July 14, 2009
Arvesen exits with broken collarbone
The terrific (if Flash-heavy) new Saxo Bank site offers a post-stage interview with Norwegian champion Kurt-Asle Arvesen, who broke his collarbone in today's action, but finished the stage. His exit leaves Andy Schleck one rider down in the upcoming Alps.
Arvesen won Stage 11 of last year's Tour into Foix.
Arvesen is scheduled for surgery on Thursday.
Cavendish delivers a perfect 10
Mark Cavendish continued his dominance of the Tour's sprint stages, taking his third victory in three contested sprints this year.
The expected Bastille Day breakaway featured three French riders: Samuel Dumoulin of Cofidis, who never met a break he didn't like, Benoit Vaugrenard of Française des Jeux, and Thierry Hupond of the “little wildcard who could” Skil-Shimano squad, plus Katusha's Mikhail Ignatiev.
With radios banned for the stage, the peloton never let the break get more than about 4 minutes up the road, and made the catch with less than 2 kilometers to ride, after a day raced at touring club speeds, as things picked up for the finish.
Garmin-Slipstream tried to disrupt the Columbia-HTC train, with Julian Dean squeezing in on the day's last right-hander, but Mark Renshaw led Cavendish in, and Thor Hushovd, perfectly positioned on Cavendish's rear wheel, never closed the gap to the Manxman.
Garmin-Slipstream's Tyler Farrar was 3rd on the stage. A break in the field cost quite a few riders 15 seconds in the overall. No changes to jerseys (Cavendish is now down only 6 in the green jersey hunt), while Hupond was “most aggressive rider” on the “least aggressive Tour stage” of recent memory.
Cavendish can equal his stage win total from last year's Tour with a win in Stage 11 tomorrow, which would also tie him with Barry Hoban for most career Tour wins by a Brit.
Hoban won his stages over 8 Tours, the last in 1975. Cavendish is in only his 2nd Tour.
Stage 10 Top 10:
1) Mark Cavendish, Columbia-HTC, 4:46:43
2) Thor Hushovd, Cervelo Test Team, same time
3) Tyler Farrar, Garmin-Slipstream, s.t.
4) Leonardo Duque, Cofidis, s.t.
5) Jose Rojas, Caisse d'Epargne, s.t.
6) Lloyd Mondory, AG2R-La Mondiale, s.t.
7) Kenny Van Hummel, Skil-Shimano, s.t.
8) William Bonnet, Bbox Bouygues Telecom, s.t.
9) Daniele Bennati, Liquigas, s.t.
10) Said Haddou, Bbox Bouygues Telecom, s.t.
1) Rinaldo Nocentini, AG2R-La Mondiale, 39:11:04
2) Alberto Contador, Astana, at :06
3) Lance Armstrong, Astana, at :08
4) Andreas Klöden, Astana, at :54
5) Levi Leipheimer, Astana, at :54
6) Tony Martin, Columbia-HTC, at 1:00
7) Bradley Wiggins, Garmin-Slipstream, at 1:01
8) Christian Vande Velde, Garmin-Slipstream, at 1:24
9) Andy Schleck, Saxo Bank, at 1:49
10) Vincenzo Nibali, Liquigas, at 1:54
Stage 10 Preview: Limoges to Issoudun
Back to relatively flat roads over 194.5 k or 120.9 miles today. The radio ban protest came to nothing, and riders started as expected.
It's almost a tradition that a French-flavored breakaway forms on Bastille Day, but Team Columbia may very well spoil the party. They've got their sights set on the green jersey, and today looks like a stage that sets up well for Mark Cavendish, so today's drama is likely to center on whether Columbia can make the capture without radio assistance, and whether Cavendish can make it three stage wins in this Tour.
Rinaldo Nocentini, AG2R
Thor Hushovd, Cervelo Test Team
Egoi Martinez, Euskaltel-Euskadi
Tony Martin, Team Columbia-HTC