The Tour so Far

The Tour is here and it’s here with a bang. A big bang I am tempted to say and answers to the name of Mark Cavendish. He also answers to Cav. Well, in the opening stage of the Tour, Cav won the yellow jersey. A first for him and how great it was. OK I have to admit that I am a great fan of his so, maybe I am exaggerating with my celebration. It is great to see a sprinter in the leader’s jersey, though.

Stage 2 and as soon as I saw the profile I realised that Cav will have to hand the yellow jersey to a new leader. He was hoping it would be his Norwegian teammate Edvald Boasson Hagen but it turns out that it’s the World Champion himself, Peter Sagan. Now Peter Sagan started his career as a sprinter but he developed himself into a puncheur; but a puncheur that can really sprint, too. Peter Sagan in yellow, then. A first for him, too. Oh, and as he has proven already there is no such thing as “the curse of the rainbow jersey”.

The biggest news, though is that Alberto Contador is 48 seconds down on Chris Froome, Nairo Quintana and Fabio Aru. Richie Porte is trailing by 1:45 and Vincenzo Niballi only by 11 seconds. Looking at the major contenders and some notable names it looks like this:

  • Alejandro Valverde (Movistar): 10 seconds behind Peter Sagan.
  • Chris Froom (Sky), Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Fabio Aru (Astana), Pierre Rolland (Cannondale-Drapac), Simon Gerrans (Orica-BikeExhange), Romain Bardet (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida), Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo), Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha), Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing): 14 seconds.
  • Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), Thibaut Pinot (FDJ): 25 seconds.
  • Alberto Contandor (Tinkoff): 1:02.
  • Fabian Cancellara (Trek-Segafredo): 1:42.
  • Richie Porte (BMC Racing): 1:59.

Alberto Contador had a nasty crash on Stage 1 and another (lighter one) on Stage 2. Richie Porte had a rear puncture 5 km from the finish of Stage 2 and that left him with no teammates around him and only a neutral service car to help him. He tried to limit his losses but it doesn’t look good. For Contador might be harder though because of the pain and lost skin he will not be sleeping well so his recovery will suffer.

It seems that Froome, Quintana and Aru have the most chances for wearing yellow in Paris. Only time will tell.

Stage 3 is supposed to be one for the sprinters. Hopefully we’ll see a good fight to the finish line.