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July 07, 2005

Stage 6 underway

The day's stage is underway, and there are five men in a breakaway: Credit Agricole's Jaan Kirsipuu, Mauro Gerosa of Liquigas, Stephane Auge of Cofidis, Karsten Kroon of Rabobank, and FdJ's Christophe Mengin, riding through his hometown today. Their gap ballooned out to almost 9 minutes, but the peloton is closing it down.

With 15 kilometers to go, the gap is around a minute. The pace in the pack has been very strong, and that combined with the weather has caused a few riders to go off the back, most notably Thomas Voeckler.

Kroon and Auge have now passed Erik Dekker in the King of the Mountains jersey contest. They're tied with 7 points each, and on the last climb of the day, they slowed the break, trying to mark each other, which led Kirsipuu to just sprint around them with their two other breakmates in tow, denying both any KoM points. Kroon will wear the polka-dots tomorrow, since he won the last climb on which they won points.

Another abandon today, by Fassa Bortolo's Claudio Corlioni, riding in his first Tour.

With under 8 miles, or about 12 kilometers to go, CSC and Discovery have taken the lead for the peloton.

About 10 kilometers out, Kirsipuu, Gerosa, Kroon, and Auge are caught. Dario Cioni of Liquigas took the capture as an opportunity to escape, and is bridging up to Christophe Mengin; two riders have a better chance to stay away than one.

Cioni never made it to Mengin -- he's caught by the peloton. The pace has forced another break in the peloton. Mengin has less than 3 miles to ride, but the peloton is in sight behind him. There are maybe 50-70 riders in the chasing field; Mengin's pedal stroke is getting choppy as he tries to stay clear.

Vino has broken out of the peloton! He's caught Mengin, and a 3rd rider (Fassa Bortolo?) is with him. Now at a big right-hander, Mengin slides into a barrier, and takes about one-third of the surviving chase group with him. The crash is inside the last K; we'll have to see what the judges do on the result. First over the line is Fassa Bortolo's Lorenzo Bernucci, Alexandre Vinokourov is second.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 7, 2005 | Permalink


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Can you tell me, as simply as possible, how you win the TDF? With different people winning the various stages, how does Lance stay in the lead? How did he get the lead? Is the race 2500KM or 4000KM long?

Posted by: kim at Jul 10, 2005 10:14:15 AM