Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Stage 3: Waregem - Compiègne

Stéphane Vervalle captured Tomas Vaitkus's pain after the crash in Stage 2. He had surgery that evening for multiple breaks of his thumb.

Despite the incredible size of the pileup in yesterday's stage, and an endless 236.5-km stage to ride today, Vaitkus was the only rider involved to leave the Tour. 187 riders remain.

Fully 14 riders lost small amounts of time in today's stage as they straggled in after a long, long ride:

174. ARVESEN Kurt-Asle 32 TEAM CSC 06:36:52 + 00:00:37
175. ANTON Igor 72 EUSKALTEL - EUSKADI 06:36:58 + 00:00:43
176. TOSATTO Matteo 178 QUICK STEP - INNERGETIC 06:36:58 + 00:00:43
177. HINAULT Sébastien 108 CREDIT AGRICOLE 06:37:04 + 00:00:49
178. ZANDIO Xabier 19 CAISSE D’EPARGNE 06:37:07 + 00:00:52
179. CUESTA Inigo 34 TEAM CSC 06:37:07 + 00:00:52
180. BENNATI Daniele 82 LAMPRE-FONDITAL 06:37:07 + 00:00:52
181. DE GROOT Bram 53 RABOBANK 06:37:07 + 00:00:52
182. NUYENS Nick 145 COFIDIS CREDIT PAR TELEPHONE 06:37:07 + 00:00:52
183. CHARTEAU Anthony 104 CREDIT AGRICOLE 06:37:07 + 00:00:52
184. ONGARATO Alberto 187 TEAM MILRAM 06:37:12 + 00:00:57
185. VANSEVENANT Wim 49 PREDICTOR - LOTTO 06:37:12 + 00:00:57
186. O’GRADY Stuart 35 TEAM CSC 06:37:12 + 00:00:57
187. ZABRISKIE David 39 TEAM CSC 06:37:20 + 00:01:05

Cuesta, O'Grady, and Zabriskie probably wore themselves out working hard to protect the yellow jersey on their teammate Cancellara - which paid off enormously, saving Cancellara enough energy on the long route to allow him to dramatically won another stage today.

However, with a 9-minute deficit, our current Lanterne Rouge Aleksandr Kuschynski may not be dislodged until the mountain stages. Here are our final five riders in the General Classification after Stage 3:

183. AUGE Stéphane 142 COFIDIS CREDIT PAR TELEPHONE 15:16:22 + 00:04:14
184. VANSEVENANT Wim 49 PREDICTOR - LOTTO 15:16:29 + 00:04:21
185. HERVE Cédric 136 AGRITUBEL 15:16:29 + 00:04:21
186. ZABRISKIE David 39 TEAM CSC 15:16:32 + 00:04:24
187. KUSCHYNSKI Aleksandr 156 LIQUIGAS 15:21:09 + 00:09:01

Auge joined the breakaway today at about 58 km before the finish, and tonight will sleep in the polka-dot jersey.

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