Saturday, July 16, 2005

Stage 14: Into the Pyrenees

This morning was the last chance for riders to bail and avoid the excruciating Pyrenean stages. Gerben Lowik, a Dutch rider for Rabobank, in a sign of tremendous good sense, didn't sign in today. If you're not going to go all the way to the Champs Elysees, you might as well get out now while the getting is good.

The back of the peloton was fairly quiet today. The "autobus" delivered our last three riders, Wim Vansevenant (DVL), Johan Van Summeren (DVL), and the Lanterne Rouge Iker Flores (EUS) safely to the finish line before the cutoff, with no changes in relative position.

The only late arrivals at the finish line were Australian Luke Roberts, riding for CSC, and Frédéric Blessy, a Frenchman riding for Cofidis, who both arrived within one minute behind the "autobus".

Rest up tonight, boys, because you're going to need everything you have left during tomorrow's "Queen Stage"!! Four Category One climbs and then a final "beyond categorization" HC climb is in store. If you make it through that, you can rest up the following day and eventually ride into Paris and finish the Tour!

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