Jul 6 2005
The heated rivalry between Belgian ProTour squads Davitamon-Lotto and Quick-Step-Innergetic is no secret, and after Innergetic (a mattress company) used Boonen’s Stage 3 victory over McEwen for an ad in the French daily L’Equipe, the Aussie Champ and his Davitamon teammates were eager for revenge. Following a long break, which motivated mainly by Fassa’s Antonio Flecha was reeled in with 8k to go, the stage was set for another sprinter’s duel. Boonen had a good lead out and jumped confidently with 200 to go, but bogged down toward the line, allowing a resurgent Robbie Mac to blast by for an easy win, topped with arm flailing “who’s the man?” victory salute that would have made Steve Stiffler (you know, from American Pie?) blush.
At the beginning of today’s stage, Lance Armstrong declined to wear the maillot jaune since it’s previous owner had lost it as a result of a crash. Just after the race was de-neutralized, Jean-Marie LeBlanc, the man responsable for barring Mario Cipollini from the 4 consecutive Tours de France, while allowing French squads like RAGT, BigMat and Jean Delatour in, stopped the field and ordered the 6-time Tour winner to change shirts. Way to smash down a sporting gesture rare to find in this day and age. No wonder the IOC gave London the 2012 games.