Saturday, July 15, 2006



GOING, GOING, GONE. Rarely does a breakaway stay away to the finish line. The peloton chases it down and swallows it. Hardly ever does a breakaway stay away all the way to the end....and finish nearly 30 minutes ahead of the peloton. Hardly ever...until today. A five-man group put the hammer down and the peloton leadership never felt it necessary to chase them down, even reduce their time gap. None of the escapees are real contenders for the Tour win, but one--Oscar Pereiro Soi--more than wiped out his 28-minute, 50-second deficit to Floyd Landis. With his 2nd-place finish just behind stage winner Jens Voigt, Pereiro moved into 1-minute, 29-second lead over Landis.

FROM 46th to 1st PLACE IN DAY. A Spaniard riding for the CAISSE D'EPARGNE-ILLES BALEARS team, Pereiro started today's stage in 46th place. He will start Sunday's Stage 14 in first place and will wear the coveted Maillot Jaune. Unless there is a huge breakaway in Stage 14--and nothing can be counted out in this unpredictable Tour--he can keep it through Monday's rest day and wear it for Tuesday's first Alp mountain challenge. Pereiro lost nearly 22 minutes to Landis in Thursday'sHerculeann mountain stage up to the Pla-de-beret. He isn't likely to hang on it after that day. But, for now, let all Spain bask in the glory!

YELLOW ON SEVEN RIDERS...SO FAR. This is the seventh change in the Yellow Jersey in 13 stages. It's been on the back of Thor Hushovd (Norway), George Hincapie (USA), Tom Boonen (Belgium), Serhiy Honchar (Ukraine), Cyril Dessel (France), Floyd Landis (USA), and now, Pereiro (Spain).

NO GC SHAKE-UPS. Since the peloton finished together, they all maintain the same rankings and same time differences between each other. The only difference is that they all move down one place as Pereiro takes first place. Landis, commenting on why he and his team decided to let the Yellow Jersey go, indicated that none of today's breakaway group were a threat for the Tour win, and that the Phonak team--along with all the teams and riders--were quite tired and anticipating energy resources needed for critical upcoming mountain stages.

STAGE RESULTS. Today's stage, a full 230 kilometers (that's 142.9 miles, folks), was the longest stage of this year's tour. It was also the hottest, so far. Full results of Stage 13 (and all previous stages) by Cyclingnews. This gives you a rundown on overall rankings in each jersey category, too.

HEIGHT, WEIGHT, DISTANCE. Use this link for quick and easy conversions back and forth between metric and British/American measurements during the tour. 1 kilometer is .6214 miles. 1 mile is 1.609 kilometers. Floyd Landis weighs 68 kilograms...or 150 pounds. He is 1.78 meters tall...or 5.89 feet. The average speed of the fourth hour of today's stage was 40.2 km/h...or 25 mph (try riding 25 mph for as long as you can...these guys are good!). The temperature at the top of one of today's category 4 climbs soared to 42 degrees celsius...or 107 degrees Fahrenheit. During my planned 2,000-mile (3219-kilometer) bicycle ride in India in January 2007, we plan to cover an average of 100 kilmeters (a "metric century" or 62 miles) each day in temperatures between 30-35 degrees celsius. So, how hot will it be for our daily rides?

GREAT TOUR PHOTOS. Scroll easily through lots of pages of really great Tour photography at Yahoo!

VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS OF THE STAGE: OLN provides free video highlights and commentary wrap-ups of each stage by Bob Roll and Al Trautwig. A different set of excellent video highlights are at (click on "latest video").

LISTEN TO THE NEXT STAGE LIVE. provides a link to Eurosport's live audio coverage of the Tour. Audio coverage usually begins at 7 AM each day. Limited Internet TV viewing is also accessible at this site.

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