Good day, Bad day - stage 7

The first positive test of the Tour gives Lotto and Leblanc problems, but apparently not as many as

The first positive test of the Tour gives Lotto and Leblanc problems, but apparently not as many as
More wind and rain as the peloton crosses into the beautiful and atmospheric Breton countryside, as CSC try to replicate their race-winning move at Paris-Nice and Simoni's Tour lurches from bad to worse. BAD DAY: Claude Criquielion: No wonder the former world champion, now directeur of Lotto-Domo, was pulling hard on a smoke this morning after Christophe Brandt was thrown off the race for his positive test. And why on earth had Lotto pulled their cars onto the verge, half a mile away from the crowded start village? Perhaps to avoid the media eagerly awaiting their arrival, just a few hundred metres away. Marks out of 10 -a flimsy four for diplomacy Jean-Marie Leblanc: Accosted by Tyler Hamilton on the start line today in Chateaubriant, where the American rider made plain his unhappiness with the condition of the first week's finishing straights, Jean-Marie also had to face up to the first real (rather than whispered, rumoured or imagined) doping scandal of the 2004 Tour. Marks out of 10 - an anxious eight in recognition of long suffering. Saeco: Team director Giuseppe Martinelli had to forcibly persuade his team leader, Gilberto Simoni, to get out of his team car and get to the start line this morning, and the tension between the pair was palpable on the finish line in St Brieuc. That Simoni doesn't like the Tour is clearly an understatement; the fact that he and his director appear to be barely on speaking terms tonight is hardly going to help matters in the days ahead. Marks out of 10 - ten for a top tantrum GOOD DAY: Bjarne Riis: CSC's welcome collective attack at the front of the race on the windswept headlands of the Cap Frehel certainly woke up those who had been expecting a relatively humdrum stage across the Breton countryside. In a replica of their race-winning move at Paris-Nice, earlier this year, Jens Voigt led a big group clear of half the bunch. It didn't work, but hey, at least Riis's team is trying to take the initiative before the mountains. Marks out of 10 - eight for aggression Yffiniac: This fine Breton village, on the mouth of an impressive estuary, celebrated the passage of the Tour - and it's most famous local hero, five-time Tour winner Bernard Hinault - with red flares, giant yellow jerseys and massive crowds. Shame about the crazy traffic-calming features that almost took the peloton out though. Marks out of 10 - seven for sentiment Keep it clean: It's not just the riders who are expected to be clean you know. Health inspectors visited the Tour start village to check for any infractions of public health. They analysed the temperature of the food and took samples of the dish of the day, from Picardie, which 300 lucky VIP guests were feasting on. All tests were negative. Marks out of 10 - a flatulent five
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