Tuesday, February 17, 2009

ToC - Stage 3: San Jose to Modesto - 104 miles

The hills come early in this Stage, and like most of this race it won't have any affect to the overall race. BUT, an unknown group of 15 could roll off the front and stay away to the finish putting in a 30 minute deficit to the rest and leave the rest with their tails between their legs. It happened in the Tour de Georgia a few years ago, but the true leaders were able to bring it back by the time they got to Brasstown. I'd like to bet on a breakaway group for today's Stage, but we'll see!

The view of drop #2 near Modesto. Boring, flat cow country.

My pre-race report was wrong again, dynamic! San Jose was the least appealing Stage start. It appeared that they forgot it was coming to town and put it together at the last minute. Most towns roll out the red carpet for this event, but SJ didn't. Today's two drops were both uneventful, other than the rain, for the FOURTH day in a row.... A breakaway of 4 held them off until the last few kilometers and the new Cerevelo TestTeam were able to bring Thor "The God of Thunder" Hushovd to the line first! We got to the finish just in time to see the last turn and he had a pefectly orchestrated leadout train bring him to the line in front of Oscar Freire and Mark Renshaw. We stuck around for some pictures then headed back to the hotel where I am finally able to get free wifi.

Robert Gesink, best young rider; Levi Leipheimer, overall; Francisco Mancebo, king of the mountains & sprinter points leader; Brad White, other/feel good (cancer jersey)


My good friend and cycling partner, Corinne, has been in town since late Saturday for "work" and following the Tour. I saw her briefly yesterday at the finish, but today we went stalking! After catching me up on that morning's escapade at the start (she kissed Thor on the cheek and got many other auto/photographs), we headed to where all of the teams were staying. To try and make a long story short, she got Tom Boonen, Dave Zabriskie and Andy Schleck's 'graphs. I met Andy after he finished 10th on Brasstown at the TdGeorgia in '04. He was so HAPPY to have placed so high and I just remembered how cool it was that a 19 year old had done so well and was excited. I flagged him down in the lobby and talked to him for a few minutes. He was very gracious and cool to talk with. He placed 2nd at last year's Giro and 16th at Le Tour while in support of his brother, Frank, and overall winner Carlos Sastre. I will bet a lot of money that Andy wins Le Tour in the next three years, the boy has a LOT of tallent. I'll post a picture of Andy and I when Corinne emails me them. So we hung out and had dinner there and got to talk to a few others like Victor Hugo Pena where she got a sweet ass picture with him. Tomorrow's weather looks mucho better! Ciao

Corinne and I on course near the finish.
Andy Schleck, future Tour de France winner, just wait!

1 comment:

Sandy B and Dick said...

Way to go, Thor! And Levi. It would be nice if he wins. Dad and I watch every night...oh no...we won't be able to see it over the weekend:(...xoxoxo