SAN DIEGO, July 2, 2013 – After “Busgate” incident on Stage 1 of the Tour de France, the Australian Orica Greenedge felt it had something to prove. The team is getting media attention for the right reasons now after the team time trial.
It proved the fastest team in today’s Stage 4 team time trial at the Tour, setting a speed record of nearly 37 miles per hour in winning the stage by just two seconds over second place Omega Pharma Quickstep. The team was down three seconds at the first time check, but set a blazing pace over the second half to take the win.
The team time trial returned after a year’s absence. In this discipline, each of the 22 teams made up of nine riders (or whatever each team has left) races together along a 15.5 mile course. The finishing time is marked when the fifth rider crosses the finish line. Each individual rider gets the team’s time, so it’s critically important for teams with overall contenders to post a competitive time to keep their man in the hunt.
Coming off the Stage 3 victory of Orica Greenedge rider Simon Gerrans, the Aussie team was fired up and proved it was no fluke. Orica Greenedge was considered an outsider to win this stage, given the motivation of teams like Sky Pro Racing, BMC Racing, and Saxo-Tinkoff. Orica finished in an official time of 26 minutes, 25 seconds.
After Omega Pharma Quickstep, Sky Pro Racing came in third, preserving the overall time of GC contender Chris Froome. Saxo-Tinkoff was fourth. The top four teams were within 10 seconds; the top seven teams within 20 seconds.
Simon Gerrans of Orica, who won the third stage in a sprint finish, takes the overall lead from Belgian rider Jan Bakelants and wears the yellow jersey as Tour leader.
“This is a dream come true, it really is,” said Gerrans. “Yesterday I was able to win the stage off the back of a fantastic team effort and today we really showed how close we are as a team with how well we worked together. At the end of the day we come out with this stage win and, to top it all off, this yellow jersey. It doesn’t get much better than that.
“I don’t think there was one particular point on the course where we won today or one particular thing that we did but we just worked fantastically together as a team. We’re such a close group of guys – we’re all such good friends – and I think that really shows in a team time trial. Everyone was really committed to it and gave one-hundred per cent and it came out in the results.
“We’re getting plenty of press during this Tour de France and for the right reasons now too, it’s just a fantastic feeling. The team owner, Gerry Ryan, is here in France with us and maybe he’ll buy us a bottle of champagne or two,” laughed Gerrans.
The Orica team bus incident is now safely in the rear view mirror, and becomes part of Tour lore and a laugh in the years to come.
No change in the specialists jerseys. Pierre Rolland remains the King of the Mountains, Peter Sagan wears the sprinters green jersey, and Marcel Kwiatkowski is in white as the best young rider. Team Orica Greenedge now has the team lead.
Riders now move on to the second longest stage in this year’s Tour through southern France, 142 miles from Cagnes-sur-Mer to Marseille. It should provide beautiful scenery for fans. It’s a day when an early breakaway could survive to win this long flat stage, but since the sprinters haven’t had much chance for glory, they could fight to contest the stage win at the finish line.
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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Team Orica Greenedge with new overall leader Simon Gerrans of Australia in fifth position with mouth open, passes under a bridge during the fourth stage of the Tour de France cycling race, a team time-trial over 25 kilometers (15.6 miles) with start and finish in Nice, southern France, Tuesday July 2, 2013. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)
Stage winner team Orica Greenedge with Simon Gerrans of Australia, wearing the overall leader’s yellow jersey, celebrates on the podium of the fourth stage of the Tour de France cycling race, a team time-trial over 25 kilometers (15.6 miles) with start and finish in Nice, southern France, Tuesday July 2, 2013. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
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