Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Bad weather mars shortened Paris-Nice stage

It's hard enough just racing without the weather competing for attention as well. Bad weather. Wind and rain. Lots of wind and rain. Still, Gert Steegmans got through OK and took the win. Thor still leads and the top 15 looks like this (via CN):
1 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Crédit Agricole 2.26.55
2 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Quick Step 0.06
3 Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 0.12
4 Karsten Kroon (Ned) Team CSC
5 Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Team Milram 0.17
6 Trent Lowe (Aus) Slipstream Chipotle - H30 0.18
7 David Millar (GBr) Slipstream Chipotle - H30 0.20
8 Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Quick Step 0.21
9 Luis León Sánchez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 0.22
10 Johan Van Summeren (Bel) Silence-Lotto 0.24
11 Niki Terpstra (Ned) Team Milram 0.25
12 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Française des Jeux
13 Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Liquigas 0.26
14 Simon Gerrans (Aus) Crédit Agricole
15 Juan Antonio Flecha (Spa) Rabobank

Full ASO results here.

The winner had this to say (from the ASO site):Yes. I thought 10 kms to take some of my clothes off, which was a good choice ; When a sprint is a little uphill, every gram can count. In Belgium we’re used to cold and rain but it was really hard today. I was a little lucky, but it’s mission accomplished. One or two other stages might finish in sprints but the rest is probably too hard. The Ventoux will just be a nice leisurely ride for me.

Nice to see Lowe and Millar still up there and equally good to see Sanchez and Gerrans coming through. Flecha and Van Summeren have crept up as well. It's worth noting that the field spilt in the bad weather and inevitable crashes, forcing riders like Evans and Voigt to lose time. No confirmation yet on who has fallen or dropped from the race, however Brad McGee is currently not figuring in the results. (Update: ASO reports he came in at 42nd place.) It will be interesting to see these riders climb back up the GC... if they can.