The stage four team time trial has led to some semblance of order in the general classification. It still doesn’t make a huge amount of sense, but we’ve sloughed off at least some of the filth and no longer have 70-odd riders in second place. The gaps are small, but at least they exist.
We have three riders in first place, however, as Jan Bakelants and his Radioshack Leopard team-mates finished 29 seconds behind the winning team. If it were a real animal, the Radioshack Leopard would doubtless be a little disappointed with this, but the team of that name never really expected to win.
In the end, Orica GreenEdge won by one second from Mark Cavendish’s Omega Pharma-Quick Step team and therefore provide the three riders who sit atop the general classification. Simon Gerrans takes the yellow jersey based on previous finishing positions, while Daryl Impey and Michael Albasini are the other two.
It’s good to see Orica GreenEdge having some success. Their usual modus operandi is to keep throwing sprinters and track cyclists at races until Matthew Harley Goss registers a fourth or fifth place. They’re well-suited to team trials however and deserve to be rewarded, if only for persisting in employing cyclists with healthy body fat percentages.
I know the area reasonably well. It seems a bit bumpy for a full sprint finish to me, but the experts say otherwise. Here’s the profile.