Sunday, July 8, 2007


FROM OUT OF NOWHERE. He crashed within 25 kilometers of the finish line. Pain from the wreck prevented him from joining the main group of hard-charging riders until 5 k from the finish. When the sprint specialists were lining up their trains at the 1 k mark, he didn't seem to be in sight. But within the last 200 meters, there he was--a wound-up coil springing with power and speed that caught all the other top guns off guard. Robbie McEwen, the little Aussie dynamo, made the impossible look easy and grabbed his 12th Tour de France stage win. McEwen won the Green Jersey (given for sprint points) in last year's tour and this finish signals his readiness to defend it in 2007.

RIDING PROUD IN HIS NATION. The 203 k ride from London to the Canterbury coast featured a long solo escape by a son of Great Britain, David Millar. What a show of national pride the Scot put on. He was eventually joined by three other escapees and the four cyclists worked together to remain ahead of the peloton for as long as possible. They were eventually reeled in and swept up by the peloton, but not before Millar claimed enough cleared enough points on the few mild climbs of the stage to be presented the Polka-dot Jersey (Maillot Pois) at day's end.

AU REVOIR, ENGLAND. Hundreds of thousands of Brits came out to the roadsides to cheer on the Tour participants on another sunny day. English landmarks both in London and Canterbury marked the route. Enthusiasm and support for the race on British soil should signal a sooner than later future return for Tour organizers. Tonight, the cyclists will be transported across the English Channel and spend the night in Dunkirk, France. Tomorrow's stage will take them from Dunkirk to Ghent, Belgium in a long, flat stage that promises another bunch sprint finish. Can McEwen do it again?


  • Fabian Cancellara retains the Yellow Jersey and there were few changes in the General Classification standings. David Millar moved into 3rd place, based on bonus time added for his climbing points in Stage 1. Thor Hushovd also moved into the GC Top Ten based on bonus time added for his sprinting efforts in Stage 1.
  • Average speed for the day: 27.1 miles per hour. Try that for 125 miles sometime.
  • If you are not familiar with bicycle racing terms, please use my "Tour lingo" guide in the right sidebar. It's taken me several years to comprehend Tour lingo and I'm still building my understand of the vocabulary.

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