Thursday, July 12, 2007

TdF Stage 6 preview

Tomorrow is Friday the 13th ... uhhhhhhh. There is/was rumor that tomorrow, Floyd Landis will learn about his fate, err verdict. Opinions on the outcome vary from 3-0 for Landis to 2:1 for USADA. But we've heard the rumor story before, so I certainly won't hold my breath.

Bad luck already happened for Team Astana today, with both Klöden and Vinokourov off to the hospital after today's finish. The outlook for Klöden is not good at the moment since he was diagnosed with a hairline fracture in his tailbone. Vinokourov had to get stitches for his knee, so in my mind this also doesn't look too good for tomorrow. Fred Rodriguez' stitches at the elbow after the crash in Stage 2 are one thing, but a knee is being stressed a bit more when cycling. Both riders though hope to start Stage 6. Another victim today was Benjamin Noval (Discovery) who crashed through a car window on the descent to the finish, and who required stitches; Johan Bruyneel is optimistic though that Noval will start tomorrow.

Stage 6 itself, between Semur-en-Auxois and Bourg-en-Bresse, 199.5 km this time, is another sprinter's stage since it only has two Cat-4 climbs at 55 and 138 km. Three sprint points are at 51.5 km, 127.5 km and 161 km. From Stage 7 on, sprinters will have to take a back seat, as this will be the first mountain stage in the Alps.

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