Good day, bad day - stage 6

Bobby J turns on the irony, Gilberto Simoni the misery, and Thomas Voeckler the ecstasy.

Bobby J turns on the irony, Gilberto Simoni the misery, and Thomas Voeckler the ecstasy.
PICTURE BY TIM DE WAELE BAD DAY Bobby Julich: Of the podium contenders, Julich was the last to cross the line in Angers. A previous elbow wound had been opened up again, his back and side were scuffed and battered, and he was complaining of pain in his right arm. Jeez, he looked miffed. "So what happened Bobby?" gushed our man on the line (yup a dumb question, we know.) "Uh, we craaashed," said BJ, less than amused. Marks out of 10 - 10 for dry wit Italian sprint kings: They haven't covered themselves in glory, have they? So Super Mario and the Jet Plane have quit, tails between their legs, egos, infected injuries and torn ligaments nursed as they head home. to record summer temperatures in Italy. In Petacchi's case it was understandable, in Cipollini's case less clear-cut. Nonetheless, Jean-Marie Leblanc WILL be pleased! Marks out of 10 - 9 for predictability - one point docked for failing to win (or even come close to winning) a single stage between them. Gilberto Simoni: A miserable-looking Simoni wasn't talking, even to Italian TV, as he crossed the finish line in Angers tonight, in 172nd place. It hadn't been a good stage for him - again. He was fined 100 Swiss francs at the start by the race jury for failing to sign on and then, 196km later, found his path to the finish line blocked by fallen riders. Things can only get better. Marks out of 10 - a sulky six, just for hanging on in there Rene Haselbacher: Ouch, that's gotta hurt! The hapless Gerolsteiner rider, who also fell heavily in a sprint last year in St Dizier, was in hospital again tonight. The Austrian was the worst injured among the mountain of crash victims who came down under the final kilometre kite. Haselbacher's injuries make grim reading: three broken ribs, and a broken nose. He was also being given an abdominal scan. Marks out of 10 - well, Jaan Kirsipuu had warned him about this kind of thing last year. Given those injuries, marks are deemed unseemly. GOOD DAY Stuart O'Grady: He said yesterday that a stage win was much more important than the green jersey, but now after his second place behind Tom Boonen, O'Grady's suddenly got them both. Things are definitely looking up for the Aussie and his Cofidis team. Marks out of 10 - a big nine for a top-notch turnaround. Tyler Hamilton: The Bostonian survived another stack-up, not unlike the one in Meaux at the start of last year's race. That left him with a broken collarbone. Today's could have been worse. Haven Hamilton reported road rash on his back and a cracked helmet, after Phonak's leader had been catapulted over the bunch by his fall. Marks out of 10 - a sound six for living to fight another day. Thomas Voeckler: Assured, growing in confidence and now with public momentum growing, the 25-year-old French national champion is increasingly looking the part as maillot jaune. He could prove more difficult to dislodge than many believe, but his fan base is assured particularly after he slipped into Caribbean patois on live TV... Marks out of 10 - an assured eight for growing up in public.
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