Sunday, July 16, 2006

Stage 13 - Le Tour 2006 - Voigt's day in the sun

Jens Voigt thought 'not me again' when the break got away but was far more pleased when the longest, hottest stage of the Tour was over. He won the stage and his companion Pereiro took yellow. It was the biggest break to get away so far, over 30 minutes, and propelled Voigt (Ger) Team CSC, Oscar Pereiro (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears, Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Cofidis, Manuel Quinziato (Ita) Liquigas and (now best young rider) Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Milram up the GC tree. Perhaps the peleton was tired and the day too long and hot to be bothered chasing. Indeed McEwen's Lotto team had no reason to chase these non-sprinters, but for Floyd Landis the yellow was at stake. Perhaps it was a tactical move to shift the onus of defence, or a blunder of embarrasing proportions if Pereiro can capitalise.

Realistically he won't. Landis will expect to reclaim the maillot jaune either in the Alps or at worst the TT. Still there is some risk. Just 8 riders remain inside of 5 minutes. 22 inside of 10 minutes. Surely we can't expect another long break to push the unlikely into contention? Surely the Alps will sort sense back into this GC?

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