07 July 2008

Stage Three: Saint-Malo > Nantes

People who know their Canadian history will know that it was from today's departure town, Saint-Malo, that Jacques Cartier departed on his three 16th century voyages of discovery to the St Lawrence River and the sites of Quebec and Montreal - thus becoming credited as the "discoverer of Canada"! No doubt the peloton leaves Saint-Malo today hoping to make an equally fortuitous discovery (maybe not a whole new country, most would probably settle for a stage win!) 208km down the road in Nantes!

A four-man breakaway in the first few kilometres of today's stage managed to elude the peloton for the duration of the stage's 200+km, leaving the four men to battle it out amongst themselves in a sprint to the finish over the last 900m. It must be hard to work together to fend off the peloton over the course of five hours, only to have to turn against one another for the last minute or so! In any case, it was Team Cofidis' Samuel Dumoulin who won the stage, but because of his higher standing from previous stages fellow breakaway rider Romain Feillu pulled on the yellow jersey at the stage awards ceremony.

Meanwhile, back in the peloton... fans of Robbie McEwan who are eagerly waiting for his first stage win this year will be pleased to hear that Robbie won the bunched sprint finish when the peloton pulled into town 2 minutes after the breakaway group.

As if crashes were not enough to worry about, Tour cyclists have to worry about dogs running onto the road and crazy fans trying to get photos or run alongside - today's race was held up a bit by a strike by French union CGT! At about the 60km to go mark, the union looked set to block the race, but some last minute pleading by Race Director Christian Prudhomme and les gendarmes saw to it that the riders were let through.

The standings at the end of Stage 3:
Yellow: Romain Feillu (Team Agritubel)
Green: Kim Kirchen (Team Columbia)
Polka Dot: Thomas Voekler (Bouygues Telecom)
White: Romain Feillu (Team Agritubel)
Team: Team Garmin Chipotle by 41 seconds!

Team Time Trial - we have a winner!

Thank you to everybody who put their heads together and came up with so many fantastic entries in the Team Time Trial! We really enjoyed all your creative and humorous team slogans, team names, and buttons. Choosing a winner was very difficult but in the end we decided the prize should go to Team RABOBANK for their team mascot, Ribby Band Man! Special honourable mentions also go to:
  • Team Lampre for their sponsorship tie-in (Lampre knitters sprint for Lindt)
  • Team CSC for best foreign language tie-in (Charmerende Strikkere til Cykelløbet, Danish for Charming Knitters at the Bicycle Race)
  • Teams Quickstep, AG2R and Liquigas for their fabulous buttons
  • Team Quickstep for their bicycling kit (team wrist bands)
We have random-number-generated two winners to represent Team Rabobank with the prize spoils - and the winners are...

Ladies, please email your postal addresses to Meg (daysfull AT iprimus DOT com DOT au) and I'll get your prizes mailed to you. Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, one of you will receive 6 balls of RYC Cashcotton 4ply, and the other will receive the recently published Cleckheaton pattern book She Knits, together with the yarn to make the knee-high socks on the cover! Congratulations and we hope you enjoy!

And now for your team updates...

Team Rabobank
weighs in:

First, everyone should check out our team mascot - featuring the hunkiest knitting action figure you've ever seen! Clever, clever Kate. She's got a toddler tunic dress underway, too. Several of us are already feeling the pain of the Tour - Maria's Swallowtail shawl is truly going to test her climbing skills (and she's burned her right index finger to boot), Sandy had to scrap her entrelac socks for sheer fugliness...

... and is casting about for a quick replacement project, and poor Kaye, like Mauricio Soler, has suffered a wrist injury that may mean she needs to ride in the team car and cheer the rest of us on. But Beth has cast on her first hand-dyed yarn for some Baudelaire socks, and is flying toward a strong sprint finish, having already reached the gusset of Sock One, while Sarah spent the first stage finishing up the main body of her prototype cardigan in (Val)verde laceweight, and has now cast on a ladylike yellow jersey of her own design. Bells and Megan have cast on two different but beautiful eyelet cardigans. Erika's scrounging up some orange yarn for a market bag in the Rabobank colors, and we're all looking forward to Alli's project, an actual cycling jersey in our blue and orange. She's deciding whether to rip back and make some modifications, but it's looking fabulous:

And Lisa is actually going to be on site as the riders travel across the Spanish border from Pau up to Hautacam! Meanwhile, we're all enjoying Oscar Freire's mighty sprints and hoping he can get up for a win soon. Vive le Tour!

Team Quick Stitch Update...
Well, I think we're doing a lot better than out namesake, although I did hear them mentioned this time! C'mon boys!

Alli, who has formulated a game plan (go see her blog) has decided to knit a cropped cardigan to win herself the Green Jersey. Good luck Alli!

Jennifer's not exactly had a crash but she says it's "more a bit of tinkering by the team mechanic whilst racing". Her Monet inspired bag is looking great, despite the lack of green!

It seems the team mechanics are out in force as Madalyn was having trouble with her needles, after buying some metal circulars feels this is helping and is back on track.
Marge, who is finishing two projects to gain the Polka Dot Jersey: The Quartz vest, who's French connection is that if you squint, the pattern looks like the peleton, what do you think?

Marge is attempting to encase the edging and Kitchener the edge together.
The second part of her challenge: The other "Earl Grey" sock! She says the French connection for this project is "the Scots were often allies with the French against the Brits, and for the socks pattern "Earl Grey" by the Harlot, the Brits often beat the French..."
Go get 'em Marge!
I'm coming on slowly

there's a lot of concentration going into knitting “Diamants de Fougère”, so much so, that I can barely watch the race...
What would I do without Phil and Paul?

Team Silence-Lotto may not be in the lead (yet!) but the knitters are moving right along. Jennifer is struggling with her swallowtail shawl but is determined to overcome all obstacles and be victorious. Joline is knitting a Juno Regina wrap in a vibrant (and beautiful) purple. So far, it looks perfect. Kelli is also making a stole. The Print o' the Wave stole in a gorgeous blue cobweb lace. Justine is making Bee Fields and is using a honey colored merino that is turning out bee-yootiful (sorry, couldn't resist!). And I owe Melanie an apology. I misidentified her project. She is making a Molly Ringwald sweater and the color is a butter yellow. She mentioned kitchener stitch and my mind made an unfortunate leap. Sorry Melanie! I am working my heart out on my Adamas shawl. Less ripping out and more progress. Finally.


Sarah / Blue Garter said...

Yay Team Rabobank - and especially Yay Kate, for dreaming and executing our fantastic Ribby Man! GO RAB!

Rose Red said...

Clever Kate - Ribby Band Man is fab!!

DPUTiger said...

Did anyone else see the protester jump on to the podium during the presentation for the state win with Bernard Hinault jumping up to shove the guy off the podium? It reminded me of the old NFL clip where the fan on the field got a forearm shiver for his trouble.

Nicely done, Rabobank!

cathyannhenry said...

Ribby Band Man certainly deserves to win--and was a lot more work than me looking up words in Danish that spell out CSC (even though words beginning with C are scarce in Danish).

Great job Team Rabobank. I bet you're hoping we'll see more of their cyclists in the coming days (sure haven't seen much of them so far, but the same could be said for my team).

Good luck to all on the ITT today!

Riggwelter said...

well done team Rabobank! I love Ribby Band Man!

Kate_knits_a_bit said...

Thank you all, and Ribby Man bids me to tell you that an autographed photo can be yours for just $99.95 (US), with a free set of steak knives ($254.77 P&H)

Anonymous said...

oooh I'll have 2!