What's Cool In Road Cycling

Stage 3: McEwan Vs Zabel

Stage 3: McEwan Vs Zabel

Metz to Reims, France. 175 km

Australia’s Robbie McEwan nabbed his first stage win of the Tour today by just holding off a fast charging Erik Zabel, and the pack, on the line. It looked as though McEwan moved illegally in the final meters by swerving to his right and into the path of Zabel, but Zabel accepted his 2nd place and did not protest.

A long flat stage today across northern France and into the capital of the Champagne region, the main excitement was provided by escape artist Jacky Durand (FdJ) and Franck Renier (Bonjour) who broke away after only 6km and stayed away until within the last 20km. One of the great things about the Tour are opportunities for glory it presents, and that are created by the riders, most of whom know they’ll never contend for the overall. You’ve got to admire the guys who bid for the long break, both for taking a chance, and also for having the guts, and strength to stay out front, on their own, for so long. But alas, these two protagonists were squished like two bugs on a car windshield after several hours of suffering… whatta ya gonna do…?

Overall, Zabel takes over the Yellow jersey, with McEwan right in striking distance, although tomorrow’s 67.5 km Team TT will likely end the sprinters days of glory. This fan likes US Postal for tomorrow, so watch for Armstrong in yellow again.

Race Note: Blackboard Man
You’ll see the guy on the motor bike holding a big chalk board with time gaps for the break away riders – this guy is living the dream big time. He is a gym teacher from Burkina Faso (in Africa), and the organization of Tour de France met him at the last Tour of Burkina Faso. He was running the blackboard at that race, and got asked by the Tour organizers to perform these duties here – so now he gets to see all the action, as it happens, where it happens – nice work if you can get it.

Stage Results:
1 MC EWEN Robbie AUS LOT 4h 13′ 37″
2 ZABEL Erik GER TEL а 00′ 00″
3 COOKE Baden AUS FDJ а 00′ 00″
4 HAUPTMAN Andrej SLO TAC а 00′ 00″
5 BALDATO Fabio ITA FAS а 00′ 00″

Overall after Stage 3:
1 ZABEL Erik GER TEL 13h 31′ 35″
2 MC EWEN Robbie AUS LOT 00′ 08″
3 BERTOGLIATI Rubens SUI LAM 00′ 14″
4 JALABERT Laurent FRA CST 00′ 17″
5 ARMSTRONG Lance USA USP 00′ 17″
6 RUMSAS Raimondas LTU LAM 00′ 20″
7 BOTERO Santiago COL KEL 00′ 21″
8 MILLAR David GBR COF 00′ 22″
9 BROCHARD Laurent FRA DEL 00′ 23″
10 FREIRE Oscar ESP MAP 00′ 25″

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