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:: Saturday, July 12, 2003 ::

TdF Stage 6.

230km today. A long hot ride in Southern france ending in Lyon. Pavement heat reflecting up at the riders was 120F in spots. Two riders, Stuart O'Grady and Anthony Geslin broke away early, building up as much as 18 minute ahead of the peloton. At 1km left the gap was down to 35 seconds. They lead the race for 200km- or nearly. In the last 1000m, the sprinters had moved up to the front of the pack and had ramped up its speed. Then they ignited and a half dozen or more rocketed ahead. It looked like a melee (may-lay) at the finish, but then Fassa Bortolo's Alessandro Petacchi exploded and beat everyone by at least a bike length. This is his 4th stage win this year. But rumour has it from the commentators is that he can't do the mountains and sprinting in the mountains isn't as much of a factor. The mountains are where Lance and co. have made their mark before. And for all of Petacchi's efforts, the top ten has not changed, and he is not in it. Going into stage 7 here are the top ten riders on the tour:

General Classification
1 Victor Hugo Pena (Col) US Postal-Berry Floor 23.03.06
2 Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal-Berry Floor 0.01
3 Vjatceslav Ekimov (Rus) US Postal-Berry Floor 0.05
4 George Hincapie (USA) US Postal-Berry Floor
5 José Luis Rubiera (Spa) US Postal-Berry Floor 0.23
6 Roberto Heras (Spa) US Postal-Berry Floor 0.27
7 Pavel Padrnos (Cze) US Postal-Berry Floor
8 Floyd Landis (USA) US Postal-Berry Floor 0.28
9 Joseba Beloki (Spa) ONCE-Eroski 0.33
10 Jorg Jaksche (Ger) ONCE-Eroski 0.38

Look Familiar? And Pena gets to wear yellow going into the mountains.

And today is the longest stage, equal to yesterday's 230km, but there are, looking at the stage preview on Lance's site, at least 5 mountains to tackle. One, Col de la Ramez, is 1619m, that you start climbing at the 193km mark in the stage where you are at a measly 600m ASL, and finish climbing at the 208km mark some 1000m higher. Nice incline to do after a 200 km ride!

-- stats and stage preview info from lancearmstrong.com

:: Mike Wood 09:04 [+] :: 0 comments


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