The mountains have finally arrived, albeit today was just a tiny appetizer of the joy still to come. Will any big names show their hands on this 'easy' stage? How will the first mountains of Le Tour affect the General Classification? Let’s find out...
Just hours ahead of the soccer World Cup Final, Ag2r’s Sylvain Calzati has already put a big smile on the face of the French sporting nation. A superbly-timed escape and brave finishing effort nailed a second stage win in a week for the hosts. Now what was that about cycling at two speeds?
Welcome once again to the Pez Juggernaut of Tour '06 coverage! Today's stage is a bit of a twist: it's a one-day classic wrapped inside a grand tour with a gooey center of near 100 degree temps. Whew. In fact, it was 99 degrees, and the asphalt temperature was a whopping 122 degrees. Who wants to race in this crap? Up the Cauberg? Are you kidding me? Well, it turned out 5 guys wanted to race very badly in this.
It's been a long time since Levi Leipheimer took third place in the Vuelta - 2001 to be exact, but the promise he showed then is finally beginning to show for real - on Sunday he took a fine overall victory in the Criterium Du Dauphine Libere. Is this a portent of greatness for Le Tour like it was for Lance in 2002 & 2003 or does it mean nothing, like it did for Mayo in 2004?
The Giro's visit to the balmy environs of southern Belgium was a definite success: huge fan turn-out, quality racing, and even the weather tried to cooperate for one of the days. PEZ takes a look at the first four Belgo-stages, and looks at the menu of the fun still to come.