TDF Stage 4

8 Jul

After the crash-fest of the first 3 stages the riders were ready for an uneventful stage and they got it.
There’s not much to say about Stage 4:  there was a breakaway, it didn’t make it, there was a bunch sprint and Petacchi won his second stage of the Tour.
That’s news worthy, someone other than Mark Cavendish winning a stage that was a sprinter’s dream.

I was surprised Cavendish didn’t take the stage or really even seriously challenge for the sprint finish. What gives with his giving up when Petacchi and others charged past? In the past, as in last year’s Tour, he kicked and if that wasn’t enough he kicked again. Not today, today he kicked and then sat up. Reportedly he threw his helmet off the team bus.  He is obviously frustrated, probably going back to Stage 2 and the Tour de Suisse (see Stage 1 report). This is a different rider than we saw last year when he won 6 stages in the Tour and the 4 in 2008.

Another thing of note that makes no sense frankly, is Team Radio Shack setting the pace for most of the day.  Maybe Johan is trying to send a message, whatever it was Lance did not look well today.
I thought there would be at least a crash or two (now we expect them) during one of the nine roundabouts in the last 5km.  It was tight going, but the peloton managed to squeeze thru and race for the finish.

The overall times of the GC contenders didn’t change, Cancellara is still in yellow, Thor Hushovd is still in green (10 point lead over stage winner Petacchi), Pineau is still in the polka dot jersey and Geraint Thomas now has the white jersey as best young rider.

Stage 5 will be another stage for the sprinters.  I’m picking Thor Hushovd because he really needs to win to hang on to the green jersey.  I think Cavendish will be in the mix (2nd or 3rd) if he can keep from pouting and throwing things, as well as Oscar Freire.

Can’t wait until Stage 7 when we get to the Alps.

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