Today's winner was none other than the very venerable Voigt, Jens (the "V" thing got to me... sorry). Jens Voigt is hands-down one of the classiest and coolest guys in the peloton. The guy busts his ass all the time and is the current King of the long breakaway, especially since the retirement of Jacky Durand. Jens can win time trials, or simply attack from the first kilometer and hold the field off on painfully long breaks. He's just a very gutsy rider and earns each and every win he ever gets. CSC has been in need of some form of redemption since Basso' exclusion from the race, due to doping allegations. Voigt has very much made team director Bjarne Riis' Tour with his well-timed stage win.
The break spent a great deal of time out on the roads away from the pack today. Enough time to get more than a 30 minute lead on the field. An intelligently disinterested field let the break get a boatload of time today. In the end, after riding the last few kilometers in the shadow of Voigt, Oscar Pereiro managed to eek out enough time to take over the yellow jersey and shift the burden of protecting it to Caisse d'Epargne. Pereiro lost 30 some-odd minutes to Landis in the Pyrenees. When the race hits the Alps in a few days, he will likely lose a lot more than that.
Landis might catch a bunch of grief for letting the break get so far away that he lost the yellow jersey, especially if his gamble doesn't net him the final yellow jersey in Paris. However, given the circumstances, I think Floyd was imminently smarter than most people assume; the pressure to defend is now shifted to another team, leaving Phonak with a few days to simply rest until arriving at the really hard stages in the Alps.
Sunday's stage will be much like Satuday's, though the climbing is a little harder. Much like today, I would expect another small break to get away. With Monday being a rest day, it is likely that lesser riders will be reaching over their heads for a stage win. With a disinterested field, it is possible for a smaller break to gain enough time to hold off the field. Time gaps like today's are unlikely, but I'd expect early attacks and if the right combination is met (lower placed riders), it just might work again.
Jens Voigt is a classy rider, riding for a classy but embattled team. His win today will help to boost the morale of the remaining riders on the team. Maybe now Carlos Sastre will feel empowered to go for the GC now.
Now we get to the Cub Reporter, who is likely stepping off a plane in France as I type this. In fear that the French version of the internet might not allow her to submit a post, she was prudent enough to "can" a couple posts for all of us to enjoy. So, with further delay, the Cub Reporter;
My mom has been playing the Trek Tour Mania game since day one. She goes to the store and gets her game piece for her and my father, plus she plays for the both of them on the website everyday. With the odds, you think the lady would have won a freaking Power Bar or something. Today, she gets her first Power Bar. She was really stoked. Good for her. Congrats Mom! The lady won't even eat the thing. Has anyone else won or heard of anyone who has won on this Tour Mania game? I want some nationwide scoop on this one.
Tuesday I wasn't feeling well and I wanted to hang out with my mom so we did a fun little project together. I went to the Trek Store (so she could get her Tour Mania scratch off) and I purchased a Discovery mussette bag. I ripped out all the seams, fused a lining fabric on the back and made a drawstring bag out of it. It's a good prototype. I think I would put a yellow band around the top so the logo doesn't get so smashed up when you pull the top tight. I think it's pretty cool. Check it out.
I'm in transit. . .forgive me.
Until the next stage in a few hours...
(PS- Yes I know that I am posting this much, much later than normal. Two reasons; 1) I posted earlier in the day, but Blogger ate the post and it vanished into the ether. B) I went out for beers with my best friend. Blame him...)