Stage 3 - 198km Olonne-sur-Mer - Redon
Victoire pour l'Amérique!
Well, he has been the nearly man in the Tour sprints for the last couple of years but last night, with a little help from his friends, Tyler Farrar finally got the Tour stage coming to him. It was quite the emotional win for Farrar, who dedicated his victory on the line to friend Wouter Weylandt, the Leopard-Trek rider who died in a crash in stage 3 of the Giro d'Italia this year.
His win was the conclusion of a perfectly executed lead out by his dominant Garmin-Cervelo team, Hushovd and Kiwi Dean keeping their cool and avoiding the last corner's crash confusion, delivering Farrar at the line with a perfect 150m to go.
Quite an interesting change to see HTC-Highroad lose grip of their normal steaming and highly disciplined lead out train, and very interesting to see the ground a desperate Cav made up in the last few hundred metres after being brought to a standstill with the crash. The Manx boy is on form, which should make life fun in the finale for the next few, eh?
Heavy Handed? Moi? Non, Monsieur
Cav and Hushovd had a wee clashing of horns during the intermediate sprint at Saint-Hillaire-de-Chaleons and managed to get themselves disqualified from the points - I've seen worse in the Sunday sprint for the cafe but rules are rules and French commissaires are not to be messed with so early in the game. Guess you can't fight for your position any more!
Fashion Faux Par
Tomorrow's stage ends on the Mur de Bretagne, a nifty little bump similar to the first stage, so yet again it will be like a bunch sprint in slow motion with lots of riders going far too early. Might see a change in the overall though, which will be a relief after Thor's disasterous white shorts/yellow jersey combo last night - Gok would do his nut!