Sunday 1 July 2012

Tour de France 2012: Stage 1 - Liege to Seraing

Well yesterday's prologue was interesting for a number of reasons. Tony Martin the world Time Trial champion had a mechanical which meant he ended up 23 seconds back (losing about 20 seconds to change bikes). This put him four places but on the same time as Mark Cavendish who was 40th. But Frank Schleck was 38 seconds back meaning that he did lose 31" to on of his main rivals and 21" to the defending Champion.

For while Fabian Cancellera did win the stage but a full 7 seconds it was over Bradley Wiggins who will start in Green today. Cadel Evans only lost 10 seconds to Wiggo, just ahead of Giro winner Ryder Hesjedal 1 second further back. Teejay van Garderen was in 4th place and will wear the white jersey as best young rider.

Today's stage leaves Liege and does a loop around to Seraing on the outskirts. It isn't exactly flat and contains five 4th Category Climbs. The final one is the kick at the finish 192km traveled but they end up not too far from where they started.

Now the kick at the end means this is the sort of stage that Mark Cavendish last year would probably have left to his new team mate Edvald Boasen Hagen to compete for, but this year the slimmed down Cav is saying that he has lost some of his raw speed and weight to help the team in the mountains and as a bit of a rouleur. Therefore it will be interesting to see if he contesting the stage line honours with the like of Philippe Gibert and the usual suspects.

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