There were some interesting breaks today, with Cadel Evans and Andy Schleck making moves, but in the end there wasn’t much change in the yellow jersey race. Rinaldo Nocentini gets another day in the maillot jaune.
It was interesting to hear the speculation about the rift within Astana based on Contador’s move yesterday. It looks like he may have alienated some of his team and made himself the outsider. Or, that might just be media speculation. But Lance Armstrong certainly didn’t seem happy with Contador.
Evans and Schleck showed that though they may be a few minutes back of the Astana bunch, they’re going to be factors in the Tour this year. I think Andy Schleck especially has been biding his time and will make some major moves in the Alps and on Mont Ventoux.
I think those four riders (Armstrong, Contador, Andy Schleck, and Cadel Evans) are the only ones with a real shot at winning overall, even though there are other riders with better times. I’d like to see Christian Vandevelde make a run at it, but he’s probably still a couple years away.
Rider of the Day
It’s unusual to pick a sprinter as the rider of the day on a mountain stage, but Thor Hushovd certainly deserves the honor. On a day where there weren’t any major changes in the overall classification, Hushovd took the lead in the green jersey classification by joining the breakaway over the first few climbs and put some distance between himself and Mark Cavendish.
I may have been a bit premature in awarding the final green jersey to Cavendish. Hushovd is certainly going to make a fight of it.
Reasons I Love the Tour #8 – The Basques
The who? If you follow the Tour de France, you know that the Basques are one of the main reasons that the Pyrenean stages are so exciting. The fans line the mountain roads and cheer for the Eusklatel-Euskadi team and the rest of the riders.
The Alps are fun, but there’s something special about the Pyrenees, and the Basques certainly contribute to that.