Lieuwe Westra stormed away from the other GC competitors on the shatteringly steep Mende climb today on a stage that was ear-marked for Alejandro Valverde, who finished second. Bradley Wiggins’ Team Sky, and specifically Richie Porte did a super job of blowing the field apart and controlling the tempo so that the attacks were few, but it was Westra who found the extra gear and took the win. Both he and Valverde jump three places up the standings, in a race that has come down to four men.
Paris-Nice Stage 5 Top Three
1. Lieuwe Westra (VancanSoleil)______4h52’46”
2. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)_____+6″
3. Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky)________+6″
Overall Classification after 5 Stages
1. Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky)_______18h23’40”
2. Lieuwe Westra (VacanSoleil)______+6″
3. Levi Leipheimer (Radioshack)_____+10″
4. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)____+18″
5. Simon Spilak (Lampre)____________+37″
What can you say? Cavendish is not only one of the fastest sprinters of all time, but he’s one of the most consistent. He walked around Tyler Farrar, again, like Tyler was standing still and only the Spaniard Oscar Freire was able to give Cav a run for his money coming up about a bike length short. With Milan San-Remo right around the corner, Freire looks to have some good form, which if Cav is too fat to get over the Poggio might be a predictor of things.
Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 1 Top Three
1. Mark Cavendish (Team Sky)______6h32’32”
2. Oscar Freire (Katusha)
3. Tyler Farrar (Garmin)