Saturday, July 5, 2008

And there are off!!

The first stage of the Tour is in the books and it went pretty much as expected. The early break established a short lead and it stayed there. Their main concern was riding for the points and KOM jerseys, which were very hotly contested, with good ol' Thomas Voeckler becoming the first wearer of the polka dot tunic.

Crashes were the order of the day, with several minor pileups roughing some feathers. Cofidis lost Luclos-Lasalle to a broken wrist and Barloworld's attempt to the GC took a hit when their Colombian leader, Francisco Soler managed to re-hurt his hand/wrist and in the process lost a chunk of time while chasing back on.

Obviously the big winner today was Alejandro Valverde and his Caisse de Espagne team (that's one sexy looking bike he's riding). Although they will have to decide how to handle the enormous pressure of holding the leader's jersey, he has started on the right foot. On the other hand, today's loser is the aformentioned Mauricio Soler, and even though the race just got underway, he finds himself at a disavantage time wise.

Tomorrow's stage will pretty much be a copycat of today's, with the battle for the KOM's taking center stage. Ricardo Ricco is my pick for Stage 2, and with the win, he will increase his lead on the white jersey competition.

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