Friday, July 18, 2008

Stage Thirteen: Narbonne to Nîmes

Bunch sprints followed by the whole peloton crossing the line do little to shake up the General Classification either for the leaders or for those listed at the bottom of the page. No DNSs or abandons or dramatic doping arrests today, but the finish was sure fun to watch.

Three stragglers today (none of whom were in the long breakaway):

156. ROY Jérémy 168 FRANCAISE DES JEUX 4h 32' 59" + 07' 17"
157. LE BOULANGER Yoann 167 FRANCAISE DES JEUX 4h 32' 59" + 07' 17"
158. KRAUSS Sven 116 GEROLSTEINER 4h 40' 54" + 15' 12"

I haven't even looked up his name, but I'm betting Sven Krauss is the guy whose bike disintegrated on impact upon hitting a piece of road furniture. Amazing, sure to become a YouTube classic! Note to self: DO NOT hit something which is going to slice your bike COMPLETELY in half before it catapults into midair!! But if you do, tuck and roll and get up like that rider did.

Same old same old in the rankings, even though Jimmy Casper finished up in 20th for the stage:
153. CASPER Jimmy 123 AGRITUBEL 56h 44' 22" + 1h 55' 35"
154. EISEL Bernhard 45 TEAM COLUMBIA 56h 45' 56" + 1h 57' 09"
155. RIBLON Christophe 108 AG2R-LA MONDIALE 56h 46' 12" + 1h 57' 25"
156. SPRICK Matthieu 146 BOUYGUES TELECOM 56h 51' 07" + 2h 02' 20"
157. AUGE Stéphane 182 COFIDIS CREDIT PAR TELEPHONE 56h 53' 15" + 2h 04' 28"
158. VANSEVENANT Wim 9 SILENCE - LOTTO 56h 56' 49" + 2h 08' 02"

So how long do you think Cavendish will last before he bails to go train for the Olympics? He keeps saying how "tired" he is, in his charming manner. Yeah, if I sprinted at 10,000 mph I'd be tired too. Will he last through the two category 4 climbs tomorrow, the final one less than 10k to the finish? Or until Sunday, with an Hors Categorie and a category 3 climb followed by a category 1 finish? Or will he try to set a record for sprint stage wins and ride into Paris? I'd make a voting box but I don't know how.

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