Thursday, July 20, 2006

Stage 17 at the finish line

The edge of my seat is simply all worn out from this Tour.

About eighty riders arrived today at the finish line in two autobuses - one at 52:02 and one at 52:13 after the stage winner.

Wim Vansevenant remains in the Lanterne Rouge spot with a margin of 31 seconds until the next nearest rider, Gert Steegmans. Both riders are Belgians on the Davitamon-Lotto team.

The final ten in the standings - most moving up in numerical rank through the process of attrition - now are:

134 135 COYOT Arnaud COF FRA 3h 27' 21"
135 158 MENGIN Christophe FDJ FRA 3h 28' 22"
136 165 CARLSTRÖM Kjell LIQ FIN 3h 28' 34"
137 193 COUTOULY Cédric AGR FRA 3h 30' 56"
138 105 POZZATO Filippo QSI ITA 3h 31' 03"
139 048 WROLICH Peter GST AUT 3h 31' 16"
140 124 HERNANDEZ Aitor EUS ESP 3h 43' 21"
141 133 CASPER Jimmy COF FRA 3h 46' 37"
142 067 STEEGMANS Gert DVL BEL 3h 50' 05"
143 068 VANSEVENANT Wim DVL BEL 3h 50' 36"

Looking ahead - we might expect after the final time trial that those with previous slow time trial times will likely end up at the bottom of the GC rankings at the end of the Tour. Out of these ten, the five slowest in the Stage 7 Individual Time Trial were Coutouly, Casper, Hernandez, Vansevenant, and Wrolich (in descending order).

A move up was made today by Stephane Auge, French rider for Cofidis, who had been in 143rd place. He finished in 55th place at 33:05 today, bumping him up to 127th place overall.

I deeply regret to say that I'm probably going to miss the final individual time trial broadcast live, since I have a swim-run event that morning, so I won't be able to see the Grand Finale ITT until Saturday evening. My fingernails are going to be all bitten off by then.

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