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Archive: July 24, 2011

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TDF stage 20 / ITT - Martin powers to victory, Evans blasts by Schlecks to take yellow (and we are there!)

Sunday,  07/24/11  09:35 AM

So yesterday was amazing; Shirley and I were in Grenoble watching stage 20 of the Tour de France.  I took a bunch of pictures - how great is it that you can just walk up to a Tour stage and watch it close up? - and we enjoyed ourselves thoroughly; everything from the TGV down from Paris (600km in 2 1/2 hours!) to the beautiful city of Grenoble itself to the pageantry and of course the excitement of the ITT as the Tour was decided.

Some pictures, in chronological order to tell the story: (how cool is it to use my pictures, instead of Velonews' :)


Grenoble, gateway to the alps and scene of stage 20 of the 2011 TDF, the individual time trial


on the finishing straight, ready for action


the start house is right there; here Chris Anker Sorensen takes off


Tony Martin powered to the stage win, repeating his victory in the Dauphine Liberte on the same course
(and upsetting favorite Fabian Cancellara!)


Levi Leipheimer had a disappointing tour, as did Radio Shack; they'll be back


Robert Gesink suffered, as did Rabobank; they'll be back


Tom Danielson had a great tour (9th!), and Garmen Cervelo won the team classification


Pierre Rolland, white jersey for best young rider and winner of yesterday's stage up to l'Alpe d'Huez


Ivan Basso had a great tour, 8th overall


Samuel Sanchez, resplendent in polka dots, 7th overall


with the 3rd best time on the day, Alberto Contador passed Damiano Cunigo to finish 5th overall
somehow he gained more by finishing 5th this year than by winning last year


Cunigo had a great tour, ended up 6th overall


Thomas Voeckler was the French hero, 10 days in yellow, and finished 4th overall


Cadel Evans blasted to a close 2nd to pick up over two minutes on the Schlecks
and win yellow!


tick tick tick took Frank Schleck nearly six minutes to show up after Evans
(they started three minutes apart)
he did have a great tour and finished 3rd overall


Andy Schleck enjoyed yellow for the day but had to give it up to Evans in the end
so now he finished 2nd for the third year in a row
look for him to come back strong next year!


they say every road in Grenoble ends in a mountain; it is surrounded by beauty


celebrating our TDF swag at a cafe

Just an awesome day.  And later today we're off to the Champs d'Elysee to see stage 21 and the final finish.  Stay tuned!

[ Tour de France 2011:  all postsindex ]

 

TDF stage 21 / parade - Cavendish wins! and takes green (and we are there!)

Sunday,  07/24/11  09:34 PM

What can I say?  To be on the Champs d'Elysee for the finale to the Tour de France was awesome!  It was a boring race even by last-stage-of-the-Tour standards - hardly any breakaways, easily chased down, and a bunch sprint ending in a runaway victory for Mark Cavendish - but it was great to be in the huge crowd, sense the atmosphere, and see the peloton flashing by.

A few pictures for your viewing pleasure:


the scene: Paris!


the Arc d'Triomphe punctuates one end of the Champs d'Elysee


the Champs d'Elysee, perhaps the most famous shopping street in the world
converted on the third Sunday in July into the most famous velodrome :)


looking straight down the 3 mile racetrack


one kazillion people were on hand, wow


the intermediate sprint point


giant monitors relay the action for the crowd


there they are!  Cadel Evans looking good in yellow


the peloton whooshes by


it's a break! - but reeled in quickly


Mark Cavendish wins!
his fifth stage win, wrapping up the green jersey


the final podium: Andy Schleck (2nd for the 3rd year in a row), Cadel Evans, Frank Schleck


winning team: Garmin Cervelo
Thor Hushovd (world champion's rainbow at left) won two stages and wore yellow all the first week
note cardboard cutout of Dave Zabriske who crashed out

And so ends a great Tour, which had a little of everything.  More than anything else it had drama, the end was in doubt 'till the last, many great attacks, many crashes, many heroes, many victims, and a number of interesting subplots.  (And blessedly no doping scandals!)  I will post some summary thoughts when I get back - stay tuned...

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