Sunday, July 08, 2007

Stage 1 to Canterbury tells the tale of the first rider to abandon from the 2007 Tour de France: "Eduardo Gonzalo [Ramirez] of Agritubel injured his right shoulder after 67 kilometres in Maidstone and crashed out of Le Tour, so 188 riders will start tomorrow as the Tour returns to France."

Contrary to reports on Versus today, this was not Gonzalo's first Tour - he finished the 2006 Tour in 99th place in the General Classification and 16th place for the young rider's jersey.

Ouch! Eurosport reported that Eduardo Gonzalo crashed into the rear window of the Caisse d'Epargne team car.

Seven riders finished today's stage behind the main peleton:

182. LANCASTER Brett 186 TEAM MILRAM 04:40:30 + 00:01:29
183. VANSEVENANT Wim 49 PREDICTOR - LOTTO 04:40:33 + 00:01:32
184. ZABRISKIE David 39 TEAM CSC 04:41:28 + 00:02:27
185. HERVE Cédric 136 AGRITUBEL 04:41:46 + 00:02:45
186. CAVENDISH Mark 23 T-MOBILE TEAM 04:41:46 + 00:02:45
187. AUGE Stéphane 142 COFIDIS CREDIT PAR TELEPHONE 04:41:46 + 00:02:45
188. KUSCHYNSKI Aleksandr 156 LIQUIGAS 04:46:49 + 00:07:48

Generally, finishes of this type on flat stages are the result of either late crashes or a rider coming late to the line because of exhaustion after working hard for his team leader during the day. Occasionally it's the result of a mechanical problem for the team leader, and the domestique gives up his own wheels to the leader and waits behind for the team car.

2006 Lanterne Rouge Wim Vansevenant was given high praise by stage winner Robbie McEwen for his supporting role: "You could see on television how much work guys like Wim Vansevenant and Johan van Summeren did trying to bring me back to the peloton after my crash. It took a very long time because, at the moment I crashed, that's when the race really started going full gas. I don't think it was any coincidence that they started riding a bit faster when I was off the back but well, it's just incredible how much work my team did to bring me back. This is the perfect way to repay them for their effort."

Dave Zabriskie's story today is similar: "US TT champ Dave Zabriskie (CSC) crossed the finish line in 184th, 2'27" back as the American dropped off the pace in the final kilometres after his hard tempo work on the front today for his teammate Cancellara."

Today's late finish gives us a new Lanterne Rouge, Aleksandr Kuschynski, a native of Belarus who rides for Liquigas. Alternatively, spelled Aliaksandr Kuchynski on the Liquigas website. He apparently exhausted himself while off the front of the peleton for a lengthy time during the stage in a breakaway, chasing down sprint points. He earned a total of 6 sprint points which puts him into 20th place in the chase for the green jersey.

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I've been a TDF fan since my early teens and always have a fire lit under my pants when the Tour begins, fitness-wise. So here I am, surfing around looking for some good TDF blogs to keep me motivated. I start reading your profile and something begins to click...Hey, I think I know you! Well, not 'know you' in person, but in the virtual sense. We're you a Penguin brigader years back?? (Are they still around?) Anyway, small world. Keep up the great TDF blogging. Pulling up a front row seat :)
a fellow pengie, Mom, Marylander, Athena class runner, and TDF fanatic
That's right, guilty as charged! Still posting all about my athletic endeavors and family over at
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