July 19, 2005
Stage 16: The run-in to Pau
Davitamon-Lotto's Cadel Evans, Phonak's Oscar Pereiro, Illes Balears' Xabier Zandio, and Lampre's Eddy Mazzoleni continue to lead the stage. Their gap is 4:05 with 10 k to ride.
Behind, the remnants of the early break is around the middle of the gap, about 2 minutes back. That includes Flecha, Serrano, Vasseur, Pineau, and 4 other riders.
If Evans keeps his current gap, he'll move up into 7th, ahead of Floyd Landis, but Phonak can't/won't chase with Pereiro, crazy with the smell of a stage win, in the break with Evans.
Pereiro has been named most combative for today's stage, so he'll keep the red race numbers tomorrow.
Zandio had a bit of a rest earlier, when the break was threatening teammate Mancebo's placing on the GC, so he may be fresher than his three breakmates. Evans is riding for GC, doing most of the pulling.
Evans is flying, pumping like a locomotive, with three men team time trialing on his wheel.
There goes Mazzoleni, Pereiro slingshots by and gets a good gap! He sits up a little early, but I think he just nipped Zandio for that stage win!
Sherwen gets a good line: "I wonder if he'll apologize for sitting on the wheel of Cadel Evans for the last 3 k or so."
Field is coming in at 3:25 or so, with (correction) Franco Pellizotti leading in the field sprint. That's going to move Evans well into the Top 10 tonight.