I'm aware that I am creating this post a day after the fact and that today is the first rest day. Like I said before, my internet service at home is really bad currently.
Who says skinny guys can't climb? The Chicken, Michael Rasmussen, wins the first true climbing stage with the climber's jersey on his back. Way to go Michael! The Pollo Loco rode for Haro (parent company of Masi) the year after he won the mountain bike cross country World Championship, so he's like family here.
What the heck has happened to Christophe Moreau this year? He's been the perennial French hope and has never been able to live up to the hype and expectation. Now he's looking like a real contender for the final podium. He's been riding aggressively and staying upright- both kind of new for him. It's nice to see a guy like Moreau come good finally after all these years of coming up short. Second on the stage puts him second overall right now.
That Voigt guy is looking pretty good too. Now he's in yellow and he gets the pressure of defending. CSC is now in the driver's seat as the race starts to get exciting. I'd look for Discovery to start riding aggressively and attacking with guys like Azevedo, Popovych and Salvodelli to make CSC work and wear themselves out before Lance makes his real assault on the final GC. But hey, I've only been partly right in my predictions thus far.
T-Mobile has 5th, 8th and 11th on GC right now and sits in a pretty good position. If the internal strife in the team doesn't cloud things, they should be the team to beat with three very strong riders within reach of the final podium. How amazing would it be to see a total T-Mobile final podium? I mean, if Tex falters, the Magenta Men could actually sweep the podium.
Today is the first rest day and I bet some people are really happy to have a quiet day riding at their own pace for a while. Now we will move into the part of the race that will really decide the final podium and send the fakers off the back and into the team cars.
I'm looking forward to tomorrow. Two category 1 climbs to make some people really cry. I'm so glad I don't have to ride those climbs tomorrow (who am I kidding- I'd LOVE to be racing the Tour).