Hesjedal's stocks rise, Sick Spartacus, Horner's odd odyssey and a Leopard cub
Hesjedal profits from reviewed stage 1 finish times
The hectic final kilometres of stage 1 continue to cause fuss in the Tour de France peloton. After stage 3 the jury announced that three riders were given the time of the group in which they featured before a crash in the final three kilometres put them at distance.
The three riders who profit from the jury decision are Sandy Casar (FDJ), Romain Feillu (Vacansoleil-DCM) and Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Cervélo). Casar gained half a minute in the general classification, Feillu moved up by more than four minutes and Hesjedal knocked 35s from his delay on stage winner Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto). Especially for Hesjedal this is good news as he's eyeing a good result in the general classification. If the result of stage 1 would stand the Canadian would lose 95s on stage winner Gilbert.
The next day Hesjedal and his team bounced back with the win in the team time trial. Back then Hesjedal reacted philosophical on gaining back time on his GC rivals. "As soon as one day is over you're up to the next and I think we showed what we're here to do." After stage 3 Hesjedal trailed race leader Thor Hushovd by 39s instead of 74s.
There was no new information on the finish time of Albert Contador (Saxo Bank-SunGard) so it seems that the lost time during stage 1 for the Spanish top favourite is definitive.
It's been a shaky start for Fabian Cancellara at this year's Tour de France, with the seven-time stage winner enduring a frightening plane journey ahead of the Grand Depart last week.
Now, the 30-year-old has revealed via his Twitter feed that he is unwell , following Tuesday's fourth stage.
"Great team job today.Thor you imprest me.i am not 100%healthy.sinus is totally blockt and cant not good breathe.had to take some antibiotic."
Horner's odd odyssey
American Chris Horner just couldn't understand why he was suffering so much toward the end of stage 4. He went back to the RadioShack team car thinking he needed to get rid of some extra clothing - and so he stripped to his bare chest, "flying thru the curves with no hands on the bars at one point trying to pull my undershirt over my head", he wrote on his blog - all in an attempt to feel peppier.
As soon as he finished re-dressing, he noticed that he had a flat tire - and all the time his energy had been sapped from the extra resistance.
"At that point I wasn't sure if I was happy to find the source of all my pain and suffering for last 10 miles, or more worried about the pain and suffering that was about [to] begin again after the wheel change as I tried to get back into the race!"
He admitted the return to the front of the race with 20km to go required a little bit of NASCAR-type "bumping and rubbing", but said "I didn't make any friends getting to the front, but I did get there just before the final climb started" - only losing eight seconds in the process.
A Leopard cub
The middle of June Leopard Trek's Fabian Wegmann announced that he would not be riding the Tour this year, missing it for the first time since 2004. He and team management agreed on that for several reasons, including "one very specific" but unspecified ground.
That reason was made clear on Tuesday, when Wegmann announced the birth of his first child, Otto Christian, born June 29. Mother Johanna and son are both doing well.
Editorial assistance provided by: Brecht Decaluwé, Laura Weislo, Susan Westemeyer and Jane Aubrey.
Back to top
Tour de France