July 09, 2005

Stage 9 Mountains of Choucroute Gérardmer - Mulhouse, 171 km; 105.6 miles The first of the class mountain climbs today. There's now only 177 riders competing. If you're keeping track--and if you are reading this to do so well I encourage you to go here or here for updates---this here is just one woman's justification for abandoning everything for three weeks without losing sight of its purpose. Michael Rasmussen (Denmark) and his KofM polka-dotted self won today--by a long lead. I'm impressed with the CSC team this year. Right from the beginning with the blazing yellow-jersey winning speed of Zabriskie (USA) and then today's Jens Voight (Germany) won the malliot jaune today. And let's not forget Bobby Julich (USA) and Ivan Basso (Italy) to top world cyclists. Unfortunately Zabriskie abandoned today, saying "his body is not recovering." I can't even imagine the anger, sadness and frustration that races through a rider at this point of decision. The only American to win a stage in each of the three major tours. And he has a dry sense of humour. He's only 26--someone to watch. Team Discovery is down to 6 (from 9) leaving Armstrong with 5 teammates, that includes Savoldelli, Azevedo (Portugal), Hincapie (USA), Popovych (Ukraine) and Rubiera (Spain). But after yesterday's performance the team has rallied. And for those of you who are new and now are thinking that Lance has no chance--the race has just begun. The pressure is off him now. He feeds off this type of focus. Overall Lance is third; Hincapie...


what happens to the hole when the donut is gone?

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