Tour de France 2011 Stage 4 - Lorient to Mûr-de-Bretagne (172.5 km)
The race today started with a neutral zone warm-up, no racing allowed, but due to slick conditions due to rain there was a crash. Everyone got back up on their bikes and the race began at 7:09 AM EST (13:09 CET). Thirteen minutes later an escape group of 5 riders formed. After half an hour they created a gap of 4:55 seconds before the Peloton drew them back with a strategic burst of power.
The escapes have been caught, they’re gamble foiled. Contador, Husovd are near the front of the Pelaton with 3 km to go!
George Hincapie, Gesink, Gilbert, Evans – among many – are near the front.
Evans wins over Contador by an inch! (2.46 cm). Vinokourov third.
Thor Hushovd holds on to the Yellow (Evans is 1 second behind him).
Evans gets the Polka-dot.
And Jose Joaquin Rojas won a sprint somewhere along the line today, he wears Green tomorrow, riding for Movistar Team (???) – like he did today. Who are those guys? (Wikipedia says…).
The Garmin-Cervélo Team has done it again on their mountian-bike-looking, new Cervélo ‘S5′ road racing bikes. This time it’s Tyler Farrar who wears the Yellow after a long flat race that favoured the sprinters and the best team at strategy.
Here’s the finish, watch Tyler Farrar drafting and then he swings around to the win – his team-mate celabrates in the background having launched him to the line perfectly! Nice video.
A Team Time Trial: Les Essarts to Les Essarts – 23 km
A Live Blog
8:30 AM EST
In the Team time trial Team is spelt with a capital – each team will start the race seven minutes apart like in a rally race – each team will start 9 riders, the 5th rider in each team to cross the finish marks that teams time. Drafting, spelling each other off and team strategy are all important on this flat 23 km route.
A note on yesterdays stage win by Philippe Gilbert. I mistakenly said that Gilbert wears three jerseys at the end on Stage 1 – that was incorrect, one rider cannot wear three – so the next best riders in each category are awarded the jersey. As over all race leader, Gilbert wears Yellow today, Cadel Evans get the Green, sprint champion’s shirt and Thor Hushovd gets to wear the best climbers Polka-dot attire.
There are 22 teams in this years Tour de France, the teams will start the Time Trial according to the team’s ranking after Stage 1. Team Saxo-Bank SunGard finished last as a team yesterday so they go first, they depart at 14:30 CET – 8:30 AM EST – the first ranked team after Stage 1 is Team Omega Pharma – Lotto, they will start their time trial at 16:57 CET – 10:57 AM EST.
22. 8:30 Team Saxo Bank Sungard is on the coarse.
This Alberto Contador’s team, he was caught in the huge pile up in the Peleton with 9 km from the finish yesterday – the team decided to finish the stage together – so their aggregate times put them in last place.
21. 8:37 Euskaltel – Euskadi is off.
20. 8:44 Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling is next
19. 8:51 AG2R La Mondiale
18. 8:58 Saur-Sojasun
17. 9:05 Rabobank Cyling Team
16. 9:12 FDJ
15. 9:19 Liquigas – Cannondale
14. 9:26 Team Garmin-Cervélo
13. 9:33 Team Europcar
12. 9:40 Quickstep Cycling Team
11. 9:47 Movistar Team
10. 9:54 Pro Team Astana
9. 10:01 Team Katusha
8. 10:08 Sky ProCycling
7. 10:15 Team Lampre – ISD
6. 10:22 COFIDIS, Le Crédit en Ligne
5. 10:29 Team RadioShack
4. 10:36 HTC-Highroad
3. 10:43 Team Leopard – Trek
2. 10:50 BMC Racing Team
1. 10:57 Team Omega Pharma – Lott
Team Garmin-Cervélo has posted the best time thus far – 24′ 48″, or 55.6 km/hour! They are 12 seconds (“) ahead of Rabobank and 28″ ahead of Saxo Bank. Team Sty Procyling is on the coarse and are the favourite today – at the quarter marker they posted a better time than Garmin-Cervélo – 0.98 seconds faster…
At the 2nd marker, the half way point in the circle, Team Sky ProCycling is 4″ behind Garmin-Cervélo; now they turn around into the wind for the last half back to the finish.
Sky ProCycling has finished with a 55.5 km/hour rate – Garmin-Cervélo still holds first place.
The letour.fr “Tour de France Live” commentator thinks Garmin- Cervélo may win the stage. The 5th best team , and 5th last to start today Team RadioShack is well off the pace in 5th position at the quarter way milestone.
Team RadioShack finishes well, just 10″ back of the Leaders. (updated @ 11:22)
1. Garmin-Cervélo 00', 00" - 24:48
2. BMC Racing Team 00', 04" - 24:52
3. Sky ProCycling 00', 04" - 24:52
4. HTC-Highroad 00', 05" - 24:53
5. Team Leopard 00', 05" - 24:53
6. Team RadioShack 00', 10" - 24:58
7. Robobank 00', 12" - 25:00
8. Team Saxo Bank 00', 28" - 25:16
9. Pro Team Astana 00', 32" - 25:20
Team Omega Pharma is +26 seconds at the quarter marker a miracle now can only upset Garmin-Cervélo!
Team Omega Pharma – Lott is too far back to win.
Thor Hushovd takes the Yellow Jersey for Team Garmin-Cervélo as they finish first in Stage 2.
Fastest Bike in the world: Toronto’s Cervélo – Vroomen & White Designs (and the riders may have something to do with it as well).
Team Omega Pharma finishes +39″.
After 2 Stages, some individual placements of interest:
Stage 2 Rider After Stage 1
1. HUSHOVD Thor (3)
6. SCHLECK Frank (12)
7. CANCELLARA Fabian (18)
10. SCHLECK Andy (33)
13. HINCAPIE George (60)
18. CAVENDISH Mark (69)
22. LEIPHEIMER Levi (38)
30. GILBERT Philippe (1)
61. HESJEDAL Ryder (96)
75. CONTADOR Alberto (82)
176. FARRAR Tyler (181)
2011 Tour de France Stage 1 – Passage du Gois Mont des Alouettes – 191.5 km
A Live Blog
Tour de France 2011 Stage 1 Profile
The Tour de France started at 5:58 AM local Toronto time. The route started on a causeway that joins the mainland to Isle of Noirmoutier. At high tide the causeway is actually under water! The race then runs along the coast before winding into the interior to a category 4 climb at the finish!
3 hours and 45 minutes into today’s stage the riders are here:
Tour de France 2011 Stage 1 at 10 36 AM EST
There have been three minor (no one out of the race) crashes so far, all happened in the Peleton.
The Three escapees have been out there since the white flag waved signalling the start of racing. The day began with a “neutral zone” ride of 15.5 km (no racing allowed – a warm up).
Tour de France 2011 Stage 1 at 11 19 AM EST
Just as I took the last picture the escapees were caught by the Peleton – with 18 km to go.
The climb to the finish should shake out some riders from a leading pack – we shall see.
Tour de France 2011 Stage 1 at 11 29 AM
A group of 50 riders has broken off the pack to try and get a head start on the climb, The group includes Andy Scheleck, Gilbert, Evans and Gautier…
Up the mountain they go!
Tour de France 2011 Stage 1 at 11 38 AM EST
As the teams sprint up the mountain there has been a massive crash in the Peleton with less than 5 km to go. It melee has trapped Contador he has no way to get to the lead group.
Cancellara attacks Gilbert with 1000 metres to go but Philippe Gilbert catches him before the finish to win Stage 1!
Tour de France 2011 Stage 1 at 11 49 AM EST
Here’s the initial finish list – letour.fr is still up-dating the final classification for Stage 1
Tour de France 2011 top 10 classification after Stage 1
Philippe Gilbert wears the Yellow for over all time leader, the Green for sprint champion, and the Poka-dot for best maintain climber. Ah, the spoils of a fist stage win.
Many have picked Philippe Gilbert as a dark horse contender to win the Tour out right. He has the tools but just hasn’t been able to put it all together yet – the commentator at letour.fr was impressed with the way Gilbert kept his head at the end, countering Cancellara’s attack with poise inside the last kilometre. Gilbert is having an extraordinary year so far on the 2011 UCI (International Cycling Union) World Tour having won 4 consecutive one day UCI sanctioned races – he’s one to watch in this years Tour de France.
Here some notable finishes for today:
12. SCHLECK Frank
18. CANCELLARA Fabian
33. SCHLECK Andy
38. LEIPHEIMER Levi
48. CHAVANEL Sylvain
60. HINCAPIE George
69. CAVENDISH Mark
82. CONTADOR Alberto
96. HESJEDAL Ryder
181. FARRAR Tyler
The 98th running of ‘Le Tour’ starts tomorrow, Saturday, July 2 at 8 a.m. ET – live on TSN2.
2011 Tour De France Stage Map Saturday, July 2 - Sunday, July 24, 2011
Stage 1 – Saturday July 2, 2011
Tour de France Stage 1 - 191.5 km
Stage 1 – Passage du Gois Mont des Alouettes – a 191.5 km route will start on the west coast, actually on a tidal causeway linking the mainland to the Isle of Noirmoutier in Vendée, (which is actually under water at high tide!) and then runs along the coast before winding into the interior to a category 4 climb at the finish.
Who’s Riding this year?
Lance Armstrong, while listed on the Team RadioShack ‘Riders’ page is apparently not riding in this year’s Le Tour.
Team RadioShack 2011 "Riders" page
“Never say never,” Armstrong laughed at the start of an exclusive interview Tuesday with The Associated Press, then quickly added, “Just kidding.”
“I can’t say I have any regrets. It’s been an excellent ride. I really thought I was going to win another tour,” Armstrong said about his comeback attempt in 2009, four years after his first retirement. “Then I lined up like everybody else and wound up third.
“I have no regrets about last year, either,” he added, despite finishing 23rd. “The crashes, the problems with the bike — those were things that were beyond my control.”
From an Associated Press interview by Jim Litke via telephone videotape published in the Daily Herald.
Ryder Hesjedal & Team Garmin-Cervélo
Canadian cyclist Ryder Hesjedal, who finished Tour de France 2010 in seventh place under the Team Garmin-Transitions banner is back for another run at a Le Tour win.
Team Garmin-Transitions is now Team Garmin-Cervélo – as Slipstream Sports LLC has lost Transitions to a major change in marketing direction (I notice the fashion eye glass manufacturer are advertising with Major League Baseball in a big way this year).
Cervélo - Baracchi 1994-95
But the change is in a good direction I think, now teamed up with avant-garde, Toronto based bicycle designers and manufacturers “Cervélo – Vroomen & White Designs” the team now has an elite bicycle manufacturer on side – and in fact Team Garmin-Cervélo are unveiling the new Cervélo S5 for this year’s Tour de France.
Cervélo started in 1995 and have designed some of the fastest – and most odd looking – racing bikes ever seen. To the left is the Cervélo – Baracchi, the first brilliant design by Phil White and Gérard Vroomen. These guys caught my attention back in the 90′s, but then I heard nothing further. This bicycle is revolutionary and remains the state of the art in bicycle design in my opinion. Starting with the efficiencies found through wind tunnel testing and computer modeling, the Baracchi remains – 15 years after it’s birth – the fastest bike in the world – yet it remains unaccepted by a seemingly overly conservative cycling culture. But Phil White and Gérard Vroomen weren’t stupid about it, they have allowed themselves to bend like grass in the wind, and have designed more regular looking bicycles that are still amongst the fastest bikes in the world.
“In 2003, Cervélo became the bike supplier to Team CSC, at the time the 14th team on the world ranking. Cervélo was by far the smallest and youngest bike company to ever supply a team at this level. Team CSC has been crowned the world’s #1 pro cycling team aboard Cervélo for three years. The partnership lasted for six years, until the end of 2008.”
Cervelo is now certainly on the inside of that cycling culture, a major sponsor on the Vesus broadcasts of last year’s Tour de France, and this year a partner with one of the sports elite teams. Team Garmin-Cervélo and Slipstream Sports LLC could use this platform to force a change to the rule books of international cycling and finally make a way for the revolutionary Baracchi design to compete – and it certainly will compete – at which point every team will be forced to use it.
Last years winner, Alberto Contador, this year going for his third straight and 4th in five years finds himself under the gun, as the International Cycling Union have appealed the Spanish Cycling Federation’s aquital of Contador to the International anti-doping commission – the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) who may rule he was on performance enhancers during the 2010 Tour de France, and which may ban him from competing this year – if and when it decides to rule on the case.
Two-time runner-up Andy Schleck is back and says he wants the fans to cheer him to victory over Contador this year. Schleck’s nemesis for the past few years is easy to hate, and in light of the dope scandal hanging over the Contador, the strategy may just work. As Yogi Barra pointed out, sport is “90% half mental”.
Barry Ryan writing at CyclingNews names his top 10 in this years Tour:
The 98th running of ‘Le Tour’ starts tomorrow, Saturday, July 2 at 8 a.m. ET – live on TSN2.
“Both TSN and TSN2 will feature prime-time encore broadcasts of every stage.” ..says the blurb at TSN. I don’t get TSN2 – so I hope the rebroadcast on TSN is a real time affair – rather than a clip show. I don’t expect an English Canadian edit of ‘Le Tour’ would be worth watching.
Due to constraints on my time, I won’t be live blogging every stage as I did last year here at BikingToronto – but I’ll be writing regular pieces on the race and especially on the leaders, which I expect will include Canadian great Ryder Hesjedal.
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I manage two blogs here at BikingToronto: "@Blog_FreeWheel" and the "Toronto/GTA Bicycle Route Mapping Wiki". The Blog and the Wiki are two sides of a coin - the blog to discuss bicycle routes and the politics of bicycle routes - and the Mapping Wiki to publish bike route maps contributors and I have discovered to help city planners, cycling advocates and road users to choose and advocate for, safe and efficient cycling routes on Toronto's busy and dangerous car-centric infrastructure.