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Jul 10 2011

Le Tour 2011- Stage 9

Issoire to Saint-Flour 130 miles

Le.  Tour.  De.  France.

Well first of all Saint Flour is not for baking.  Yes I need more sleep, coffee or both.

Teams were pretty cautious the first day in the Medium Mountains (only one more to go after today) but given Friday’s crash fest that’s not so surprising.  However time is running out for the ‘punchers’, the not quite climbers, not quite sprinters like Hushovd and Gilbert to make their mark otherwise you’ll have to start rooting on the Schleck brothers and Evans if you’re not a Contador fan.

He’ll be starting his same old 1:42 back from Hushovd who expressed his surprise at being able to hold on as long as he has to the maillot jaune.  It’s a measure of how the field has thinned though that Contador has moved from 82nd to 20th in rank with no change at all in that margin.  On the other hand nobody has been able to put a move on him since Stage 3.

This Stage has 2 category 4 bumps at the end and 3 category 3s and 2s so there are a fair number of ‘King of the Mountain’ climber points available.  The sprint checkpoint is only 19 miles from the end so your guess is as good as mine if the Green Jersey competitors will have caught up by then or been left in the dust.

Whatever happens it will surely be more enlightening than the Sunday Stupid Factory.

Tomorrow is a Rest Day but Vs. will be filling all the regular time slots (8 am, 11:30 am, 3 pm, and 8 pm) with a summary of the action so far.  I’ll be covering today’s results.

Today’s coverage starts at 8 am.

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