Thursday, July 12, 2007

Stage 5: Chablis to Autun, the first sorting

There were 184 finishers of today's stage, and 110 of them lost time today by finishing behind the first large bunch of riders.

As expected, Rémy Di Gregorio was unable to begin the stage.

The biggest time gap of the day was for our new Lanterne Rouge and final rider across the line, Geoffroy LeQuatre, rider for Cofidis. (He was photographed at left by Ed Tarwinski at the Tour of Spain.) LeQuatre had a fairly serious crash at the feed zone at 66 km into the stage when another rider's musette became entangled in his wheel. He struggled to reach the finish 21 minutes after any other rider. (Note: Some reports are saying LeQuatre withdrew; but he has an official finish time for the stage, and he's not on the official list of withdrawals. I wonder if some lazy journalists just wrote him off as a goner and filed their reports before he finished).

Brett Lancaster, an Australian rider on the Milram team (affectionately known as the Lactose Lads) abandoned today at about 80 km. According to Cycling News, he had started the Tour with stomach issues, crashed, and was also suffering from a saddle sore. Fortunately that loss didn't impede teammate Erik "I'm too old for this sh!t" Zabel from pulling on the sprinter's green jersey for the first time in this Tour after crossing the line fifth for the stage.

And I nearly forgot to mention that the STAGE WINNER Filippo Pozzato is a former Lanterne Rouge - Stage 3 of the 2006 Tour! Chapeau, Filippo!

In other news, former Tour de France Lanterne Rouge (2006, stage 1) and Giro d'Italia winner Danilo DiLuca has just passed his first hurdle in being exonerated when an Italian judge cleared him of doping charges.

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Nancy, there's a great story on Lequatre on the BBC's "606" website:

Blood, sweat, guts, and tears

Best, Frank @
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