|08.07 - stage 2: Luxembourg - Saarebrück 175 km
Once again the peloton departs from the Place du Glacis only this time the riders head off in a south-easterly direction into Germany.
Expect massive crowds from cycling mad Germany who will be hoping that Zabel can give them a home victory. The Tour visits Saarebruck for the first time, the town is the Capital of the smallest German republic of Saar which has changed between French and German control throughout its history... The Saare became part of Germany in 1935, following a plebiscite, and in 1957 after a referendum.
The German - French rivalry may well continue - expect more than one banner protesting at the bizarre decision not to invite one of the world's top touring teams - Team Coast currently lying in fourth place on the UCI Team classification.
Certainly the local community has taken the race to their hearts - they have planned a host of supporting events to coincide with the races arrival - and even have an excellent website - which informs us that "Armstrong is in superb condition" and gives details of local events, well worth a visit: http://www.tour.saarland.de/ (German only.)
The two category four climbs at 60 and 133 kilometres will not bother the peloton too much, but may well be disputed fiercely by the early holder of the Polka Dot jersey and his close rivals -Christophe Mengin (FdJ)is in th Polka dot jersey -he will try to hold onto it.
Once again the baroudeur - rouleurs will try and defy the peloton with a brave escape - however with the Telekom team desperate for a home victory and a speedy downhill finish into Saarebruck it looks like being a day for the fast finishers and their teams.
Daily Peloton’s Stage Prediction
Sometimes the best laid plans don’t work out, Telekom may be just trying too hard today. They missed Zabel's birthday today and they may miss tomorrow. With the sad news that Mapei looks like it's pulling out of cycling, expect their riders to be super motivated - Oscar Friere (who finished fifth today) could well be the first man across the line.
“Baroudeur-rouleur” - rouleur is a common word used to describe riders who can ride all day over rolling parcours -
Max Sciandri is a good example. Baroudeur means one who makes a valiant last stand - so a baroudeur-rouleur is a rider brave enough to go on a suicidal solo effort - such as Jacky Durand or Christophe Agnolutto.
Mathias Clemens was born on August 8, 1915 and died on November 24, 2001. He won five Tours of Luxembourg between 1935 and 1947, as well as the Charleville-Metz stage in the 1936 Tour de France. He also finished in the top five of the overall classification in 1938 and 1939. He also won the Grand Prix Westermark (held in Sarrebruck) in 1941.
Le Tour de France
1st stage Charleville-Metz in 1936
7th overall in 1936
5th overall in 1938
4th overall in 1939
1st overall Tour de Luxembourg (1935, 1936, 1937, 1939, 1947)
3 stage wins Tour of Catalonia in 1940
1st Grand Prix Westermark (Sarrebruck) in 1941
Champion of Luxembourg in 1938 and 1948
Champion of Luxembourg in cyclocross in 1940
3rd "Rund um Luxemburg" in 1942, 2nd in 1943