Tour de France – Stage 16 Wrap-up

What an exciting finish to today’s stage! Congratulations to Mikel Astarloza for winning Euskaltel it’s first stage since Iban Mayo won on Alpe D’Huez in 2003.

Big loser today: Cadel Evans. Does anyone else think Silence should start riding for Jurgen Van Den Broeck? The former World Junior Time Trial Champion has finished 7th in the Giro and currently sits in 22nd overall, 11:11 behind the yellow jersey. However, the more significant gap is the less 4 minutes he sits behind Cadel Evans. Is it fair to expect Silence to completely abandon Evans’ hopes in exchange for his teammate’s chances?

Probably not, but the 26 year-old’s moving in the more favorable direction right now, and he’s certainly ridden a more aggressive race up to this point (albeit in support of Cadel). Could Silence pander to its Belgian sponsor and fan base by positioning Van Den Broeck for a stage win or higher GC position at the expense of Evans? At the very least, expect to see Van Den Broeck’s leash loosened even more over the next few days, especially tomorrow and Saturday. At some point it will be time for Silence to see if the kid’s for real.

For tomorrow, expect more from Saxo Bank as it tries to create one last shake-up before Thursday’s time trial. Garmin would do well to try and gain some time as well, hopefully setting-up Wiggins for further gains around Lake Annecy.

In closing, our thoughts are with Jens Voigt. His crash coming-off the Petit-Saint-Bernard is perhaps the scariest I’ve seen since Joseba Beloki. At the end of the coverage today, it was said that there’s no threat of serious injury, but it’s safe to say he faces some tough days ahead.

What about you? Any thoughts on today’s action?

Share your comments below.

About Whit

My experiences might easily fit many cycling fans' definitions of “living the dream.” Since getting hooked on the sport watching Lance Armstrong win the 1993 U.S. Pro Championship, I've raced as an amateur on Belgian cobbles, traveled Europe to help build a European pro team, and piloted that team from Malaysia to Mont Ventoux. As a former assistant director sportif with Mercury-Viatel, I've also seen the less dreamy side of the sport – the side rife with broken contracts, infighting, and positive dope tests. These days, I live with my lovely wife in Pennsylvania and share my experiences and views on the sport at Bicycling Magazine, the Embrocation Cycling Journal, and at my own site, Pavé.
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