Le Tour Diary | Stage 7, Saur-Sojasun Who?
Of the 22 teams in the Tour de France, 18 have ProTeam status (formerly ProTour). One of the basic differences between the WorldTour and the previous ProTour system is that all of the ProTeams are obligated to attend all races on the WorldTour calendar. In the ProTour, it was up to the ASO’s and other organiser’s discretion as to who they invite to their races.
After the 18 ProTeams, the remainder of the 4 spots in the Tour de France are decided by “wildcard” selections. This year the wildcard teams are all French Pro Continental teams: FDJ, Europcar, Cofidis, and Saur-Sojasun. Saur-who you ask?
First of all, Saur-Sojasun is the less than desirable team I drew out of a hat in our nightly tipping competition. I didn’t even know they existed until the Tour began, and I’m not sure I’m gonna win much money out of them. More to the point, Saur-Sojasun is a French team who have been together since the beginning of last year, have an average age is 27, and have the lowest team budget at 5M Euro/year. Saur is a water management and recycling company and Sojasun is a soya healthfood producer. They were the last wildcard invite and have been given a gift by the ASO to be included in the race. The ASO’s exclusion of Geox (who have Sastre and Menchov) was surprising. An no Skil-Shimano? Come on…
The Saur-Sojasun rider in the TdF with some marginal results so far this season is Jerome Coppel, a young climber. Jimmy Casper (the lanterne rougue of 2001 and 2004 and won the first stage of the 2006 Tour) is the most well known rider on the team but isn’t racing the TdF. The team manager, Stephane Heulot wore the yellow jersey in 1996, but was one of the few riders to have abandoned the race while wearing in yellow.
Saur-Sojasun is currently 21st in the teams classification and Jerome Coppel is their best placed rider in 54th place (at 3:16 behind). We might expect so see him animate some stages in the mountains. Today we saw Yannick Talabardon in the early break getting caught at about 15km remaining.
So there you go. Saur-Sojasun isn’t exactly animating the Tour this year, but as I was lurking around their team bus area there was certainly an air of excitement and energy amongst their riders who are all stoked to be there. Wouldn’t you?
Stage 7 Profile
Stage 7 Results
1 Mark Cavendish (GBr) HTC-Highroad 5:38:53
2 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre – ISD
3 André Greipel (Ger) Omega Pharma-Lotto
4 Romain Feillu (Fra) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
5 William Bonnet (Fra) FDJ
6 Denis Galimzyanov (Rus) Katusha Team
7 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Team Garmin-Cervelo
8 Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Team Europcar
9 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar Team
10 Sébastien Hinault (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
17 Stuart O’Grady (Aus) Leopard Trek
20 Mark Renshaw (Aus) HTC-Highroad
22 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team
80 Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) HTC-Highroad
129 Simon Gerrans (Aus) Sky Procycling
152 Richie Porte (Aus) Saxo Bank Sungard
General Classification after Stage 7
1 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Team Garmin-Cervelo 28:29:27
2 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:00:01
3 Fränk Schleck (Lux) Leopard Trek 0:00:04
4 David Millar (GBr) Team Garmin-Cervelo 0:00:08
5 Andreas Klöden (Ger) Team RadioShack 0:00:10
6 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Leopard Trek 0:00:12
7 Andy Schleck (Lux) Leopard Trek
8 Tony Martin (Ger) HTC-Highroad 0:00:13
9 Peter Velits (Svk) HTC-Highroad
10 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:00:20
53 Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) HTC-Highroad 0:04:54
79 Stuart O’Grady (Aus) Leopard Trek 0:08:33
86 Simon Gerrans (Aus) Sky Procycling 0:09:22
161 Richie Porte (Aus) Saxo Bank Sungard 0:19:57
166 Mark Renshaw (Aus) HTC-Highroad 0:21:43
Stage 8 Preview