Sunday, July 05, 2009

TDF Stage 2: Monaco to Brignoles, update

Pictures: Mark Cavendish, Columbia Highroad--will he win this stage?

The four man breakaway is still ahead now with only 2:40 minutes, with only less than one quarter of the stage to go.

In fact as they pedal through Carces, 27 km from the finish, the follow peleton is really catching up to the breakaway.

Meanwhile there was a crash in some of the rolling hills, with a few riders now off the back trying to catch up.

Meanwhile, sprinter Mark Cavendish and his team Columbia Highroad have put on the gas to try and catch up to the lead group, from 44 km an hour to about 50 km an hour according to Paul Sherwin on Versus. And Fabian Cancellara, Yellow Jersey holder of Saxo Bank, and current TDF leader, is tucked in with their team.

Cancellara's Saxo Bank team is following the Columbia group. And Armstrong and a couple of members of the Astana team are riding alongside the Columbia Highroad team,

Will the peleton catch the lead group, and if so, will Cavendish win the sprint?

It is doubtful that Cancellara will try and sprint the finish, because all he needs to do is finish with the peleton to retain his Yellow Jersey.

In an interview with Versus Cavendish, who is from the Isle of Man, says he just wants to finish the Tour and ride into Paris, and it would be nice if he could win a stage.

But bets are also on Tyler Farrar of Garmin Slipstream. That team is slowly catching up to Columbia Highroad. Farrar won ahead of Cavendish in the Tirreno-Adriatico.

Another possibility for the end is Thor Hushovd of Cervelo who is considered very fast and capable in the TDF. (He won stages in the TDF consistently from 20o1 to 2008).

And as we write only 25 km to go, with less than 2 minutes between the peleton and the lead group.

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