Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Contenders play it safe in rain

LISIEUX, France — Alberto Contador knew it made little sense to take risks on a day when blinding, torrential rain lashed riders in the Tour de France.

The 141-mile course Thursday, the sixth and longest stage of the three-week race, made for a dangerous trip. And the field was fortunate to avoid a major crash a day after several riders went tumbling.

"It was another nervous stage, and because of the rain, I virtually couldn't see anything," said Contador, the defending champion and three-time Tour winner. "At the end of the stage, I was moving to the very front of the pack simply to avoid accidents and not because I wanted to attack."

Two-time runnersup Cadel Evans and Andy Schleck also didn't take chances as Norway's Edvald Boasson Hagen led a sprint to capture the stage. Australia's Matt Goss was second and overall race leader Thor Hushovd of Norway third.

Evans kept second overall. The Australian is one second behind Hushovd. Schleck, from Luxembourg, is 12 seconds behind in 10th, Contador 1:42 behind in 34th.

Moving fairly close to the front meant relative safety for Contador, Schleck and Evans. They were among the first 50 of the 197 riders who completed the stage.

"Yesterday wind, today rain. Luckily, there seemed to be some kind of understanding within the peloton not to take too many risks," Schleck said. "As if all the teams had suffered enough crashes yesterday."

A rider would have encountered untold trouble if caught behind the peloton in a dominolike crash on the treacherous, narrow roads snaking toward Normandy. Wind made things even more hazardous.

After sustaining cuts and bruises in a crash Wednesday, it looked as if Contador was set for more bad luck Thursday when he had to change bikes about 50 miles in. Teammate Daniel Navarro gave him his.

"When you have little cuts and scratches, you're not comfortable until you're warmed up," Contador said. "I had a problem with the water, the roads, with a little stone."

.FAST FACTS

Tour de France

Thursday: Stage 6, the long­est this year, 140.75 miles (including a 1.86-mile climb) from Dinan to Lisieux. Norway's Edvald Boasson Hagen held off Australia's Matt Goss to win in 5 hours, 13 minutes, 37 seconds.

Yellow jersey: Norway's Thor Hushovd kept the lead, 1 second ahead of Australia's Cadel Evans.

Today: A 135.47-mile ride from Le Mans to Chateauroux. It comes a day before the race enters the Massif Central mountains.

TV: 8 a.m., Versus

Contenders play it safe in rain 07/07/11 [Last modified: Thursday, July 7, 2011 11:05pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Anthem protest, the latest: Jerry Jones joins Cowboys on field in show of solidarity

    Bucs

    As President Donald Trump continued tweeting Monday about his displeasure with NFL players for staging demonstrations during the national anthem, the Cowboys took a knee on the field just before the anthem was performed on Monday Night Football. Dallas players were joined by owner Jerry Jones, and they quickly …

    Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, center, joins the team in taking a knee before the national anthem Monday night. They stood and linked arms for the anthem.
  2. Bucs journal: Gerald McCoy says players who kneel have team's support

    Sports

    TAMPA — Receivers Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson were the only Bucs players kneeling during the national anthem before Sunday's game against the Vikings, but DT Gerald McCoy said the team supports their protest "100 percent."

    Bucs tight end Cameron Brate pulls in a touchdown catch as Vikings safety Andrew Sendejo (34) hits him in the back of the head.
  3. Rays at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, New York

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Yankees

    7:05, Yankee Stadium, New York

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tampa Bay Rays' Blake Snell poses for a picture during the team's photo day at baseball spring training in Port Charlotte, Fla., Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
  4. Luke Del Rio regains UF starting job, for now

    College

    GAINESVILLE — Luke Del Rio is once again the starting quarterback for No. 21 Florida.

    Luke Del Rio provided a needed spark when he replaced starter Feleipe Franks and rallied Florida past Kentucky.
  5. Four questions the Lightning still has to answer

    Lightning Strikes

    FORT LAUDERDALE — The Lightning made its biggest round of cuts Monday, with some of the big-name prospects heading out.

    Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos (91) looks on from the bench during a shift change at Lightning hockey training camp in Brandon on Monday (09/18/17). In background on right is Nikita Kucherov (86). DIRK SHADD   |   Times