Tour de France – Stage 19 Wrap-up

Today’s stage finished a bit ahead of schedule; the riders must want to rest-up for tomorrow’s slog up Mont Ventoux. If you caught it, here’s what you might have noticed:

1. Did you notice Carlos Sastre in a small group off the back of the peloton today? Look for him to win tomorrow; he has one of the fiercest uphill accelerations in the race and he has enough time between himself and the yellow jersey to warrant a longer leash.

2. Did you notice the Liquigas riders with him? Could tomorrow be a day for Roman Kreuziger? Could Roman at least partially validate Pavé’s pre-Tour expectations with a win on Ventoux?

3. Did you notice the rider (Rabobank?) hop the grassy roundabout to keep his position near the front of the peloton with 1.3km left? I think it was Freire; he’s been known to make such moves in the past.

4. Did you notice Greg Van Avermaet coming home in 4th place? Too little, too late for the Silence-Lotto rider.

5. Did you notice Lance Armstrong stealing 4 seconds over the other GC men? Will someone be kicking himself this time tomorrow?

6. And finally, did you notice the new Shimano 10-tooth cog on Cavendish’s bike? Must be a prototype or something—he clearly has a gear the others don’t. He won’t get the green he so desires (see below), but will 6 stage wins for Mark be a reality come Paris?

What about you? What did you notice? Share your comments—and predictions for tomorrow—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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