It's a SSR Thursday, with races happening in practically every corner of Europe. To the east, there's the Tour of Poland, slogging through its seven (sausage) course meal. To the west, the Volta a Portugal got underway today, while the Vuelta a Burgos soldiered on through its second stage. In the smooth, creamy middle, it's the final stage of Paris-Correze. But the biggest news, albeit made in complete video silence, came from up north, on the gently undulating roads of Denmark.
Yes, churchbells are ringing again across this windswept land, as native son Matti Breschel lost another sprint today, earning him the overall lead at the Post Danmark Rundt. Remi Cusin of Cofidis did the deed today, 24 hours after Sacha Modolo pipped the rehabbing Danish star, but the two second-place time bonuses (plus a 2" gap today) left Breschel in the overall lead. Current GC:
- Matti Breschel, Rabobank
- Sacha Modolo, Colnago, at 0.04
- Michael Morkov, Saxo Sungard, at 0.07
Tomorrow is the most challenging stage, but in all likelihood Sunday's time trial will sort out the Breschels from the chaff. Meanwhile, a storm is brewing over Poland, but for once, it's only a metaphor. After a couple years of wet weather further dampening the post-Tour-blues-ridden spirits of being sent to the East to harvest UCI points, this year's race has been bathed in sunlight, and things get even more lovely tomorrow for the ride to the spa town of Bukowina. But on the GC, thunderheads are appearing on the horizon. Peter Sagan holds a 15" lead after his second consecutive stage win, but that's a slim margin with 4000 meters of climbing on tap Friday. This will undoubtedly decide the overall, since Saturday's final stage to Warsaw is no great shakes, but last year's queen stage was a tight affair, decided by handfuls of seconds. Current GC:
- Peter Sagan, Liquigas
- Marco Marcato, Vacansoleil, at 0.15
- Romain Feillu, Vacansoleil, at 0.17
- Daniel Martin, Garmin-Cervelo, at 0.20
- Luca Paolini, Katusha, at 0.23
- Peter Kennaugh, Sky, s.t.
- Tomasz Marczynski, CCC Polstat, at 0.26
- Nocentini, Scarponi, Bakelands, Wegmann, Riblon, etc., s.t.
The third VDS ongoing is the Vuelta a Burgos, where Joaquim Rodriguez of Katusha took the overall lead on today's uphill finish (what else?). He and Samuel Sanchez have now traded stage wins on the first two days of the five-stage race, but his margin of victory today was good enough for a seven-second lead over his Euskaltel challenger. GC stands at:
- Joaquim Rodriguez, Katusha
- Samuel Sanchez, Euskaltel, at 0.07
- David Lopez, Movistar, at 0.17
Two more results: Samuel Dumoulin won the GC at Paris-Correze, thanks to a 4" gap he gained in a stage 1 victory. And someone named Hugo Sabido won the 2.2km prologue of the Volta a Portugal, which wins the competition for race I am least primed to blog about but would most like to attend in person. If they move it to, say, May and send me a ticket, I am totally there.