July 05, 2003

Bradley Mcgee: takes the opening prologue as Le Tour commences. Armstrong comes in 7th. Britains Millar gets a glorious 2nd.

posted by Fat Buddha to extreme at 12:26 PM - 4 comments

The real story though has got to be Ullrich finishing ahead of the other riders likely to contend for the overall victory. From what (little) they showed of him on TV, he looked great. This is shaping up to be an interesting race.

posted by mattpfeff at 01:57 PM on July 05

Today's pile-up at the end of the first stage will probably make the headlines as the race winds out. But Millar's 0.08s-deficit second place was agonising to watch: losing his chain with 500m to go, and having to replace it by hand, while still on the bike, then tear-arsing up to the finish. Millar was fuming, as you'd expect, and his comments to the French press reflected his mood more than his interviews to the British TV team. (C'est un chef d'équipe qui m'avait choisi le matériel. Je n'avais pas le choix.) The Cofidis mechanics had told him to ride without a front derailleur; they'd used a mis-matched front chainring for his Campagnolo gears; he's so frustrated by the team's choices that he has to buy his gear from the classifieds pages of American cycle mags. Which is pretty damning. It has the feel of a classic, though.

posted by etagloh at 02:04 PM on July 06

Lance looks a bit fed up. It's a shame Hamilton bust his collar bone, he could have made a big impression this year . I reckon the only 2 who could seriously challenge Armstrong are Beloki and Ullrich, even then he would have to fall off a few more times.

posted by Fat Buddha at 05:11 PM on July 06

Hammer is still in the tour, having started today. But, I think the collarbone will force him out somewhere in the Alps. Leipheimer is out utterly thanks to the crash.

posted by avogadro at 09:21 AM on July 07

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