I think I said it all yesterday : to sum up, the Fella’s tour is on hold until the individual time trials on Saturday. Nevertheless it wasn’t as dead as yesterday as everyone except Francis Lee scored points today. This evens out the field into two identically spaced groups : 8 points separate me from Joost Dantuma, 46 points to Francis Lee, then the same gap of 8 points between Franco and Paul Evans. A further 232 points down, today’s stage winner is making a good effort on riding for pride after having been ridiculed most of the tour. Da Cruz came good for Keir, reaping 13 points.
381 (+3,-45) Simon White (France)
373 (+1,-53) Joost Dantuma (UK)
327 (+0,-99) Francis Lee (France)
319 (+1,-107) Paul Evans (France)
87(+13,-339) Keir Mitchell (UK)
The battle at the bottom of the table looks stabilised : Keir again gained on Adios Mofo and the gap is a safe 32 points. He’s only ten from the third from bottom, so the wooden spoon will not be going to Napton or thereabouts.
Out on the road today, Marcos Serrano won the stage and saved some face for the Liberty Seguros-WÃƒÂ¼rth team. Riders like Beloki and Heras have done nothing for the team – and nothing for the Fellas either. A similar story from yesterday, the inital break got well over 10 minutes ahead and never looked back. In the maillot jaune group, things played out much the same as the last couple of days. Some minor evolutions worthy of note though. Vinokourov lost some time on the GC, and Ullrich gained a bit on Rasmussen to make a 3rd place look more likely. So it’s odds-on for Armstrong, Basso and Ullrich in 1-2-3 but I doubt anything will happen tomorrow. Would be fantastic if it did, but I think the riders will all be saving legs for the time trial what with three minutes separating second, third and fourth places.
Still, there is life left in the Fella’s tour. Maybe tomorrow a smaller break will get ahead leaving a few low places up for grabs so we can all be a little motivated in the lead-in to the time trial, where we’re all likely to pick up a lot of points. Sadly I expect much of the same tomorrow, so I’m waiting for Saturday.