02 July 2007

Les maillots, part 1

As the countdown to the Tour reaches its final days, we will post about each of the jersey classifications and give you a few riders to look out for who might take out this year's prizes. The first off the mark in this series (typical for sprinters, they're always quick) is the maillot vert. These riders are sure to inspire our Green Jersey knitters to knit like the wind!

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:

from www.abc.net.au

Name: Robbie McEwen
Home: Australia
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.

from http://www.dailypeloton.com/

Name: Tom Boonen
Home: Belgium
Team: Quick-Step
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:

Yellow Jersey (overall leader) in Stage 3-6
Green Jersey (points leader) in Stage 3
from: www.letour.fr

Name: Thor Hushovd
Home: Norway
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...

from: http://www.commons.wikimedia.org/

Name: David Zabriskie
Home: USA
Team: CSC
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!


Elaine said...

Nikki's contest is about rain and how much there will be where she lives during the race. Since I'm going to be in London for the first 6 days, I have a very vested interested in that number being low!

As the poem goes:
Il pleure dans mon coeur
Comme il pleut sur la ville.
Quelle est cette langueur
Qui penetre mon coeur?

Not bad for someone who hasn't taken French for 50 years!

Tam said...

I fancy me a Robbie, but my hubby might have something to say about it!!

NotSoCarbonNeutral said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nikki said...

I'll give everyone a clue. I live in Cheshire where it rains ALOT... and the contest is open to everyone no matter what Group they are knitting in.
I will add a booby prize today but you might not want to win it!!!

Anonymous said...

ooh la la, le Pois Rouge, I can't wait!

Auntie Jimbo said...

Oh Dave! *swoon*
I can't wait to see him ride again!

Nikki said...

What a great post! Very informative and filled with such nice looking young men!!!

knittin'_kitten said...

I have no idea who to root for yet! They are all so amazing it makes it hard to pick one!

Westozcaat said...

Robbie all the way
A new contender here- Entering in the catagory with the objective of knitting the Slanted pullover by kate gilbert (spring IK 07) in what else but olive green.

kris said...

i just saw on telly that tom boonen has a broken heart and so is struggling a bit this year. thor hushovd promised to introduce him to some norwegian girls ...