My lasting impression from the day, aside from all the blood, was just the incredible lineup of top sprinters battling on the flats today. Boonen, Zabel, McEwen, Freire, O'Grady, Hushovd, Paolini, Backstedt, Bennati, Eisel, Hunter... oh, and Casper too, right? Some ten different teams will at least act as though they have an ace to play, which may make for some awfully chaotic sprint finishes. You have to wonder what a younger rider like Bennati is supposed to do to navigate that thicket of stars. This is why I keep harping on the value of experience.
- For an inside look at today's sprint, Stuey checks in.
- Some quick doping news: unbeknownst to me, Tyler Hamilton's inclusion in the sting actually constitutes a potential second doping infraction, which would mean the end of his career.
- Having been sent home, Alexandre Vinokourov has been making plans, like taking over the team, turning it into a Kazakh outfit, sliding into the DS role...
- So many interviews today, too many to recommend them all... It seems like the theme of the Tour now is diaries: writing diaries, audio diaries, video... I'll list a fair number of them, but you have to expect a lot of crap. Anyway, since Klodi's the man, check his T-Mob diary.
- Pez on the agony of being Pez.
- Leipheimer files a video piece, with stunners like "Wow now it's really going to be an open race..." But for the cost of staring at his shiny noggin, you do get some insight, like how he turned down his training after the Dauphine, explaining the rust in the prologue.