Stage 4: Cambrai-Arras

07-07-04.stage4 profile

07-07-04.postalfinish.jpgUS Postal dominated the team time trial today, the results say it all:

  1. U.S. Postal, 1:12:03
  2. Phonak, at 1:07
  3. Illes Balears, at 1:15
  4. T-Mobile, at 1:19
  5. CSC, at 1:45
  6. Rabobank, at 1:53
  7. Liberty Seguros, at 2:25
  8. Euskaltel - Euskadi, at 2:35
  9. Saeco, at 2:35
  10. Alessio - Bianchi, at 2:57

Due to recent rule changes, the second place team only loses 20' to US Postal, the third place team 30', and so on, so Armstrong won't put that much time into Hamilton (20') or Ullrich (40'), but he did gain enough time to put on the yellow jersey for the first time in this year's Tour. It will be interesting to see how long he holds onto it.

This year's TTT was fairly messy due to the onset of rain close to the start time. Phonak had multiple problems, including five tire punctures and three dropped riders. They still managed to ride into second place with only the minimum five riders. US Postal had to drop Noval, who may have still been suffering from yesterday's crash but still managed to finish in time to stand on the podium with his teammates. CSC also seemed to have multiple problems with at least one crash; they should still be sitting fairly well in the overall team standings. T-Mobile also appeared to have problems.

related articles: Tour de France 2004