July 12, 2003
Armstrong still 2nd, but 2:37 back
OLN's announcers supported US Postal's decision to no go all-out after Virenque, but he's a strong climber, and a real threat in the overall.
They may be right that the tremendous effort in winning today's stage must result in a jour sans (literally, a "day without" or an off-day) on another stage, but a motivated QuickStep will certainly animate the Tour.
The Tour website initially claimed that Virenque's QuickStep team would start tomorrow in three of the four jerseys, but from the overall standings it looks like:
Yellow - Virenque (QuickStep)
Green - Baden Cooke (FDjeux.com)
Polka-Dot - Rolf Aldag (Telekom) (placed 2nd, worn since Virenque is in yellow)
White - Denis Menchov (iBanesto) CORRECTED
The new overall:
2) Armstrong @ 2:37
3) Rolf Aldag @ 2:48
4) José Luis Rubiera @ 2:59
5) Roberto Heras @ 3:03
6) Joseba Beloki @ 3:09
7) Jorg Jaksche @ 3:14
8) Manuel Beltran @ 3:15
9) Jan Ullrich @ 3:15
10) José Azevedo @ 3:37
Others of note:
15) Michael Rogers @ 4:03
16) Francisco Mancebo @ 4:06
20) Tyler Hamilton @ 4:21
23) David Millar @ 4:36
24) Christophe Moreau @ 4:39
25) Stefano Garzelli @ 4:39
26) Carlos Sastre @ 4:44
30) Ivan Basso @ 4:54
31) Laurent Dufaux @ 4:57
looking at the fact that 40drivers came with the armstrong-group, it wasn't only USPs decision to let win virenque. the stage was less "aggressive" than i expected.
quicksnap, team bianchi, banesto, once and US postal, each had 3-4 drivers inside 4'06 today. each team has still at least one major candidate for the yellow jersey.
tomorrow could be a thriller. virenque is incredible weak in time-trials, so he has to be aggressive in the mountain, he has to make 3-4 more minutes on armstrong. with france completely behind him tomorrow, he could try another big attack, especially to stay in the yellow jersey for frances national holiday on monday...
Posted by: dogfood at Jul 12, 2003 1:12:13 PM