In today’s Stage 3 of the Tour de France, Boulder cyclist Will Frischkorn of the Garmin Chipotle team made an attack in the first mile of the 125-mile race. Three other riders joined him in the breakaway, and those four stayed away from the main pack of riders (known as the peloton) for about five hours.
The course today from Saint Malo to Nantes is flat, but strong winds and rain are making it a hard day. The peloton is now working to catch the breakaway, and Frischkorn and his three buddies from different teams will likely be caught before the finish line. Frischkorn has little chance to win. So, why did he waste all that energy? Well, the race is on television, and he is giving his sponsors the attention they want. In an hour from now, the breakaway will be forgotten. But someone might remember that argyle jersey with the name Garmin Chipotle and buy a GPS or burrito. Getting TV time is part of a rider’s job.
Postscript: My prediction was wrong! The breakaway was not caught today. Will Frischkorn, Paolo Longo Borghini, Roman Feillu, and Samuel Dumoulin finished two minutes ahead of the peloton. Dumoulin won the stage! Frischkorn came in second– just a hair away from victory. See, you never know what’s going to happen at the Tour de France!