Monday, July 7, 2008


WHO'D HAVE THOUGHT? I wonder if American Wil Frischkorn (left in picture) really thought he'd actually get away with it when he sprang forward at the start of the 208-kilometer Stage 3? Of course every rider always hopes to get enough distance and out-last the pack of 170+ riders who eventually try to chase down and overtake any escapees before the finish line. Rarely does a breakway succeed.

ONE THAT GOT AWAY. But this is one that succeeded. This is a breakaway that got away. Joined by a handful of riders the peloton leaders decided were "safe" enough to let go, Frischkorn worked with two Frenchmen, Samuel Dumoulin and Romain Feillu and Italy's Paolo Longo Borghini through rain, wind and shine to out-wit and out-pedal the peloton. The group finished 2 minutes and 3 seconds ahead of a wreck-divided peloton. Australian Robbie McEwen beat all other sprinters to the line, finishing 5th in the stage.

NEW RACE LEADER. Their achievement shook up the leadership of the 95th Tour de France. Dumoulin won the stage. Feillu was presented the Yellow Jersey. That's two good reasons for France to be celebrating tonight! In addition, Feillu took over the White Jersey as the best-placed rider 25 years of age or younger. For the record, Frischkorn, an American riding his first Tour for Garmin-Chipotle, finished second in the stage and moved up to 3rd in the General Classification (overall time)--a minute behind Feillu and Borghini and just a few seconds ahead of former race leader Alejandro Valverde.

FURTHER GAPS. A wreck occurred on the rain-drenched road as the peloton was trying to chase down the escapees. As a result, the main peloton slip up into three groups. Several of the contenders for the General Classification (Yellow Jeresy) found themselves in the second group that finished about forty seconds behind other contenders. The later finishers included: Denis Menchov, Riccardo Ricco, and Jose Cobo. But Valverde, Cadel Evans, Carlos Sastre, and Damiano Cunego all finished in the lead group and maintain prominence in the overall standings.

THREE AMERICANS IN TOP 25. Don't look now, but Frischkorn, George Hincapie and Christian Vande Velde are all placed in the top 25 after three stages of this Tour. Not bad for USA having only four riders out of 180 selected for the race.

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