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July 15, 2004

Stage 11: 164km Saint-Flour to Figeac

It's another up-and-down day for the riders, but nowhere near as hard as Wednesday. The hardest climb of the day is a 2nd Category starting about 91 km/56 miles into the stage.

The rundown:
1 2nd Category
1 3rd Category
3 4th Category

The intermediate sprints are late today, which should help Stuart O'Grady and Erik Zabel in their pursuit of green jersey points. The first, especially, is only 4 kilometers after the day's hardest climb. If the pace is fast, green jersey Robbie McEwen could be comfortably ensconced in the gruppetto by then, riding with the other sprinters trying to avoid elimination.

The stage ends with a 500 meter uphill stretch that would influence the sprint if the pack gets to Figeac together.

This is, however, the kind of stage that often creates small breakaways of 3-10 riders low in the overall standings that stay away to the end.

Starting Stage 11, it's:

m_jaune.gif Thomas Voeckler (Brioches la Boulangere)

m_vert.gif Robbie McEwen (Lotto-Domo)

m_pois.gif Richard Virenque (Quick Step-Davitamon)

m_blanc.gif Thomas Voeckler (worn by Sandy Casar - Fdjeux.com)

Richard Virenque will naturally wear the red race numbers of the most aggressive rider for his 125-mile+ breakaway yesterday, atop his familiar polka-dot jersey.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 15, 2004 in Stage profiles, Top Stories | Permalink

Comments

Not directly related to today's stage, but I just heard that Greg LeMond apparently said some very unflattering things about Armstrong this morning, basically saying that just because he's never tested positive doesn't mean Lance is clean.

What's LeMond hoping to accomplish? LeMond is certainly entitled to his opinion, but c'mon, right in the middle of the Tour he just raises purely speculative suspicions, as if Armstrong can somehow prove a negative? Granted, LeMond's remarks were apparently reported in Le Monde, which means they could have spun some rather innocuous, obvious remarks into a full-blown accusation, but still, one would think LeMond of all people would know that now is not exactly the time to mouth off with pure speculation.

Posted by: Larry at Jul 15, 2004 10:42:37 AM

I finally found a high resolution PDF map of this year's tour. This is much better than the dreadfully simplistic JPG maps on the major sites. Plus, it is in French. It is obscure enough that I thought the link might be useful to others, if you are inclined to share it:

www.ille-et-vilaine.equipement.gouv.fr/.../ annee_2004/tour_de_france_2/documents/carte_du_tour.pdf

Posted by: Guy Hermann at Jul 15, 2004 10:59:16 AM

Why do some persons always have to be so negative about someone at the top, could it be that they are so insecure about themselves that making such remarks about someone who is obviously better than they are is suppose to make them look better. I think so, he did not make Lance look bad but only showed us his lack of intellegence and sportsmanship.

Posted by: Phyllis at Jul 15, 2004 11:12:28 AM

keep me up dated on lance this year.

Posted by: jonathan at Jul 15, 2004 11:40:40 AM