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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

TDF - Cadel Watch Stage 10

After the action of the Alps, I'm expecting things to settle down for the first transitional stage, the 10th stage, with the most likely scenario being some sort of break away succeeding. I wouldn't expect much, if any, change in the GC contenders during the day's stage.

The Stage
Beginning at Tallard, the course is a 229km journey over fairly flat terrain with a couple of 4th category climbs and a couple of 3rd category climbs before reaching Marseille. It's the kind of route that will be a relief to the field who struggled over the mountains and will give the opportunists the chance to try to break away and steal a stage win.

The Highlights
As expected today featured a breakaway of 11 riders who stayed around 10 minutes clear of the peloton just about all day. The winner of the day was super domestique for Quickstep Cedric Vasseur (finally, a Frenchman wins a stage) with a close sprint over Sandy Casar (Francaise de Jeux) and Michael Albasini (Liquigas) in 3rd. It was Vasseur's second win with his first coming way back in 1997.

In the bunch sprint for the minor green jersey points, Sebastien Chavanel edged out Tom Boonen leaving Boonen with a 16 point lead over Erik Zabel.

Cadel Watch
Today was a day to stay out of trouble and recover from the rigours of the past few stages. No news is good news and that's what Cadel delivered today.

The Contenders

1 Michael Rasmussen (Rabobank)
2 Alejandro Valverde (Caisse D'Epargne) 2' 35"
3 Iban Mayo (Saunier Duval) 2' 39"
4 Cadel Evans (Predictor-Lotto) 2' 41"
5 Alberto Contador (Discovery) 3' 08"
6 Christophe Moreau (AG2R) 3' 18"
7 Carlos Sastre (CSC) 3' 39"
8 Andreas Kloden (Astana) 3'50''
9 Levi Leipheimer (Discovery) 3' 53"
15 Oscar Pereiro Sio (Caisse D’Epargne) 6' 36"
16 Haimar Zulbeldia (Eukatel) 6' 42"
18 Denis Menchov (Rabobank) 7' 10"
21 Alexander Vinokourov (Astana) 8' 05"

The Jerseys

Yellow (Leader's) Jersey : Michael Rasmussen (Rabobank)
Green (Sprinter's) Jersey : Tom Boonen (Quickstep)
Polka Dot (Climber's) Jersey : Michael Rasmussen
White (Youth) Jersey : Alberto Contador (Discovery)

Team Leaders : CSC

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