Monday, July 10, 2017

Tour de France Update

Stage 7 finish - Who won?
So far the 2017 Tour de France has been disappointing. When it started, I was hoping to see:
  • Mark Cavendish chasing Eddy Merckx's record of 34 stage wins (Cavendish has 30)
  • Peter Sagan going for his sixth straight green jersey
  • Someone to come along & at least challenge Chris Froome for the overall title & make it interesting
On the Stage 4 sprint to the finish line Sagan & Cavendish collided, and Cavendish crashed, breaking his shoulder blade. Race officials disqualified Sagan, a  move which has been debated by many pro cyclists and cycling fans. In one instant, the Tour de France lost two of its biggest stars.

With those two out, Marcel Kittel of Germany looks like the favorite to win the sprinters' green jersey. He already has two stage wins, including the unbelievably close stage 7. In the photo above, it looks like a dead heat between Kittel (bottom) and Norwegian Edvald Boasson Hagen (top). The judges have access to a camera that takes 10,000 photos per second down the finish line. It showed that Kittel won by 0.2 inches.

So far, no one looks like a threat to Chris Froome, who is currently wearing the yellow jersey. Many thought that Richie Porte had the best chance to beat him. Unfortunately, Porte crashed while descending at 45 miles per hour, breaking his pelvis and collar bone on stage 9. Another contender, Nairo Quintana, is over two minutes behind Froome. Two time former champion Alberto Contador is more than five minutes back. Italian Fabio Aru is currently in second place, 18 seconds behind Froome. Perhaps he can make it interesting over the next two weeks.

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