A big day for the green jersey competition. By my reading of the course, there's a cat-3 climb that peaks 10km before the finish. It's a longish hump (7km) but at a mellow 3.5% grade. Back in April, Green Jersey leader Tom Boonen would have considered this the equivalent of riding in a headwind. Nevertheless, he's just come through the Alpes, a herculean feat for guys half his size. And his only competition for the maillot vert is a crafty veteran who has made a living by surviving the worst climbs Cycling can dish out. So Boonen better come good today, or Erik Zabel will have his jersey lead under pressure. OTOH, the remaining sprints are pretty typical, in which Zabel doesn't have a strong chance, and at this point there are only a handful of the big-name sprinters (Hushovd, Bennati, Hunter) remaining to challenge.
Today, like many other readers I consider you guys my eyes and ears. No VS in my hotel, though I'll be home to hear Al and Bob butcher the coverage for me later tonight. So have at it!