If you are a Green Jersey (maillot vert), you are competing for fastest "finisher." The green jersey or maillot vert is the jersey worn by the leader of the points classification. "Whereas the yellow jersey is awarded for the lowest cumulative time in the race, the green jersey reflects points gained for high placings on each stage and intermediate "hot spots", especially during the flat stages of the Tour. It is widely thought of as the "sprinter's competition", since the riders generally remain together in one large peloton during flat stages, leaving those with the fastest acceleration at the end to fight for the stage win." (from Wikipedia). Some of you told us when you signed up that you had a project to knit under deadline. As the Tour progresses, we'll see which knitters can sprint to the finish line fast!
Here are a few of this year's Green Jersey contenders to watch:
Name: Robbie McEwen
Team: Predictor-Lotto (formerly Davitamon-Lotto)
From his website, http://www.mcewenrobbie.com/: Robbie was named Australia's Road Cyclist of the year in 1999, 2002 and 2005, and is known as one of the fastest sprinters in the world. In 2002, 2004 and 2006, he won the prestigious green jersey in the Tour de France, the first Aussie to achieve it.
Name: Tom Boonen
His website: http://www.tomboonen.com/eng/.
From wiki: Tom Boonen (born on October 15, 1980 in Mol, Belgium) is one of the world's best professional road bicycle racers and is the 2005 World Road Race Champion. He is considered a single-day road race specialist with a strong finishing sprint. His personality and looks, combined with his successes, also turned him into Belgium's main male sports idol of the mid-2000s.
In last year's Tour de France, Tom placed as follows:
Name: Thor Hushovd
Team: Credit Agricole
His website: http://www.thor-hushovd.com/index.htm (very cool, but not updated after 2002)
From wiki: Hushovd is renowned for his Sprinting and Time Trialing prowess. He is a former Norwegian National Time Trial Champion and was the first Norwegian to wear the coveted Maillot Jaune...In 2006, Thor Hushovd won 7 UCI ProTour victories, including two stages of the 93rd Tour de France. Hushovd won the prologue in Strasbourg and wore the maillot jaune after the first day despite a cut suffered seconds before the finish of Stage 1 due to spectator interference. As the cut was not serious, he continued the tour with stitches in his arm and regained the maillot jaune after Stage 2 with a third place finish. And just as the Tour de France 2006 started with Hushovd, it also ended with him winning the last stage after beating Robbie McEwen in a strong finishing sprint.
Last but not least...
Name: David Zabriskie
His website: http://www.davezabriskie.com/
I am not sure where to put Z. I don't believe he is classed as a sprinter per se, but he excels at time trials. From his site: "Dave Zabriskie is a professional cyclist currently riding for the top-ranked Team CSC Cycling Team. He is a rising global talent who has ridden the fastest time trial in Tour de France history (Prologue, 2005) and became only the 3rd American to wear the coveted yellow jersey (Greg LeMond, Lance Armstrong)."
When it comes to speed, Dave is definitely one to watch in the time trials, the prologue and stages 13 and 19 this year!
So whether you fancy yourself a Robbie, a Tom, a Thor, or a Z, you'll have a green jersey rider to compare your speed with!
Next up... the mysterious men of the Pois Rouge!
THIS JUST IN...Green jersey knitter Nikki is running a clever Tour-themed contest on her blog! Gotta be in it to win it! (Are there prizes for the lanterne rouge Nikki?) And while you're checking out Nikki's blog, why not check out the blogs of the other contenders in your group!