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July 25, 2003

Daily Peloton | TdF Jambon Report: Stage 18

The Daily Peloton weighs in with their daily rundown of "Golden Hams of the Day" and "Ham-Gazers of the Day".

Among the Golden:

Pablo Lastras (iBanesto.com). The crafty Spaniard now has a stage win in each grand tour, which is no mean feat, especially for a non-sprinter. The attacks of Canada and Da Cruz would have demoralized many riders, but Lastras just grit his teeth and kept pedaling, closing the gap and taking Da Cruz from behind right on the line. It was another great performance for iBanesto, who got a stage win earlier from Juan Antonio Flecha and whose Denis Menchov holds a commanding lead in the White Jersey competition. The future is bright for iBanesto, who have several young riders with great talent. While iBanesto.com ends its sponsorship at the end of this season, this team will surely gain a nice new sponsorship with such an outstanding Tour. They can now look towards the Vuelta with two things that make any young team dangerous: confidence and momentum.

Among the Gazers:

Baden Cooke (FDJeux.com). Cookie has been slipping in this internal battle of the Aussie Sprint Mafia over the Green Jersey. When McEwen won the first intermediate sprint, Cooke was nowhere to be seen. In the sprint for 17th place, Cooke finished behind both McEwen and Zabel. Still, Cooke has the stronger team and on the final stage, he is still the best-placed man to dethrone McEwen. Cooke was 2nd on the Champs Elysees last year, and he will be looking to go one better than that this year. If he can take that final sprint, he will likely get to go home in Green.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 25, 2003 in Tour news | Permalink

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