering us along the way. I can finally say that I’ve completed a stage of the Tour de France. My life is complete.
I now have an appreciation for how hard photographers work and how difficult their jobs are. They need to get the shots that matter, jump ahead of the race while trying to navigate back roads they’ve never seen before, get more shots, then race to the finish line and push their way into the media scrum to get the money shot. There are hundreds of other photographers pushing each other out of their way and stepping on toes. It’s an unbelievable amount of effort day after day and far from being glamorous. I’m exhausted. When is the first rest day?
Today was pancake flat with beautiful weather and there was never much doubt it would come down to a sprint finish. I tipped that Cav would take the win, but it was one of the few times that HTC were unable to control the final kilometers to deliver Cav to the finish. When a Vacansoleil rider (Borut Bozic?) lept away at 2km remaining, Goss and Renshaw were already on the front they must have known they were in trouble. They ran out of firepower too early, got swarmed, and it was all over for HTC. When I spoke with Mark Renshaw last summer about the “Anatomy of the Leadout” he old me about one other time that Hondo jumped early and put their their leadout train into disarray in a similar fashion to this. I can’t think of many other ways HTC can be derailed besides this.
Tomorrow will be a lumpy stage and we’ll probably see a rider like Gilbert, Vino, Voeckler, or Cadel come to the front with a 2km climb into the finish. It’s gonna be a cracker!
I bumped into Dan Jones and Scott MaGrory at the media center after today’s race. I’ve always been a big fan of their personable interviews at OzCycling.com and I’m happy to see that they’ve now put their videos on YouTube so I can embed them on this site. Enjoy.
courtesy of Veeral Patel and myself
Stage 3 Results
1. Tyler Farrar, Team Garmin – Cervelo, in 4:40:21
2. Romain Feillu, Vacansoleil-Dcm, at s.t.
3. Joaquin Rojas Jose, Movistar Team, at s.t.
4. Sébastien Hinault, Ag2r La Mondiale, at s.t.
5. Mark Cavendish, HTC – Highroad, at s.t.
6. Thor Hushovd, Team Garmin – Cervelo, at s.t.
7. Julian Dean, Team Garmin – Cervelo, at s.t.
8. Borut Bozic, Vacansoleil-Dcm, at s.t.
9. André Greipel, Omega Pharma – Lotto, at s.t.
10. Jimmy Engoulvent, Saur-Sojasun, at s.t.
35 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team
38 Stuart O’Grady (Aus) Leopard Trek
64 Richie Porte (Aus) Saxo Bank Sungard
69 Simon Gerrans (Aus) Sky Procycling
136 Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) HTC-Highroad
177 Mark Renshaw (Aus) HTC-Highroad
General Classification after Stage 3
1. Thor Hushovd, Team Garmin – Cervelo, in 9:46:46
2. David Millar, Team Garmin – Cervelo, at s.t.
3. Cadel Evans, Bmc Racing Team, at 00:01
4. Geraint Thomas, Sky Procycling, at 00:04
5. Linus Gerdemann, Team Leopard-Trek, at 00:04
6. Boasson Hagen Edvald, Sky Procycling, at 00:04
7. Frank Schleck, Team Leopard-Trek, at 00:04
8. Andy Schleck, Team Leopard-Trek, at 00:04
9. Jakob Fuglsang, Team Leopard-Trek, at 00:04
10. Bradley Wiggins, Sky Procycling, at 00:04
18 Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) HTC-Highroad at 00:05
73 Stuart O’Grady (Aus) Leopard Trek 0:01:53
82 Richie Porte (Aus) Saxo Bank Sungard 0:02:17
97 Mark Renshaw (Aus) HTC-Highroad 0:02:35
108 Simon Gerrans (Aus) Sky Procycling 0:02:53
Stage 4 Preview