estored on Thursday after overcoming

  • A funny thing about the Tour de France is that it can give its competitors the most fabulous terrain to ride over, but it cannot force them to race. Addison Reed Jersey . Instead of being the very tricky day full of traps and surprises that Tour teams feared and organizers hoped for, Stage Three of the 100th edition proved to be a bit of a dud: 10 out of 10 visually, with some of the most stunning coastal scenery ever visited by the 110-year-old race, but barely 2 out of 10 for drama. In fact, as pretty as Corsica -- Frances "island of beauty" -- was, riders were just as happy to whiz past it. "Twisty roads like that along the coast, stunning scenery, and Im sure it made for great shots from the helicopter," said race favourite Chris Froome. "But thats not what we were interested in." So be it. In a three-week test of endurance, its simply physically impossible for every stage to be a classic and provide great excitement. There are days, like on Monday, when the peloton decides the priority is to get from A to B safely, get back to the hotel, massage, eat and sleep. To have success at the Tour, you first have to survive it. "The race is always what the riders make of it," the Tour director, Christian Prudhomme, said philosophically. Jan Bakelants was happy. The Belgian rider started the day in the yellow jersey that he won with a clever and gutsy spurt of riding on Sunday, and he will wear it again for at least another day, during the team time trial on Stage Four on Tuesday. The teams will race against the clock, heading off one after the other in aerodynamic helmets, on a pancake-flat, 25-kilometre course in Nice, past the coastal towns airport and along its famous beachside avenue, the Promenade des Anglais. With that very technical and quick ordeal awaiting them, and because coastal headwinds slowed the riders, none of the 21 other teams could be bothered to really try hard to take the lead on Monday from Bakelants. His RadioShack teammates did a grand job of protecting him. They rode much of the stage at the front of the pack, not letting breakaway riders get too far ahead and discouraging other teams from any thoughts of making a concerted assault. Their management of the stage helped make for dull racing -- but it kept Bakelants in yellow. "We never panicked," he said. "We managed the gaps." But Tuesday will more than likely be his last day in the leaders precious jersey. There are 71 riders just one second behind him in the standings. One of them on a team that time trials better than RadioShack will be in yellow next. "We have good riders but havent really trained for the team time trial," said Bakelants. "It will be tough to keep the jersey, but Ive already had it two days and thats special ... Its extraordinary to have worn it." At the end of the stage, in the final 15 kilometres, the racing picked up. Several riders tried and failed to get away from the chasing pack. It came down to a sprint in the last 500 metres. Simon Gerrans, an Australian, threw his front wheel over the line just before Peter Sagan, a Slovakian. Ryder Hesjedal of Victoria is in 26th spot overall, while David Velleux of Cap-Rouge, Que., is 117th, and Svein Tuft of Langley, B.C., is back in 170th. On paper, Stage Three looked daunting: 145.5 kilometres of narrow roads as sinewy as a blood vessel, with very little flat. On television, the coves, the white beaches and cliffs plunging into turquoise seas looked incredible. The riders strung out like a necklace of coloured pearls as they sped along the coastline on a succession of bends so twisty that, among those who rode the route by car, they made queasy mush of iron stomachs. That is why Corsica paid the Tour to come here: To make it look good. The island gave three million euros to the Tours owners for the right to host the first three stages of the 100th edition, and paid another two million euros in other expenses, said Paul Giacobbi, who heads the regional government. That bought "hours and hours and hours" of worldwide television coverage and "one billion spectators," he said. The logistics were complicated. The Tour was transporting itself on seven ships back across the Mediterranean to the French mainland overnight on Monday so it could continue less than 24 hours later on Stage Four, in Nice. After Mondays trek from the port of Ajaccio, two planes whisked the riders quickly away from the finish in Calvi, so they would sleep in hotels on the French coast that same night. This was the Tours first visit to Corsica. Both came away happy. Prudhomme, the race director, said viewing figures in France for the Corsican leg of the race are the highest theyve been in a decade. "That is because of the 100th edition and the beauty of Corsica," he said. Not that Froome and the other contenders for overall victory much cared. They were happy simply to be heading back in one piece to the French mainland -- where the Tour will be decided on stages in the Pyrenees and Alps far more decisive than anything Corsica could offer. "Im quite relieved to be heading off Corsica now," said Froome. "Hopefully, the race will settle down a little bit." Luis Tiant Jersey . PAUL, Minn. Boston Red Sox Jerseys . Andrew Luck couldnt believe his ears. Colts fans couldnt believe the scoreboard, and the Kansas City Chiefs couldnt believe their incredibly bad luck.LONDON - Bernie Ecclestones control of Formula One was fully restored on Thursday after overcoming court cases that threatened his grip on the motorsport series.The 84-year-old Ecclestone stepped down as a board member of F1s holding company this year while standing trial for bribery in Germany. The case was closed in August when Ecclestone made a $100 million settlement payment.Investment group CVC Capital Partner, F1s controlling shareholder, announced Ecclestones return to the board in a statement on Thursday, and that he will continue as chief executive.CVC also said foormer Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo and Paul Walsh, the former chief executive of drinks giant Diageo, will become non-executive directors from January. Mookie Betts Jersey. cclestone built his powerbase in F1 from the 1970s, and helped to create the Formula One Constructors Association that controlled the business side of the series, including selling the TV rights.The British-based company later became known as Formula One Management. It has fought regular tussles with the teams over finances, but has retained control of the global motor racing extravaganza. Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Jerseys AuthenticWholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys ' ' '