Monday, July 06, 2009

TDF 2009 Stage 3: Cavendish wins stage: Armstrong 3rd

Mark Cavendish won the final sprint in the 3rd stage of the Tour de France today, narrowly beating out his rivals in a 28-man split before the finish.

Cavendish "taking the call" at the finish of stage 3

But Lance Armstrong who quickly worked with the split, managed to improve his standing from 10th in the overall standings to no. 3. Tony Martin of Columbia HTC is no. 2 in the overall.

Said Phil Liggett, "Lance Armstrong made a big killing today."

Lance Armstrong training in the south of France before Stage 2

Wearing green sunglasses to match the Green Sprinter's Jersey he won yesterday at Stage 2, Cavendish put his hand to his face in the sign of a phone call, a move that left commentators to guess what it meant: "I made the call?"

Mark Renshaw also of Team Columbia HTC led out the sprint, with Cavendish behind him, and Thor Hushovd of Cervelo in the slipstream. Renshaw must have put in a huge effort because he stayed out so long in the front of the 28 man group.

Cavendish was wearing the Green Sprinter's jersey which he won yesterday in the final sprint in Brignoles.
Canvendish in yesterday's finish

Lance Armstrong was in the small split, improving his overall time by 39 seconds, as was Fabian Cancellara who maintained his lead in the Yellow Jersey.

The split occurred when a large crosswind hit the course, and splintered the peleton into pieces. Columbia HTC took off to widen the gap, and efforts by Saxo Bank to catch the split were unsuccessful.

In an interview on Versus George Hincapie of Team Columbia said none of the sprinter teams would help them today, and they got angry and started off on their own to dominate the race. It could cost them tomorrow in the team time trial when they have to put out the same or more effort.
Yesterday's sprint finish (Stage 2)

Incredibly Samuel DuMoulin, the rider from Cofidis who led the early four man breakaway today was in the finishing group, and came in fifth, and is overall third in the Green Jersey competition.

Cyril Lemoine of team Francais les Jeux, came in third in the sprint for the stage.

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