Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Tour de France Day 4

Team Time Trial!

They start with all nine team members and their winning time is decided by the time of the fifith guy that crosses the finish line.

Discovery Channel and Lance Armstrong looked good the whole race. No one in distress and no accidents. They trailed at most of the time checks except for the one that counted - the finish line. Set the fastest time of the day with only one team still out on the track - CSC, David Zabriskie's team.

Unfortunately for David his run of Yellow in the tour ended today. And what a horrible way for it to end. With only 1.5 km to the finish and CSC looking like they were going to just beat Discovery channel's time, Zabriskie knicked the wheel of the bike in front of him and went down hard. The three riders behind him managed not to run over him. But at this stage of the race they also couldn't afford to pull up and wait for him. They rode on. David got to his feet and started to mount his bike when he realized that it was unrideable. But in a move to make a nascar pit crew jealous, his team car was right there with another bike for him. He climbed on and sporting some pretty nasty looking wounds on his shoulders and ribs continued the race. He finished 1 minute, 26 seconds behind his team. Which finished two seconds behind Discovery Channel. The exact time difference between Zabriskie and Armstrong when the race started.

The really bad luck about this crash is that it occured just outside the last km of the race. If it had happened inside the last km, David would have been awarded the same time has his team and then been in a virtual dead tie with Lance Armstrong for the yellow jersey.

Zabriskie wearing yellow was a great treat for the last couple days. You really hate to see a run like that end with a crash.

General Classification standings now have 3 Americans in the top four - Armstrong, Hincapie and Julich. With Discovery Channel holding 4 of the top 6 spots.

CSC and Discovery sure look like the teams to beat with those two teams holding all of the top 17 places except for Vinokourov in 7th and Ullrich in 14th both of whom ride for T-mobile.

Lance now has a 1:21 lead over his nearest serious competitor - Vinokourov.

Zabriskie dropped to 9th and is 1:26 back. We'll have to see how that boy can climb next week. I just hope his injuries aren't as bad as they looked.

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