SAN DIEGO, July 1, 2013 – It’s amazing to consider that after three hours and forty mintues of tough racing, the finish of a tough 90-mile stage of the Tour de France along the hilly narrow roads of Corsica would come down to mere inches.
The sprinters got their first chance to come out and play on Stage 3 of the 2013 Tour, thrilling cycling fans who love the excitement of the fight at the line for the win.
Slovakian sprint sensation Peter Sagan of Cannondale and Simon Gerrans of the Australian team Orica Greenedge went head to head, or wheel to wheel if you prefer, with Gerrans barely edging the young phenom out by barely half of a bicycle wheel.
Garrans was slowing up but just managed one last effort to throw his bike forward the way a 100-meter runner would dip for the line. It was so close that neither rider was sure who won, and held back from any celebration. It’s a shame, especially where Sagan is concerned. He’s become known for creative celebration themes, portraying Forrest Gump and The Hulk in last year’s Tour. But there’s still plenty of time for a Sagan show.
“I wasn’t sure if I had won — a half-wheel length?” Gerrans said. “All went perfectly well, my team took great care of me after the last climb.”
The Australian Orica team had stated its desire to win one of the first three stages on Corsica with a sprint finish, and thanks to Gerrans and his teammates, it achieved this goal.
The win helped erase a little of the embarrassent over Orica’s team bus getting caught under the finishing arch on Stage 1, causing a scramble by Tour officials to move the finish line until organizers managed to move the bus out of the way at the last minute.
“We saw the footage,” Gerrans said. “You really can’t do (anything) but laugh at the situation. (Our driver) did a fantastic job, we are proud of him. He was embarrassed so we felt quite sad for him.”
As is often the case in these stages, a group of four riders broke away from the peloton early, but could not hold on. It made for a competitive battle for the King of the Mountains jersey between French rider Pierre Rolland of Europcar and rival Simon Clarke of Orica Greenedge, but Rolland hung on with a charge up the final climb of the day.
Peter Sagan retained the sprinters green jersey, and Marcel Kwiatkowski is in white as the best young rider. Team Radioshack Leopard Trek has the team lead. Because yellow jersey leader Jan Bakelants came in with the peloton and maintained his one second time gap over the field, he remains in the yellow jersey.
Several riders had to abandon the Tour today due to injury or illness. There are 183 riders of 198 left in the race who will return to the continent for Stage 4 in Nice on Tuesday. It brings the return of the team time trial this year, an exciting contest that should bring out the teams of the main overall contenders including Sky Pro Cycling with Chris Froome, Team Saxo-Tinkoff and Alberto Contador, and BMC Racing and Cadel Evans and Tejay Van Garderen. It will make for a thrilling event to watch. Expect a new name wearing yellow on Tuesday.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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