I'm mostly there with SoCal who did a fine writeup of where we stand after today's rather epic stage -- by Pyrenean standards anyway. To my eyes, the top 5 on the stage look like the five strongest guys, with very little separating them besides Floyd Landis' consistently (if not overwhelmingly) superior time trialing. The team disparaties didn't mean much today; after all of Rabo's work they still left Menchov to fight it out with four equally fresh rivals. Rabo looked solid, but they can't blow away Menchov's competitors the way USPS used to do for Lance. In fact, I think if they lifted the pace, they'd be just as likely to lose Menchov as they would Landis.
[And yes, I remember Leipheimer losing all that time, but now that his stomach is digesting again, I'd bet the three minutes between him and, say, Kloden will evaporate quickly on the Alpe.]
So we have a VERY clear picture of who's in the race: one solid leader, three close competitors (Sastre, Menchov, Evans) and one guy on par in every respect except on the clock. Everyone else is done.
- JB: we're toast. As usual, he's right.
- The insiders roundup over at the Paceline with Chris Brewer.
- Klodi's journal betrays his low expectations and/or cheerful nature.
- Phonak are understandably excited, at least officially. Of course, their webmaster doesn't have to defend the yellow jersey over three days of transition.
- Chris Carmichael on the Alps vs the Pyrenees.
- Our own CBB/VW, formerly known as the person who won the Virtual DS stage again today, has been running a cool trivia quiz over at Cycling Revealed.
- Finally, Pez goes on tour at the Tour.