Cancellara recaptures yellow jersey as Tour enters France
It was the feared Stage Three of the Tour. With seven sections of bumpy cobblestones, riders dreaded another day of crashes as the Tour left Belgium and crossed into northern France. In the final miles of the 132-mile stage, the peloton broke apart on the dusty pavé. Some riders fell, others flatted. Yesterday’s stage winner Sylvain Chavanel lost valuable time and the yellow jersey after suffering three flat tires. Ahead of the main field, Fabian Cancellara led his Saxo Bank teammate Andy Schleck and four other riders to the finish line. Thor Hushovd won the sprint to the line, but the real benefactors of that group were Schleck and Cadel Evans who gained time against fellow Tour favorites Alberto Contador and Lance Armstrong. Contador got caught behind a crash and Armstrong either had technical difficulties or bad form. We’ll find out later. As a result, Armstrong lost his advantage over of Contador in the overall standings. Cancellara regained the lead and the coveted maillot jaune.
With glory came the spoils
Schleck’s brother Fränk crashed on the cobbles and went to the hospital. It is doubtful if Fränk can continue the Tour. That means Andy loses sibling support and one of the world’s best climbers to help in the mountain stages. The Tour continues to take its toll.