Tour de France news shorts

Basso on split on Saint-Nazaire bridge

Racing on the north western coast of France can be fraught with danger, and the cross-winds were certainly at play on Monday's third stage. Pre-Tour contender for overall honours, Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Cannondale) had a few nervous moments ahead of the Saint-Nazaire bridge

"Just before turning onto the bridge, there was a bit of confusion," the Italian explained. "Some riders who cut across the footpath and re-entered the peloton caused Karpets to fall. Along with a good number of riders, I had to stop and with the peloton already going at high speed, we lost contact. Getting back on was made more difficult by the wind. I have to thank my teammates who brought me back up to the front."

"Tomorrow, another tricky stage awaits. The Mur-de-Bretagne is a dangerous finish, where we will certainly see some action. It's suited to punchy climbers and the terrain is there for some of the big contenders to try an attack. I'll have to defend myself."

Sticky fingers...

On Monday morning journalists from the Flemish commercial TV-station VTM found out that their satellite truck had received some unwanted attention after spending four nights in Nantes, in the East of France.

Thieves escaped with the most expensive equipment from the truck and were calculating, using some sort of oil to avoid leaving fingerprints.

VTM sent all serial numbers to the French police and from Wednesday on the satellite truck that was used for the princely wedding from Albert & Charlene in Monaco will be available for them when the Tour de France cruises through Brittany.

Feillu makes a bold prediction

Vacansoleil's Romain Feillu was a very close second to Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Cervélo) with the Frenchman disappointed but not deterred by the result.

"There is disappointment, yes, but I'm confident for the future," he told L'Equipe. "I never doubted my abilities. I know I'm one of the fastest, I'm swift, I have good acceleration, but I know I can not stay very long in the wind. That's why I started my sprint at the time, perhaps a little late because I also found myself trapped by Rojas."

This year's Tour of Picardie winner also believed that had the sprint gone slightly longer, he would have been the victor.
"I missed not even thirty yards to beat Farrar in fact! At the end I was going much faster than him, I felt it was the right speed."

Contador has a better day

Caught out in the wrong place at the wrong time on stage one, losing what could prove vital time to his general classification rivals, it was a relief to see Alberto Contador at the front of the bunch and out of trouble on stage 3.

The Spaniard explained that given the events of the opening stage, he and his Saxo Bank-SunGard team took special care on Monday.

The defending Tour de France champion describes closing kilometres of Wednesday stage as one, "with a lot of tension, because the wall of Brittany is a pretty tough slope and a great objective for a rider like Gilbert."

Kiwi fashion police

In life, you cannot please everyone and it seems as though World Champion Thor Hushovd is not immune. TVNZ blogger, Russell van Hyer, was certainly no fan of the Norwegian's modified Garmin-Cervélo kit as overall leader.

Van Hyer came up with this gem in his stage 3 report, referring to the sensibilities of British fashion guru, Gok Wan:

"Might see a change in the overall though, which will be a relief after Thor's disasterous [sic] white shorts/yellow jersey combo last night - Gok would do his nut!"

With all due respect, Cyclingnews is not sure Gok would approve of lycra regardless.

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