The Tour de France, the most epic bike race ever, started this past Saturday in Passage du Gois, La Barre-de-Monts, France. For those living under the giant, oppressive rock of American sports, the Tour is a 23 day, 3,430.5 kilometer race that stretches across the entire country of France, and reaches into Italy this year. The race organizers change the route every year, and this year it includes 10 flat stages, 9 mountain stages, one individual and one team time trial. If you want to see proper team work, check out the US Postal team running shit in the Lance Armstrong years. This is perhaps the most grueling professional sporting event ever, with only 2 rest days in a long three weeks of riding over 100 km per day. I’ll try and keep you lot updated on the tour standings. Get you some culture, you know?
Today’s stage 5 was 164 kilometers, with one category 4 climb, and one sprint. The roads were particularly narrow which proved a problem for a number of riders in the peloton, including Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step) and Bradley Wiggins (SKY), who were caught in a massive pileup. Alberto Contador (Saxo-Bank-Sungard), a general classification contender, found himself on the ground, and Nicki Sørensen (Saxo-Bank-Sungard), the current Danish road champion, got hooked on a crazy-ass camera motorbike and fell on the edge of the peloton. The spirited Manx sprinter, Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad) captured his 16th Tour de France stage victory today, Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervélo) held on to the yellow jersey (Tour leader).
Tour Leader: Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervélo)
Sprint Points Leader: Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto)
Top Climber: Cadel Evans (BMC)
Top Young Rider: Geraint Thomas (SKY)
Top Team: Garmin-Cervelo