Thursday, July 07, 2005


TdF Stage 6

LORENZO BERNUCCI SURVIVES TO FINISH FIRST. On the rain-drenched streets of Nancy, the last kilometer of a 199 km stage turned into carnage as the day-long escapee Christophe Mengin crashed in front of a pursuing peloton. Mengin's crash had a domino effect, as many riders went down or were hindered at the finish. One surprised Italian, Lorenzo Bernucci, crossed the finish line first. Does that make it a win? You decide.

MENGIN'S EFFORT...AND FALL. The fiesty French rider broke away from the peloton early in the stage and was joined by three other riders in his escape. His group built a lead of over 8 minutes on the peloton. Mengin managed to stay clear of the peloton after the other three were gobbled up by it. Though being chased by a group led by Alexandre Vinokourov, he was still ahead by a matter of seconds within the last kilometer...when he crashed in a turn on wet pavement. Most of the hard-charging sprinters crashed into him; Vino was hindered but continued while Bernucci was unhindered--he crossed the line unchallenged.

CHANGES IN THE GC. The extent of injuries to riders who went down on the wet pavement at the end of Stage 6 is not yet known. Armstrong remains in the Yellow Jersey, though Vinokourvo, with his attack near the finish, cut into Armstrong's lead by 16 seconds. Vino's effort also moved him up the standings from 7th to 3rd. He is now 1'05" behind Lance. David Zabriskie's wounds from his Stage 4 crash are telling now; he struggled today, losing three more minutes to the race leader. I hope he recovers enough to stay in the race and perhaps contend for the second individual time trial in two weeks.

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