July 06, 2004
Stage 3 wrapup: Mayo down, but out?
Pre-stage, Magnus Backstedt predicted the day:
"We could see some dramatic changes today. It's going to be a very strange race and it will be absolute chaos."
Eurosport's take on the decisive crash:
The pack, already nervy, turned positively frantic as the riders jostled for the front positions in the bunch -- traditionally the safest place to sit when tackling the unpredictable topography of the cobbles.
A touch-of-wheels tumble brought down some 15 riders, including overall race favourite Iban Mayo (Euskaltel) and Fassa Bortolo rider Marco Velo.
I expect we'll get some beefcake shots of Iban Mayo, shorts in tatters, over at Crazy Jane's Le Tour Delicieux!.
Mayo apparently accepts the conventional wisdom (rough Google translation), that he's out of the race for overall Tour victory. When you factor in the 90 seconds plus he'll probably lose to the big men tomorrow, and the 2 minutes he will likely lose on the last time trial, he'll need to be absolutely dominant in the mountains to win. He may have to adjust his sights to getting a stage win or two or competing for the polka-dots.
It's good to see Erik Zabel factor in a sprint. Like Stuart O'Grady, he's lost that extra 5 meters in a mass sprint, but he's another guy that can hang with the fast guys on days when many sprinters are riding "the bus," the group of riders just trying to avoid elimination that forms at the back of the race.
Armstrong thinks his chances are good to take the 54th yellow jersey of his career tomorrow:
"Well if the team wins, then I will definitely be in the yellow jersey," said Armstrong, who said it was still early and his goal was to be wearing the jersey for the sixth time in Paris on July 25 when the Tour ends.
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Sorry to let y'all down on that Iban Mayo beefcake thing, but you know, he's so skinny that I'm kinda wanting to ask that eternal question... you know the one.
Posted by: Crazy Jane at Jul 7, 2004 1:36:30 AM