July 24, 2003
Tour Today: Dax - Bordeaux
Flat, flat, flat. We've got two intermediate sprints and the finishing sprint in 181 km, as the Tour moves north, paralleling the Atlantic coast.
Most of the action today is likely to surround the green jersey, as Baden Cooke, Robbie McEwen, Erik Zabel, and Stuart O'Grady try to win the overall points title for this Tour.
There have been suggestions that Jan Ullrich might try to close the gap with Armstrong by contesting intermediate sprints, but I don't see it: Armstrong has a strong team that could chase down any such attempt, and with the closeness of the points competition, they would get plenty of help from the teams of the green jersey competitors. I think Ullrich is going to have to play his hand on Saturday, in the individual time trial.
With the abandonment of Australia's Nick Gates of Lotto-Domo and Rabobank's Remmert Wielinga of the Netherlands, 149 riders are left in the race.
Lance Armstrong Baden Cooke Richard Virenque Denis Menchov
Team CSC leads the team classification over Euskaltel-Euskadi by about 9 minutes.
Tyler Freaking Hamilton will be quite deservedly wearing the red race number of the most aggressive rider.
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