Cent Ans de la Plus Grande Course du Monde

Tour de France

STAGE 3 : July 1

Ajaccio → Calvi

La Corse: Not just for Napoleon anymore

Bakelants is being interviewed post-race and saying, ‘Tomorrow night if I’m still in yellow it will surprise me.’ Love the humility you get in cycling. But he keeps the maillot jaune for one more day by finishing with the pack in the final sprint, which was taken in a photo finish by Simon Gerrans, riding for and redeeming Orica Green-Edge. Gerrans barely held off Peto Sagan, who was Liggett’s favorite.

The photo finish. Image from Le Tour’s official Twitter account.

I’m not much for the sprint finishes (partly, admittedly, because they’re fucking terrifying — I keep expecting one of these guys to throw up his hands, jackknife his front wheel, and eat it at 40mph, and I DO NOT WANT TO SEE THAT), but the stage had some drama over the mountains jersey. Gerrans’s teammate Simon Clarke was in the 5-man break that led for most of the race, taking points at each of the first three climbs. He needed just one more point to take the polka dot jersey away from Pierre Rolland, but the lessons of yesterday were clear and the peloton, led masterfully by Jens Voigt and all nine of Team Sky as they protected Bakelants, wasn’t going to let the breakaway take the points or the race.

Team Sky leading the peloton. Sorry for these shitty screencaps from the lousy MSNBC site. I don’t have my workflow down yet and am just grabbing what I can.

Rolland stamped past poor Clarke to take the five Col de Marsolino points before Sylvain Chavanel, riding like a bullet, chased him down. Both riders were quickly absorbed back into the herd with a few kilometres to go, and that was it.


Speaking of Rolland and jerseys, how dumb is it that the King of the Mountains jersey now includes the shorts too? It looks like the guy’s wearing fucking pajamas. Same with the maillot jaune on Mittel. Of course it’s for marketing and television purposes (the whole race started as a marketing stunt, duh) but so much for French fashion sense, mesdames et messieurs:

So the race leaves Corsica, which was the real winner today.

The Aside portion of this post, on fandom and the drug problem, has been moved here. Other bits and pieces not so directly related to race coverage will be listed under the Asides heading at left.

Here is your daily champion for Stage 3:
Napoleon Bonaparte, clearly indicating that the race will be decided in the mountains
Born August 15, 1769, in Ajaccio on Corsica, Napoleon was never in fact exiled back to his home island.