Saturday, July 15, 2006

Stage 13

So THIS is what CSC rider Jens Voigt saved all that energy in the time trial for! I was wondering when he was going to show his stuff! Going from last place in the stage a week ago to first place today - quite a remarkable difference!

Everybody but the breakaway finished with the peleton today. Well, except South African Robert Hunter and Frenchman Nicolas Jalabert, both from Phonak, came in 1:03 behind the main group. I'm not sure why, maybe a late flat or bike swap. Or maybe just tired from pulling the whole peleton along on a long, hot stage. Stefano Garzelli of Liquigas punctured with 5 km to go in the stage, and even he managed to finish 3 spots ahead of those two.

That means no shakeups of the standings in the back of the pack, and Joly remains in the Lanterne Rouge spot for the eighth day. Probably we will wait for some Alpine finishes to see things shaken up again.

Joly was interviewed before the stage (the first I've seen from him in the English-language press). ""One could say it's a flat course but it will not be a restful journey," said Frenchman Sebastien Joly [sic] of La Francaise des Jeux team, who was born in Tournon-sur-Rhone in the Montelimar area. "There will be escape attempts but I don't think the sprinters and their teams will allow them to go all the way." "

Wrong! It was indeed an unusual stage.

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