Sunday, July 8, 2007

CANTERBURY TALE OF AN AWESOME AUSSIE
2007 Tour de France - Stage 1

CRASHED AND MISSING? He crashed within 25 kilometers of the Canterbury, England finish line. Pain in his knee and wrist from the wreck prevented him from joining the main group of hard-charging riders until 5 k from the finish. And when the sprint specialists were winding up their trains at the 1 k mark, he didn't seem to be in sight. It looked like Robbie McEwen, the hands-down favorite to win the Green Jersey for sprinters, would have to forego the opportunity of the first big bunch sprint finish of the 2007 Tour de France.

FROM OUT OF NOWHERE. But within the last 200 meters, there he was--a wound-up coil sprung with power and speed that caught all the other top guns off guard. Robbie McEwen, the little dynamo from Queensland, Australia, made the impossible look easy. Overcoming his fall and painfully working his way past 188 other riders, McEwen darted in front of the world's leading sprinters to grab his 12th Tour de France stage win. McEwen won the Green Jersey (given for sprint points) in last year's tour (and three out of the last four years). This finish signals his readiness to defend it in 2007. The drama has begun!

THE REST OF THE STORY. More about today's stage and the 2007 Tour de France at The Tour de France for the Rest of Us, my annual TdF blog project.

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