Roadside Stage 5: The race continues its progression to the the south and a first appointment on Saturday with the mountains of the Alps. Before making the 187km journey to the Canals of Montargis, we took a look around Epernay to see and sample some it its local attractions.
Analysis St. 5 Mark Cavendish got it right today and won Stage 5 by enough of a margin that it should answer any questions about his sprinting form. And judging from his emotional response to winning (tears of relief, perhaps?), today’s victory will hopefully dispel any doubts he may have had in himself coming into the Tour de France.
The Tour is well underway and it has had its fair share of crashes and controversy in only a few stages. As you would guess there is soo much Euro Tour Trash out there, but we have got our hands dirty and sifted through to find the juicy bits! And anything else interesting that might be happening.
Roadside Stage 4: Today we would be leaving behind the beer and frites of Belgium and swapping them for pain au chocolat and champagne. It's a tough assignment covering the Roadside reports under the sun at the Tour de France, but as the saying goes, someone has to do it.
Analysis St. 4 Six years ago, Alessandro Petacchi won 15 Grand Tour stages in one year, taking sprint wins in the Tour of Italy, Tour de France, and Tour of Spain. He was crowned the new King of the Sprinters, the heir to Mario Cipollini’s throne. But after some dry years, he’s returned to win two stages in the first week, and it’s fair to say he’s back among the elite sprinters in the peloton.
Garmin’s Monday was disastrous, but yesterday, whilst they didn’t win the stage – fourth place is what the record book says - they won a lot of hearts and crucial TV time, thanks to an epic from their big Canadian ‘rouleur,’ Ryder Hesjedal. Tired or not, he still had time for a few words with PEZ after his ride.
Roadside Stage 3: We spent a lot of time in the start village of yesterday's stage discussing what might and might not happen in the 213km run from Wanze in Belgium to Arenberg Porte Du Hainaut in France today. Today was our chance to leave the riders to it and hit the road as we crossed from Belgium to France.
Analysis St. 3 Luck has always played a role in cycling and the Tour, and over the course of a career riders who sometimes benefit from incredible luck must also experience the worst of it. Lady Luck has certainly smiled on Lance Armstrong during his career (remember the trip through the grass in 2003?), but today his luck ran out, with a flat front tire at a very inopportune moment.
Roadside Stage 2:The First week of the Tour always has the potential to be a game changer and with the need to leave early on Tuesday to find a good spot on the course, we figured today was the day to grab some comments on what those in and around the race thought about the prospects for the next two days.