Route: Cholet - Châteauroux
Distance: 232 km
The longest day of the 2008 Tour de France was definitely a day for the sprinters…and yet another great day for Team Columbia with a stage win by Mark Cavendish. They now possess the white jersey of the best young rider and are currently second in the team competition. True, they handed the sprint jersey to Thor Hushovd today but, hey, sharing is a good thing. Right? Only seven points separate Kim Kirchen and Mr. Hushovd in that contest. One lousy day for the latter and the former may be wearing green again in no time. Remember, it isn’t over until the fat lady sings…or, in this case, until the fat cyclist rides. Well, you get the idea.
Favorite part of the day: the sprint finish, of course. How nerve wracking! With 35 sprint points up for grabs on the finish line, the sprinters had a prize worth fighting for. Team Liquigas set the pace at the front of the peleton in order to reel in a three-man breakaway and set up their man for a win (Francesco Chicchi). Team Columbia took a turn in the drivers seat as well in an attempt to launch Mark Cavendish over the line. An incident with a spectator and a crash on a roundabout did little or nothing to slow the pace into Châteauroux. Dicey, dicey, dicey. Nicolas Vogondy, one of the breakaway leaders, came up with one last desperate attempt to stay out front, but to not avail. Caught just meters from the finish, victory was not to be for the Frenchman. Instead, the win went to Mark Cavendish of Team Columbia. Kudos to the High Road Sports organization for a job well done.
Saddest part of the day: the withdrawal of Juan Mauricio Soler due to suspected broken bones in his scaphoid, the result of a crash on Stage 1. Today, he crashed again in the neutral zone and, shortly thereafter, decided to abandon the Tour. Too bad. The contest for the polka-dot jersey just won’t be the same.
In other news: Alejandro Valverde crashed early in the day. He has some road rash, but seems fine.
Oddity of the day: the giant yellow bug sculpture in one of the traffic circles. It was at around 56 miles before the end of the stage. Did you see it? It looked like an ant to me.
- Juan Mauricio Hernandez Soler
- Stefan Schumacher
- Kim Kirchen
- David Millar
- Cadel Evans
- Fabian Cancellara
- Christian Vande Velde
- George Hincapie
- Thomas Lövkvist
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Inspired by a little-known picture book from the pen of Bethany Tudor, this is a diary, of sorts, where I document some of my thoughts, activities, and ideas as I explore the challenges met by the characters in the story: hard work, the care and nurture of others, housekeeping skills, life changes, charity, community, and cooperation, among others. Like Samuel and Samantha, the ducks in the tale, I struggle and succeed, cope and celebrate, work and play, handling the tasks that come my way. I invite you to join me on my journey.