TDF Analysis After Stage 18 - The moment the finish clock stopped on today’s race, another clock started running. This one counts down the start of tomorrow’s 55.5-kilometer individual time trial. With the top three riders separated by only 2:49, the yellow jersey is still very much up for grabs, and everything that happens between the end of Stage 18 and the start of Stage 19 will have an impact on the final standings in Paris.
Well, Sort Of… The French had something to celebrate today, with Sandy Casar spending most of 211km in the break and coming home to Angouleme taking a tricky victory in fine fashion, though he met the pavement in an unplanned high speed dismount earlier in the day. Battered and bloody, he still has the ‘jus’ to get it done at the finish line.
Coming to the finish line in a small group always gives you a better chance of winning than entering the final straightaway with the entire pack, but when Daniele Bennati won today, he played his cards well and came away with his first Tour de France stage win. Here's how he did it.
Italian sprinter, Daniele Bennati has taken a fine maiden Tour win after a breakaway group was finally successful in the '07 Tour. It was just what the doctor ordered on a day that saw no yellow jersey wearer on the line and the focus of the world media on the race for all of the wrong reasons.
PEZ Roadside Stage 17 - Yesterday, we touched on the Vinokourov situation, today we have to do more than touch on the Cofidis and Rasmussen situations. They cannot be 'glossed-over' and we think you should know what the feeling on the race is like, to that end, we spent this morning gathering opinions from riders and others.
Orthez, in the foothills of the Pyrenees... it's a beautiful morning, the mist is burning-off, and long shadows from the greenest of trees have groups of spectators using them as shade from what is aleady a hot sun. The road is rolling gently through the maize fields and meadows and every few seconds I have to stop writing to wave to wide-eyed children.
The Tour de France is unquestionably the biggest, most important race in all of cycling, and correspondingly, it is the biggest and best stage for the riders to make a name for themselves, to prove their value, and to ensure that they remain in the game or better their position as they 'race for a contract.' It's not all about winning stages or jerseys though, and there are more than a few ways to prove your value to prospective squads.
Bomb threats, rider protests, explosions on the road, explosions in the legs, a long breakaway by some favorites, 5 categorized climbs and an outstanding performance by the yellow jersey holder. It all happened today in the Pyrenees under the warm Southern French sky. Could this Tour de France get any more dramatic?
Tour de France 07 - Great racing, great battles in the mountains and now a great tragedy with the shocking news of Alexandre Vinokourov testing positive for blood doping today. More on that inside ET today, along with all the other news, racing roundups and action. Only in EuroTrash!