Sunday, July 09, 2006



Breakaways most often don't work. Usually the poor souls who worked hard to get to the finish line ahead of the peloton get swallowed up within a few kilometers or meters from glory...and are forgotten. Usually, you pay little attention to the escapees. Then, there are days when it works. When it comes together. When the peloton misjudges what it will take to reel in the escapees. When these guys actually win.

And, today, it was a Frenchman, to boot. Congratulations to Sylvain Calzati, who broke away from a small group that broke away from the bigger breakaway group! A stage win for a Frenchman in the Tour de France is always special. And this was Calzati's first TdF stage win. Sorry France didn't have a World Cup victory to go with Calzati's stage win...


AUSSIE BEATS BELGIAN...AGAIN. After Calzati crossed the line, and after the two remaining escapees finished 2:05 later, the first sprinter to charge across the line (a mere 6 seconds later) guessed it--Robbie McEwen. Tom Boonen, now out of yellow and vying only for the Green Jersey, was ninth. The fourth-place finish gives McEwen a commanding lead in the sprint points and keeps well in the Green Jersey. From the sound of his quoted comments after the stage, Boonen is thoroughly frustrated with his inability to win these end-of-the-stage sprints at this point in the Tour.

AMERICAN HELPS HIMSELF. David Zabriskie was part of the big breakaway group and claiming intermediate sprint points and mountain climbing points gave him enough bonus seconds to move him from tenth to ninth place in the General Classification (battle for the Yellow Jersey). As Lance Armstrong wrote..."every second counts."

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

STAGE RESULTS. Full results of Stage 8 (and all previous stages) by Cyclingnews.

VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS OF THE STAGE: OLN provides free video highlights and commentary wrap-ups of each stage by Bob Roll and Al Trautwig.

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