The long breakaway worked and Marcus Burghardt won another stage for Columbia which is having an awesome Tour de France. Burghardt’s fortune is better than last year when he hit a dog.
Riccardo Ricco put his stamp on the Tour with a nice win st Super Besse during stage 6. With the help of Leonardo Piepoli who joined an attack by Christian Vande Velde with 5km to go in the stage Ricco was able to take advantage of a counter attack.
Alejandro Valverde showed that he is the man to beat in the Tour with a strong second place and a very strong Caisse D’ Epargne team. Black jerseys were ever present and former Tour winnder Oscar Periero help push the pace of the group in the final kms. Valverde did not have enough speed in the end to get around the hard charging Ricco who is riding his first Tour de France.
Kim Kirchen gets the Yellow Jersey helped slightly by an unfortunate touch of wheels with Stefan Schumacher. Schumi hit the deck, but did not get any forgiveness for time since the stage finished on an uphill. Team Columbia gladly takes the Yellow Jersey from Schumi and Gerolsteiner. The Yellow today and a stage win yesterday by Mark Cavendish are giving the new sponsor some nice exposure making Columbia happy to sign on just in time for the Tour.
Garmin-Chipotle got some exposure today as Christian Vande Velde’s attack put him up to fourth place only 44 seconds behind Kim Kirchen with some more medium difficulty stages to come. This year’s Tour is very unpredictable so the final result is anyone’s guess.
The new Team Garmin-Chipotle Kit goes for the white shorts.
The white look is cool, but better make sure the shorts are made of extra thick material. The rainy weather in the Brittany region may not be a good mix.
Meanwhile the new Team Columbia kit is out with a blue jersey and black shorts. The jersey color is close to Milram’s blue which may make the Cavendish/Zabel battles interesting to view from a distance.