July 22, 2004
Stage 17: 204.5 km Bourg d'Oisans to Le Grand Bornand
This should be a day full of fireworks, as it's the last really mountainous stage, and the last real chance to make up big time gaps.
I believe Ivan Basso's grip on 2nd is tenuous, and he could easily fall off the podium if he doesn't put some time into T-Mobile's Andreas Klöden and Jan Ullrich. Remember, Armstrong was looking to put 4 minutes into Ullrich before the long time trial, and Basso currently leads the resurgent Jan by 4:07.
Keep an eye on the other specialist jerseys, as well. Richard Virenque hasn't yet nailed down the King of the Mountains, but didn't lose points to anyone who is likely to compete for it (Armstrong moved up to 2nd in the competition, 40 points behind Virenque).
Robbie McEwen is likely to finish today in the gruppetto, the bunch of riders trying to survive without getting eliminated, so his rivals could gain a few points at the last intermediate sprint of the day.
Thomas Voeckler is in white, but needs to keep an eye on Vladimir Karpets and Sandy Casar. Karpets looks to be a threat to take the white jersey in the last time trial on Saturday.
Starting Stage 17, it's:
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"i want to say that lance armstrong has a great personality and someone very special after all he had been through. i would like to know if there's an e.mail where i can write to him.
Posted by: tsivia at Jul 23, 2004 7:43:36 AM