Sunday, July 13, 2008

Tour de France 2008

Riccardo Ricco of Italy crossing the finish line to win the ninth stage of the Tour de France

Stage 9

The Pyrenees! Lots of hills with two major climbs at the end.

Riccardo Ricco of Italy crushed up the last hill and held off everyone to take his second stage win of the tour. Viva la Italy.

The American Christian Vandevelde moved up from 4th to 3rd overall.

Cadel Evans hung on to 2nd overall despite crashing.

The Jersey status (the white jersey was the only one that changed hands):

Maillot Jaune (yellow jersey - overall leader) – Kim Kirchen of Luxembourg who rides for the American team of Team Colombia

Maillot Vert (green jersey - points leader for sprinting) – Oscar Freire of Spain who rides for Rabobank. Kim Kirchen is actually the points leader but since you can’t wear two jerseys at once…

Maillot à pois (red and white polka-dot jersey - best in the mountains) - David De La Fuente of Spain who rides for Saunier Duval - Scott (he rode a heck of a race today)

Maillot Blanc (white jersey - best young rider - under 25) - Andy Schleck of Luxembourg who rides for CSC

Tomorrow's stage 10 - More high mountains in this stage which, despite being just 156 kilometres in length, should prove to be one of the toughest of this year's Tour. Despite a reasonably flat start, the stage finishes with the legendary ascents of the Col du Tourmalet and Hautacam. This stage should see some real gaps appear between the overall contenders as the favourites for victory in Paris start to show themselves.

À demain

Today's Tour Tidbit:

Twice in the history of the race has the rider awarded the win being disqualified at a later date. The first time was in 1904 when the leader was found to have caught a train for part of the event, and then at the 2006 race Floyd Landis of America was disqualified for elevated testosterone levels found in a urine sample taken after one of his stage wins.

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