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2010 July 05 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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Le Tour Basics

The race started on 3 July in Rotterdam and will finish on 25 July in Paris, so I thought I should explain some of what I’ll be ranting about.

Tour jerseys

The cartoon characters from my header are wearing the various colored jerseys that indicate the leader in the different classifications in the race.

The Maillot Jaune, Yellow Jersey is worn by the rider with the lowest time overall in the race. The eventual winner of the race may never have come in first in any stage, but was near the lead throughout the race and achieved the lowest time over the entire course of the event. The winner is normally an “all-arounder”, someone is very good at the sprints and the hill climbing, even if they aren’t the best. Lance Armstrong, Alberto Contador, and Fabian Cancellara are “all-arouders”, showing up on the lists of the sprinters and the climbers, while staying in the top ten for overall time.

The Maillot Vert, Green Jersey, is for the speed demons, the sprinters. The guys who hit the highest gears on the bike. They are the flat-out, flat land fliers, reaching suicidal speeds. They win points for sprints on certain portions of the course. Sylvain Chavanel currently has 44 points after today, while Alessandro Petacchi has 35. The top sprinters tend to be found in the back of the overall times, Petacchi slipped from 38 yesterday to 157 today. There were some hills on the course today, and good sprinters tend to be lousy climbers.

The Maillot À Pois, Polka Dot Jersey, is for the climbers. The hills on the course are assigned levels of difficulty, and points are assigned based on finishing order at the top. The hills weren’t that tough today, so Jérôme Pineau won the initial jersey with 13 points over Chavanel’s 8. Once the course reaches the mountains in the South, the points really start to climb and hills of Ardennes will be forgotten. The best climbers are those that high strength to weight ratios. These are the guys who are comfortable in the low gears, but manage to be one gear higher than everyone else.

The Maillot Blanc, White Jersey, is the Yellow Jersey for young riders. To be eligible you can’t have reached your 26th birthday on 1 January of this year. Tony Martin will be wearing it until the climbing starts, and then Andy Schleck will probably take it for the third time.

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July 5, 2010   Comments Off on Le Tour Basics

Stage 2

Tour de FranceBrussels to Spa

Distance: 201 kilometers.

Sylvain Chavanel of the Belgian team Quick Step had a rather nice ride. He won the stage, the yellow jersey by 2 minutes 57 seconds, the green jersey for sprinters, the red numbers for combative, the yellow numbers for advancing his team to first, and is second for the polka dot jersey. He is too old for the white jersey. Yes, a rather good day.

Jérôme Pineau of Quick Step won the polka dots, and Alessandro Petacchi of Lampre will be wearing the green, although he is in second place, because Chavanel can only wear one color.

Current Standings:

1 Chavanel Sylvain (Fra-QST-131) [yellow/red numbers]
2 Cancellara Fabian (Sui-SAX-013)
3 Martin Tony (Ger-THR-115)[white]
4 Millar David (GBr-GRM-057)
5 Armstrong Lance (USA-RSH-021)
6 Thomas Geraint (GBr-SKY-039)
7 Contador Alberto (Esp-AST-001)
8 Leipheimer Levi (USA-RSH-025)
9 Boasson Hagen Edvald (Nor-SKY-036)
10 Gerdemann Linus (Ger-MRM-141)
11 Bookwalter Brent (USA-BMC-123)
12 Brajkovic Janez (Slo-RSH-022)
13 Rogers Michael (Aus-THR-118)
14 Plaza Molina Ruben (Esp-GCE-168)
15 Klöden Andréas (Ger-RSH-024)
16 Vinokourov Alexandre (Kaz-AST-009)
17 Kreuziger Roman (Cze-LIQ-044)
18 Sanchez Luis-Leon (Esp-GCE-161)
19 Evans Cadel (Aus-BMC-121)
20 Grivko Andriy (Ukr-AST-003)

Selected Others:

27 Hesjedal Ryder (Can-GRM-054)
31 Pineau Jérôme (Fra-QST-135)[polka dot]
34 Roche Nicolas (Irl-ALM-081)
157 Petacchi Alessandro (Ita-LAM-208)[wearing green]

July 5, 2010   Comments Off on Stage 2