Hang around a group of experienced cyclists discussing the USA Pro Cycling Challenge or this year’s new Colorado Classic, and sooner or later—probably sooner—they’ll bring up the Coors Classic.
Team 7-Eleven’s sprinter Davis Phinney has dropped out of the Tour after crashing heavily on today’s Stage 15. This leaves the team relying on Phinney’s usual lead-out man Ron Kiefel to contest the sprints. Fortunately, Kiefel has shown that he has the legs for the Tour, narrowly missing a stage win to Peeters on stage 7.
An American has won a Tour de France road stage!
The first stage of the Tour de France marked an historic achievement for North American cycling: Alex Steida, Team 7-Eleven’s Canadian rider, has become the first North American ever to wear the yellow jersey of the leader of the Tour de France.
The injury list is ominous — broken ribs, broken noses, sinus infections, stress fractures, bronchitis, and dysentery. Not exactly an auspicious start for the first American-based professional team to compete in the Tour de France.
It was more than just a stage win. Kiefel’s ride that day set the stage for Team 7-Eleven to do pull off much greater feats.