Saturday, September 13, 2008

Stage 5 TOM St. James to Jefferson City

Rain threatened all day but the only thing that materialized on the way to Jefferson City was a 12 man breakaway and even that faded, but held together long enough for Mr. Cavendish to re-secure the sprinter’s jersey, after Eric Baumman’s one day stint. He took the first two sprint zones without any fanfare, merely rolling through at the front. As the break approached Jefferson City, Cavendish sat up and rolled back into the peloton.

The break disintegrated before the city limits sign and the peloton thrilled the crowd with two circuits around the Capitol. Today’s stage featured only one KOM point and [even though it would not be called anything other than hilly it] the rolling hills presented constant challenges. Each roller strung the peloton out on the downhill and compressed them again on the next upslope. The finish line was also up hill.

Young Boy Van Poppel surprised the field by moving into the top ten with a teammate as they approached the 300 meter mark and pushing up and over the hill to claim the stage win. Van Poppel is the son of Jean-Paul Van Poppel, a formidable cyclist from an earlier generation. The hill may have taken something out of Cavendish as he faded to fourth. As he was sprinting for the line, Van Poppel said he thought he was going to be passed by a rider to his left so he stood up out of the saddle and powered to a stage win, the first for this lanky Dutchman.


Nathan Scot said...

Who took the picture? That is an angle that I have rarely seen and quite interesting.

Michael V. said...

I took that picture from the side just past the finish line. Stage 6 was shot the same way but the problem with shooting from the side is the banner comes in at an angle. That is why I cropped the next one with just Cav and Ivan.