YOUTH MOVEMENT. Mark Cavendish of Britain out-sprinted the best of the best sprinters at the finish line of the longest day of this year's Tour de France (232 km) to claim a striking win. The charging peloton swallowed up a day-long breakaway group of three within the last kilometer. Several teams worked to set up to spring their best sprinter across the finish line. Oscar Freire was there. Thor Hushovd was there. Eric Zabel was there. And there, also, powering ahead of these sprint greats, was a 23-year old from England riding for American team Columbia.
A STAR IS BORN? This was the first Tour de France stage win for Cavendish. Racing folks took note of him in the Giro d'Italia, in which his sprinting ability stood out. It was the first stage win for a British rider since David Millar won a stage in 2003. He's one to watch for the rest of the sprint finishes in this race and for the future.
THOR IN GREEN...FOR NOW. With his fourth-pace finish in the stage, Norwegian Thor Hushovd took over the Green Jersey from Kim Kirchen. Hushovd has won the Green Jersey competition before, but he will certainly have to fight to keep it amongst a carnivorous group of capable sprinters. Yet to win a sprint finish: Australian Robbie McEwen (though he out-sprinted all others behind the 3 breakaway riders in Stage 3).
STATUS QUO. No significant changes in the General Classification (overall standings).