Monday, July 6, 2009


So, we have several stories developing after just three stages of the 2009 Tour de France.

CAVENDISH ROMPS. One story is of a young British sprinter named Mark Cavendish: He's won, hands down, the first two sprint finishes of the Tour. He's the man to beat when it comes down to a bunch sprint for the line. Will anyone rival him for the Green Jersey?

LANCE INTO 3RD PLACE. Another story is about you know who...Lance Armstrong. By getting into a successful breakaway of two dozen or so escapees about 30 km from the finish in a particularly windy section of the course in Monday's Stage 3, Armstrong gathered about 40 seconds from his rivals. He leapfrogged from 10th place to 3rd place in the General Classification contest (the rider with the best time).

RIVAL TEAMMATES. What's more, Armstrong took an 11-second lead over his own teammate and former Tour de France winner Alberto Contador. There is speculation of an intense intra-team rivalry between Armstrong and Contador, and today's action on the course did nothing to diminish that. Who will lead Astana into the mountains? We'll see.

TTT ON TUESDAY. Interesting scenario: Tuesday, Stage 4, is a Team Time Trial. Astana is expected to win it. If they do, and if their time is at least 40 seconds better than that of Columbia-HTC and Saxo Bank, then Lance Armstrong will be wearing the Yellow Jersey tomorrow evening. We'll see if it happens.

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