Thursday, July 09, 2009

TDF 2009:Stage 6 Update

With rain pounding away all day on the riders, four have gotten away and stayed away for almost the entire race and are now about 1 minute 30 seconds ahead of the peleton.

They are David Millar GRM), Stephane Auge (COF), Sylvain Chavanel (QSI), and Amet Txurruka (EUS).

With only about 30 kilometers to go in the race, there is good chance that the peleton could catch up, and you can be sure that the leaders--such as Fabian Cancellara, will not want to give his Yellow Jersey away.

For once Team Columbia HTC has not been doing the work to chase the breakaway presumably because they don't see their teammate and Green Jersey holder Mark Cavendish with a win on the uphill finish.

Instead Team Rabobank has done some pulling, but not enough to bring back the break--so far.

At this point if the peleton does not catch up to David Millar who has now separated himself from two other break members, there is a possibility he could win. Still he is only one minute ahead. Auge is about to be caught by the peleton, but today he will be keeping the lead in King of the Mountains and the polka dot jersey.

Team Rabo Bank, team of Oscar Freire, are chasing him down. If the peleton catches up there is a good bet that Freire could win.

Some of the previous winners of stages that concluded in Spain Are:
(this info from Tour de France 2009)
1949: Bordeaux – San Sebastian, Caput
1957: Perpignan – Barcelona, Privat and Anquetil were the winners of two half-stages.
1965: Ax-les-Thermes – Barcelona, Perez-Frances
1968: Saint-Gaudens – Seo-de-Urgel, Van Springel
1974: Colomiers – Seo-de-Urgel, Merckx
1977: Oloron – Vitoria, Nazabal
1991: Pau – Jaca, Mottet
1992: San Sebastian – San Sebastian (prologue), Indurain ; San Sebastian – San Sebastian (stage 1), Arnould
1996: Argel├Ęs-Gazost – Pampelune, Dufaux
2006: Tarbes – Val d’Aran (Pla de Beret), Menchov

Here are some more tidbits for you to consider. Remember our discussion about French representation in the Tour? France happens to be the best represented country among riders in the Tour, regardless of where the team is based:

41 – France
28 – Spain
15 – Germany
15 – Italy
10 – Belgium (originally 11, but Jurgen van de Waelle (QSI) abandoned after breaking a collarbone in a crash in stage two)
9 – Netherlands (originally 11 but Piet Rooijakkers abandoned after a crash in stage four and Robert Gesink fractured a bone in his left arm in a fall in stage five)
8 – Russia
7 – USA
6 – Australia
4 – Great Britain
3 – Denmark, Luxembourg and Switzerland
2 – Austria, Belorussia, Colombia, Japan, Norway, New Zealand, Portugal and Ukraine
1 – Canada, Finland, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia and Sweden

The second most represented country is Spain, with two in the Astana team, Alberto Contador, and Haimar Zubeldia.

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