For those who are keeping score; I've got 7 points to BK's 4. Just in case you were wondering... (I love ya sis...)
Today's stage was great, not for the usual crashes that might have put an end to a few races for folks, but because Tom Boonen (directly or indirectly) did the right thing and allowed his teammate to take his first ever Tour stage win. Gert Steegmans is one of Tom's most valuable leadout men during the season and he flogs himself day in and day out to get Tom to the line first. Today, whether Gert was simply faster or Tom was just being nice, Steegmans got the win instead. A Belgian winning a Tour stage in Belgium is about as good as it ever gets in a professional cyclist's life. Whether Tom simply got outsprinted by his leadout man or not, I am happy to see the finish today. It isn't often, regardless of the reasons why, that a domestique gets the big win. To me, I think it rocks!
Not much else really happened, other than it rained like hell and riders ate pavement again and got all beat up. Hincapie didn't look good, nor did yellow jersey Cancellara. The stage was damned near board flat. Tomorrow's stage is only slightly hillier with 1 rated Category 4 climb. Shouldn't be too hard for David Millar to keep the polka dot jersey another day. The big news about the stage tomorrow is that it is the longest of this year's race- 236.5km! I'm picking either McEwen or Hushovd to win (even though some people think I always pick Boonen- his initials are Chuck Cowan... no wait, that's not initials... um... Behind Bars... dammit... that's not right either...). Robbie, if his wrist and knee hold up, should be in good shape for the stage win again- he's just too plucky. If not, expect to see Hushovd with the win. He's a great Classics rider and tomorrow will seem a lot like a Classics race. The race finishes with a short section of cobblestones near the finish line.... expect to see carnage there. It comes just before the finish and many riders will be fighting for position. Expect their "position" to be sprawled out across the pavement. It should be ugly- especially if it is raining again.
God I love this race!