Jul 14, 2005

tdf - stage 12

Stage 12 is much closer to sea level than some of the stages we've seen recently. That means it is hotter. About 24 degrees C today. Lance is known to hate the heat. I've always found this odd given that he lives in Texas. Nevertheless he just doesn't seem to perform well and it almost cost him a tour a few years back when he became dehydrated during a hot tour. We'll see if this has any ill effects on him during these flat stages.

The big news of the day is Boonen has dropped. He crashed yesterday and apparently it was serious. He was the green jersey rider. Very unfortunate. That means Hushovd is now the virtual green jersey leader during this stage. He's just above Stuart O'Grady and Robbie McEwen.

Lots of attempts to break from the peloton until finally one sticks. It's cat and mouse. Beltran from Team Disco crashes. He is the only one to fall and needs to be treated. He gets back up though and is on his way. But it does seem like it was a bad crash. He's been consulting with the team doctor as he's riding.

Finally an attack with 11 riders goes out and sticks. Primarily sprinters. Beltran now is out. This is unfortunate. He's a 'salt of the earth' rider. No matter what happens that guy puts out his best effort. Tough as nails. He must really be banged up. He's the type of guy Lance can rely on when things get tough. Not any more. It pretty much stays that way until Moncoutie goes off from those lead riders and stays there for the rest of the day. Why not? He's French and it's Bastille Day.

As the peloton comes across nothing changes in the GC list as expected. In addition to Beltran, 3 other riders withdraw. And Jalabert, a very good rider, was way off the pace today coming in 34 minutes back. I'm guessing he'll be out soon too. And Hushovd moves into the green jersey officially.
Stage 13
That is a sprinter's stage below. Expect the GCs to stay out of that. But it should be an exciting finish. McEwen will go hard to win this.

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