Friday, July 09, 2004

Stage Three - Day Four

I did not get to see this stage live. I was on the road, on my way home from Ohio. And, sadly, after I discovered that Baden hadn't won -- I didn't pay much attention to the stage.

Except, of course, for the cobbles.

They were something else. But that crash, right before the cobbles? Not at all something I expected. Poor Iban Mayo. He fell and never regained those four minutes. Not that I really cared, but it's always frustrating and sad to see a top contender go down. Although, I'm not so sure how good his form was, considering he's just come off a huge win. But now we won't really know. And that, I suppose, is just too bad.

Yet another day filled with proof of how good USPS really is at taking care of their own. Eki and George got Lance through without any problems. Although, personally? I would have liked to be in the break -- the two riders didn't have to worry about crashing (and there were some minor cobble-related crashes, including poor Baden. Is nothing going right for FDJ?) into anyone but each other.

Eventually they were caught and there was a sprint at the end, but oh, man. The break in the peloton put a lot of people behind. Baden was stuck at the back of the second break and never got back up to contend for the stage win.

As for the sprint? Robbie just comes out of nowhere. He almost won, but once again Jean-Patrick Nazon goes in for the win. But Robbie has the yellow jersey, finally getting his place in history. Even though I'm not that fond of Robbie, I do like the Aussies, and so it's nice to see them at or near the top.

Now if only FDJ can get their acts together tomorrow ...

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