Can Evens defend his lead?
One thing to keep in mind: his team. Sure, we've ridiculed Silence Lotto both on the cobbles and Evans' poor Grand Tour-mates all year-and for good reason. But I ask you to look at his team now. There are some good men there. Men like Jurgen Van den Broeck, 7th in the Giro last year. Like Sebastian Lang, new to Lotto this year who looks like the Hard Man Cadel needs. Staf Scheirlinckx, also new to Lotto, Matty Lloyd, who's never raced with Evans in a Grand Tour, and Jelle Vanendert, a promising young Ardennes racer. In short, even without the enigma that is Thomas Dekker, this is a strongly revamped stage racing team and today and tomorrow we'll see what they can do to help Evans' cause. I think we'll see more support for Cadel from his team this year then we've ever seen. But I digress...
The stage is similar to the Tour's, perhaps easier until you come to that final climb. Three cat 4's and one cat 3 great the riders until the HC Mt Ventoux finishes off the day. The weather should be a bit cooler than yesterday though I have no idea what the weather atop that last climb will be. Maggie Backstedt remarked on CTV about how the winds hit the riders when they clear the trees.
Other news: Not only Ivan Basso but Christophe Kern got 20 second penalties yesterday for not respecting the 10m distance from the car. Also, in Tour information via cycling fans tweet, the UCI gave Andreas Kloden the green light for that July race.
Video: The actual start of the stage is at 12:40 CET, 6:40 Eastern. CTV and France 3 should start at 15:45 CEST, 9:45 am Eastern, Eurosport at 16:00 CEST. And the rest? We'll figure them out eventually. Check Steephill.TV or Cycling fans for links to Eurosport video and audio and France3, Basque TV, Danish TV and whatever else becomes available.