This is a guest post by Mr.Q, a professional quizmaster and a passionate traveler
Cycling Schumacher in the making !!
The Tour de France has always been about the race for the Yellow Jersey & the titanic struggle which the leader of the race has to put up with. For most professional cyclists even wearing the jersey once would be a life time achievement. But guess what, this Tour is becoming a race for the Green Jersey!!
As I had written earlier – the Green Jersey, malliot vert is given to the best Sprinter of the Tour. This time around Mark Cavendish from UK of the British Columbia team & Thor Hurshod from Norway of the Cervalo team are engrossed in a fight of their own!! After one exchange the Jersey now seems to be settling with the Englishman. The regularity with which he is winning the sprint endings is definitely a point of worry for all team directors.
The 11th Stage of the Tour de France started off in Vatan & ended at St.Fargeau a distance of 192 kms, with most teams gearing up for the Alps – which starts in 2 days.
Both the towns -Vatan & St. Fargeau are joining the Tour for the very first time. Vatan, with a population of 8,000, which in French means “Scram” hosted a very unique event last year – when representatives of towns with funny names in France where invited to a meet. Those who attended included – “Arnac la Poste” (cheat the Post Office), “Monteton” (My T*t) & “Trecon”(Very Stupid)!!!
St.Fargeau with a population of only 1,800 makes it the smallest town to be part of this years Tour, with the Castle being the biggest visual point in the town.
Through the stage, there were crashes, with even Nocentini, the Yellow Jersey, falling once – none of the major riders got caught out and the stage finished with another brilliant ride by the Mark “Manxman” Cavendish who was set up by his team mates for the sprint. Tyler Farrar of the US based Garmin Slipstream team came second for second time in this tour, with Thor Hurshod coming in on the same time as the top 2.
With this stage win Cavendish also equals the British record of 8 tour Stage wins by Barry Hoban and that too in his very second Tour. No stopping the Manxman and if he is there on the last stage at Paris, me thinks it would be a one way race to the last stage win on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées!!
For the record in Stage 11 – the Race course was 192 kms and the winner was once again – “Manx Missile” – Mark Cavendish of the British Columbia Team, the fourth Stage win for him & the team in this tour. The individual standings at the top remain the same. The Yellow Jersey remains with Rinaldo Nocentini of the AG2R team from France. Alberto Contador & Lance Armstrong maintain their 2nd & 3rd spots, just 6 & 8 seconds respectively from the top.
Armstrong has been tweeting regulary to keep up with his fans & his tweet on the race today was –“St11 done. Fast start, crashes a plenty, then a breakaway. Ended up being pretty relaxed. Cav wins again. #4 for him. Congrats to him.’ Just two days back Armstrong had shot a video with his old pal George Hincapie & Mark Cavandish and had tweeted that “Good fun although Cav was too well behaved!!”
The Race tomorrow is from Tonnere to Vittel a distance of 211 kms and with Vittel being the same water brand that is a major sponsor of this tour, the publicity caravan would definitely be the place to be before the race starts as there will be some heavy duty branding works in the pipeline!! With this stage being of 6 small climbs and some long flats, the solo breakaway by a rider has the highest chance of succeeding, and many of the 170 riders left on the tour would be dreaming of that tonight…
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