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Musette du Jour: Tdf'06 Stage 5

And then there were three...

Daniele Bennati disappeared from the peloton today, and Thor Hushovd was tragically relegated for an irregular sprint yesterday, which combined with Oscar Freire's sneaky little win today makes for a very tight three-way race for the Green Jersey. Freire, at 115 points, is just seven behind leader Robbie McEwen (fifth today) on 122 points, with Boonen a mere one back of Robbie. Doesn't get much closer than that... and it doesn't promise to shake out anytime soon either. McEwen has shown the winning touch, with Boonen a step slow but steady, while Freire had kind of been quietly hanging around before today's burst. Tomorrow's amble to Vitre is one more shot for the sprinters, one more day in yellow for Boonen, before the GC race heats up with Saturday's long ITT (though Sunday and Tuesday are sprint stages too).

Anyway, onto today's links:

  • For coverage of today's stage, there's the usual suspects: the Pez boys or Sam Abt, whose daily piece asks, the Tour or the Cup?
  • The day's saddest tale, unreferenced and unverified, is that Erik Dekker will retire from Cycling, after his very distinguished career ended with gravel embedded in his face.
  • But we like to end on a happy note: Alessandro Petacchi expects to target Paris-Tours as he cranks up his rehab.