Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Stage 1 leaves plenty to talk about

June 29. 2013 11:36AM

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I'm pretty confident that the first stage of the Tour de France will push talk of Lance Armstrong and doping off the front pages for at least a day.
To say the stage had a little bit of everything wouldn't be quite right.
To call it the strangest day in the Tour's 100-year history is probably much more accurate.
Afterall how often does a race see its finish line move twice while the cyclist are in the last 16 kilometers of the race. Of course, you don't often see a team bus get stuck under the finish line banner with the riders just about 15 minutes from the end of the race.
Apparently, the finishing line banner wasn't as high as it should have been and the Orica-Greenedge team bus got wedged underneath it. With the riders just minutes away, organizers worked feverishly to get the bus off the course.
When it looked like that wasn't going to happen in time, the organization decided to move the finish the the three kilometer on the course. There are just a few problems with that — due to a turn right at that point the area was ill suited for a finish and the riders were unfamiliar with the area.
However, the decision was made and the sprint was on. Just then, the workers at the finish line managed to free the bus and the end of the race was moved back to its original point. It was too late for the top sprinters, though, as by that point Mark Cavendish, Peter Sagan and Andre Greipel were caught up in a crash.
What a day.
The winner? Marcel Kittel sprinted away from what was left of the peleton for the win and the first yellow jersey.
But the organization really should find a special jersey for those guys that got Orca's bus off the finish line.

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