Today was an amazing stage in the Tour de France, on a day which you might have thought ho hum, despite a lot of big Alpine climbs... An early break which you might have thought would succeed built a huge lead, but then on the final climb, the HC Col de la Madeleine, Saxo Bank cranked up the energy, cracking Cadel Evans among others, and then Andy Schleck attacked the elite group containing the remaining GC contenders. Alberto Contador grabbed his wheel - the only one who could do so - and the two strong men of this year's tour took off, pulling time on everyone and nearly catching the breakaway. The carnage on that climb was amazing, the peloton was spread all over the hill. It was a great race on a day when nothing amazing was expected...
Sandy Casar survived to win the stage and Schleck took over the yellow jersey, by 41s. It is now evident that either Schleck or Contador are going to win, and there is a four-way battle for third between Samuel Sanchez, Denis Menchov (go Rabobank!), Jurgen Van Den Broek, and Levi Leipheimer (go Shack!).
Tomorrow seems to be one of those transitional stages with enough climbing to prevent a field sprint but not enough to have a GC shootout; could be a "breakaway" stage. But nothing has been normal in this year's Tour, so stay tuned!
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