Friday, July 9, 2010
STAGE 6: TWO IN A ROW FOR CAVENDISH
Mark Cavendish of Great Britain is back on top of his sprint game. For the second day in a row, the Manx Missile beat all rivals to the line in a straight-up sprint finish.
Second to Cavendish at the Stage 6 finish line was USA's Tyler Farrar. Aussie Robbie McEwen was in the mix, finishing 4th in the longest stage of this year's Tour de France.
Cavendish's win is again compliments of great lead-out by his right-hand man Mark Renshaw. Without strong lead-out riders who get a single-file train rolling, allowing their leading man to tuck in behind them until he launches in the last 100 meters, there would be no glory for Cavendish or Pettachi or the others.
Imagine having anything left in the tank after pedaling over 125 miles at 27 mph, much less enough to crank the speed up past 35 mph in the last mile to contest for a victory. These guys live on adrenaline.
Yellow Jersey contest
All those contending for the overall race win were status quo for Stage 6. No shake-ups. Fabian Cancellara remains in the race leader's Yellow Jersey. Aussie Cadel Evans is still in 3rd place. Lance Armstrong, the 38-year old, 7-time champ and sentimental favorite of many, is still in 18th and within striking distance with mountains he loves approaching.
The finish-line fireworks are over for a few days, folks. There won't be another flat stage until late next week. Expect no fireworks at the line or on the climbs on Saturday's Stage 7. The Tour moves into the Alps. There are several categorized climbs, but nothing difficult enough to let a contender put time between himself and his rivals. Watch for the first fireworks to occur on Sunday. And then again on Tuesday and Wednesday. It's going to get very interesting in the Alps and Pyrenees!