Tuesday, 18 May 2010

The calm after the storm....

After a stormy day wreaked havoc for the helicopters who should have been relaying pictures during yesterdays stage, beautiful sunshine poured down as the pelaton made it's way along the Coastal highway from San Fransisco to Santa Cruz on day three of the Tour of California. A 5 man breakaway of riders from small teams spent time out ahead as teams Radioshack and Cerevelo did most of the work at the head of the main bunch. Working to keep Leipheimer in contension for his fourth Tour win the pace was high but relaxed. Meanwhile our Man from the Isle of Man clocked up points to keep the sprinters jersey.

With 46km to go Routley kicked off from the breakaway as the pelaton edged ever closer to catching the remaining four of the original breakaway. The breakaway responded by picking up the pace a little, almost as if to warm up for the real climb up ahead. At 42 km the remaining 3 riders of the breakaway were caught by the main field. At 37.10 km Garmin came to the front having let Team Radioshack do most of the work chasing down the main breakaway group. At 36km the last man was caught as the road turned inland on a catergory 2 climb.

Leipheimer kicked off at 32.60 just to see who had the legs to follow and was joined by Zabriskie and Rogers and shortly followed by Chris Hoorne and his team mate Armstrong. Behind them the pelaton was blown to pieces with Andy Schleck surprisingly trailing behind. At 29km the crowds came out and familiar sights of the usual suspects of the wierd and wonderful lined the course.

Morabito kicked off at 28km but the group lead by Leipheimer pulled away a minutes lead on the main field. Strategically Garmin, HTC-Columbia and Radioshack were happy to let them go and by 27km the lead group had notched up another 10 seconds. By the decent the gap was 1.30 as Rhyder Hesjedal took off to chase down the group.

With 16km to go, the lead down to 55 seconds, Team Radioshake said it was a mad dash to see who would be wearing yellow at the end. In the end it was Zabriskie who came home 1st. Mick Rogers was 2nd and moves to second overalً behind zabriskie who now leads the race for the yellow jersey.

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