Good day, bad day - Rest Day

Not much to report on for most of the press thanks to a long transfer southwards and lack of vittles

Not much to report on for most of the press thanks to a long transfer southwards and lack of vittles
PICTURE BY TIM DE WAELE BAD DAY: Tour organisation: Those who spent seven and a half hours driving from Quimper to Limoges were questioning the wisdom of the race direction as they staggered into the Limousin capital this afternoon. It was another gruelling and tortuous Etape du Tour, but without the bikes this time. Marks out of 10 - a bleary eyed 9.5 for degree of difficulty Jan Ullrich: Widely identified as too lacking in his best form to entertain serious thoughts of overall victory by the intense scrutiny of the unforgiving German media. One well-known TV pundit even suggested that "fourth was the best Jan could hope for." Surely not? Second again sounds much better to us. Worse, most of the media arrived too late in Limoges to take advantage of T-Mobile's rare and welcome lunchtime press conference. Marks out of 10 - a poor four for attracting the same old brickbats, year after year. GOOD DAY: Tyler Hamilton: A day of rest and recuperation from the wounds that were inflicted on his tiny frame in Angers saw the Bostonian buoyed by a straw poll in the press room which nominated him as the man most likely to threaten a record-breaking sixth Armstrong victory. "He's a tough nut," says Phonak team boss Jacques Michaud. We'll see just how tough soon enough. Marks out of 10 - a rough and ready nine for his resilience Lance Armstrong: Firmly established as Tour favourite after an assured first week, the Texan has become everybody's tip for a sixth win. The general consensus in the race convoy is that this is the Armstrong of two or three years ago and that a sixth win is a formality - but can any Tour victory ever be a formality? Marks out of 10 - an almost-perfect 9.5 McDonalds: There's one very close to the press room in Limoges. There wasn't a buffet. It was a really long drive. Everyone was in there... Enough said. Marks out of 10 - a big ten for convenience.
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