Thursday, July 06, 2006

Stage 4 - Le Tour 2006 - McEwen's 2nd

After missing out on any points yesterday Robbie McEwen came back with a vengeance on a long, slightly curved approach to the finish at St Quentin. Boonen was only 5th, so his run of near misses continues in this Tour, however Hushovd was DQd for swerving, giving Boonen a 4th place instead. The win puts McEwen back in green with Boonen still in yellow.

75 riders remain inside 1 minute from yellow, so it remains wide open.

Significantly McEwen has picked up time bonuses, moving him up on GC. So we have
Tom Boonen, then Michael Rogers, then George Hincapie on top, followed by Thor Hushovd, then Egoi Martinez (Spa) from Discovery Channel now at 0.10. Martinez picked up 3 intermediate sprints in his otherwise unsuccessful breakaway today, moving him up. Then Robbie McEwen at 0.12, with the 3rd Discovery rider Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Discovery Channel at 15secs. Discovery has a huge advantage with 3 riders vying for yellow, giving the team several options to play when the race moves into the mountains. The other teams will have to match Discovery and cover these 3, whilst watching out for other attacks.

T-Mobile also looks strong with Rogers, Serguei Gonchar and Kessler all under 20 secs plus Patrik Sinkewitz at 0.23 and proven GC man Andreas Kloden luring at 0.24secs.

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