July 20, 2004
Christian Vande Velde on his day in the break
American Christian Vande Velde was the best-placed rider on Roberto Heras's Libery Seguros during all the action, but may have pushed the pace a little too hard, as he finished 9:44 back, in 57th overall. Vande Velde writes in his rider's diary at VeloNews that he has trouble staying fed and hydrated in the heat, and only realizes he's nearing the bonk when he starts getting goosebumps.
In the last hour of the race today I started to feel like a goose out there as I became dehydrated and tired from the efforts of the race and challenges of the course.
I began to drift off and tried to ride with Ullrich as he came blasting by. After a while, though, I fell back and soon Lance's group came charging up with Floyd setting a ripping tempo on the climb. He looked over at me and told me to get on his wheel if I didn't want to be dropped. I took his advice and hung on.
The Postal team was impressive once again today, keeping Lance well protected in the front of the race and setting a tempo so strong nobody could attack and if they did try an attack they didn't get far up the road.
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