Mon, 14 Jul 2003

Like the Nike commercials

Stage 9 of the Tour de France, Bourg d'Oisans to Gap, was perhaps the most thrilling TDF stage I've ever followed. Numerous breakaways were chased down. Lance Armstrong lost his overall lead, at one point over 5 minutes behind the stage leaders, then regained it to finish just 36 seconds behind the stage winner. The winner, Alexandre Vinokourov, of the Telekom team is now only 21 seconds behind Lance in the overall standings.

Lance narrowly avoided a crash that took second place, overall, Joseba Beloki, out of the the tour. He went down hard on a fast corner just ahead of Lance. Beloki sufferred a

fractured upper femur, a complex fracture of the right elbow, a simple fracture of a right finger and multiple contusions to the hip.

Beloki's crash cut off Armstrong's path forcing him off the road.

Just like a Nike commercial, Lance went cross country, cutting the corner and rejoining his group on the road. Tyler Hamilton, another incredible story this year, a former teammate of Armstrong, gave him an amazed, congratulatory pat on the back as Lance remounted his bike to finish the last few kilometers of the race.

Hamilton, who broke his collar bone in a crash in stage 1, has continued not only to ride, but to ride at the front. He's fifth overall, less than two minutes behind the yellow jersey.

I generally take a few minutes in the morning to read an article or two about the day's Tour de France coverage. After reading about today's stage I had to arrange to watch the television coverage after work with my bikin' buddy, Tim Maher. I don't get the Outdoor Life Network channel; Tim does, so I invited myself over. (Sorry Michele!)

There are literally hundreds of articles about the Internet about today's Tour de France stage to feast on:

Google Tour de France

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