Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Stage Five: Cholet to Châteauroux

Some days it's not even worth it to get out of bed. Juan Mauricio Soler of Barloworld went down again today in the neutral zone and by 12 km into the stage he abandoned. VeloNews has the details on Soler's situation - his earlier wrist fracture "made it nearly impossible for Soler to brake". Better luck next year, Juan.

Five stragglers today:

173 Brett Lancaster (Aus) Team Milram 0.33
174 Marcus Burghardt (Ger) Team Columbia 0.57
175 Adam Hansen (Aus) Team Columbia 1.41
176 Aurélien Passeron (Fra) Saunier Duval - Scott 4.55
177 Heinrich Haussler (Ger) Gerolsteiner 6.30

But no shakeups in the back of the GC:

173 Leonardo Piepoli (Ita) Saunier Duval - Scott 13.59
174 David López García (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 14.09
175 Nicki Sørensen (Den) Team CSC - Saxo Bank 15.06
176 Matthieu Sprick (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 17.55
177 Wim Vansevenant (Bel) Silence - Lotto 20.05

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Passeron and Haussler both crashed. Burghardt pulled out all the stops leading the peloton in the chase toward the end. Not sure what happened to Lancaster and Hansen, but in any case, I doubt there's any real challenge to Wim here. And he's not pulling any cheap stunts to hang onto the Lanterne -- he finished with the peloton today.
Thanks for the summary, Allen! I didn't get a chance to watch the stage yet and I was relying on the text commentaries on (which I should have linked to but their live link changes stages every day).

BTW, they had a little discussion there about the cutoff times, which are going to come into play soon in the mountain stages. I'm sure Wim will be quite aware of them!
Thanks for the tip, Nancy -- I'd been trying to find out more about cutoff times. BTW, I believe I saw Wim on Versus today, about 16 mi from the end of the race, riding next to Van Summeren at the back of the pack.
Oh, and I just found a summary of the rules governing time cutoffs -- in Active.Com
The Australian broadcaster SBS has a pretty nice website, with great summary videos of the stage highlights, including Haussler's crash on the run-in to the finish. He just clipped a rider while cornering, but was pretty slow to get up again.
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