Results tagged “Stage 4” from spare cycles

Vaughters tweet of the day (stage 4)

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Frank already beat me to this for today, but here's today's choice tweet:

TeamSlipstream Ooops... I just dropped the F-Bomb on Versus, live. Sorry to all the parents out there. It was just really intense today... JV

Check velo.kwc.org for more frequent updates

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SAAB Fly to the Finish Codes: Efficiency, Hammering

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Dominique Rollin Wins - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley
Bixby Bridge - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley

Stage 4 Photo Gallery

Dominique Rollin took the stage, sprinter's lead, and most aggressive award with a well-timed attack from a break that the Astana was content to leave hanging 2-3 minutes off the front of the peloton for most of the stage. Rollin's exuberance after the stage made up for the gloom, rain, and snot that marked the faces in the rest of the peloton. "It was a crappy day," in the words of Danny Pate.

It was the longest stage in Tour of California history, clocking in at just over seven hours, and the riders spent it in un-Californian conditions. The winds were high enough to shake my car on Highway 1 near Bixby Bridge and sandblast my skin. The rain got worse rather than let up and a dozen riders abandoned on a day that most seemed just interested in surviving. Jackson Stewart left with hypothermia after putting himself into the virtual KOM lead. Sprinters Ivan Dominguez and Henrich Haussler also abandoned as did Slipstream's Tom Danielson. The peloton may have little legs with which to race tomorrow's decisive time trial. I'll have to see if my camera equipment survives the night -- my autofocus was on the fritz at the stage finish.

Stage 4 Photo Gallery

Tour de France '07 Stage 4 Link Roundup

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Hushovd - FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images

FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images

Thor Hushovd showed no ill affects of his stage 2 crash as he followed leadout-man Julian Dean's wheel to victory. Robbie Hunter followed Hushovd's wheel but couldn't come around. Quick Step and T-Mobile tried to control the leadout into the sprint, but in the end Boonen and Cavendish were nowhere to be seen. Hushovd ends the day 0:29 behind Cancellara, as Cancellara's stage 3 victory and breakaways have kept the jersey just out of reach of him this year.

It was a more typical sprint stage this time around: breakaway, well-timed catch. The sprint teams left it up to CSC to keep the five-man break of Flecha (Rabobank), Chavanel (Cofidis), Knees (Milram), Sprick (Bouygues Telecom), and Verdugo (Euskaltel) under control. Chavanel and Flecha made the most of the break: Flecha took the intermediate sprints, while Chavenel took all but one KOM -- making sure to not take the last and keep the KOM jersey with his teammate Auge. The CSC domestiques once again did a lot of work, but the sprint teams eventually sent a couple rides up to reel the break back in with 6k to go.

Zandio became the third abandon of the Tour after an early crash.

Zandio - AFP/File/Franck Fife AFP/File/Franck Fife

Tomorrow should shake things up a little -- the penultimate Cat 2 and final Cat 3 climbs are enough to create a gap and take away Cancellara's yellow jersey.

A special personal thanks to Steephill: my Comcast service went out, but I was able to find a live feed thanks to his live video roundup.

Stage 4: Huy - Saint-Quentin

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McEwen got his second win on a relatively calm day for the peloton. The weather was slightly cooler and the Tour ended its road trip through the classics, leaving Belgium and entering France for good. McEwen made the win look easy, winning by at least five bike lengths. There was a bit of chaos in the final sprint as Hushovd's leadout man crashed, but Hushovd had already grabbed another wheel and the rest of the sprinters made it around on the uphill finish without any problem. Hushovd's arm must be feeling fairly good as he was able to hold the fourth spot ahead of Boonen. Zabel didn't get to compete in this sprint as he got a flat tire in the final kilometers.

As a result of the sprint, McEwen moves into the green jersey and 6th overall at 0.12 back. Boonen gets to hold onto his one second lead in the yellow jersey for at least one more day. The KOM jersey stays on Pineau's shoulders as he won the first KOM sprint on the day over the other KOM contenders.

Discovery put Egoi Martinez into the main breakaway on the day and Martinez was able to rack up 18-seconds worth of time bonuses through the three sprint points, leapfrogging him into fifth overall. Discovery now has the 3rd, 5th, and 7th position overall. So, to update my analysis from last night, Discovery is in a really, really strong position right now. Bruyneel will have a lot of cards to play if his riders do well in the time trial.

It nearly looked like the breakaway might succeed as none of the sprint teams were coming forward in the final kilometers to lead the charge, but with about 4k to go the pace really picked up and the remainder of the break was caught with 2k to go.

Prediction check: * My prediction: Boonen first, McEwen second * Actual: McEwen first, Boonen fifth (will I learn?)