PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM
Is this the stage on which Floyd Landis has won the Tour de France? Certainly the American appeared to take back the yellow jersey from Oscar Pereiro with ease, although he revealed that that was never really the intention. Instead, he was watching Andreas Kloden, who he shadowed most of the way up the second half of the climb, in the process shedding his other rivals for the final yellow jersey in Paris, Cadel Evans, Denis Menchov and Carlos Sastre. Landis says he doesn't need to win a stage on the way to winning the race - and he's right - but winning the Tour without taking at least one never goes down well.
A truly classy win in what is one of the mythical stages of the Tour. The young Luxembourger, looking extremely calm, bided his time on Damiano Cunego's wheel, who would have been most people's favourite to take the stage victory, before putting in his decisive move with 2km left to go. Cunego simply couldn't react, and 26-year-old Schleck - who also won Amstel Gold earlier this season - had put 11 seconds into him by the line, and moved up from 20th to 12th place overall, 7-07 down. Now can he help CSC team-mate Carlos Sastre move up from fifth overall to the podium?
Despite Cunego and Schleck's stage-winning acceleration, there could only ever really be one winner of the day's prize for the day's most aggressive rider. Garzelli, winner of the Giro d'Italia in 2000, attacked from the day's main breakaway 8km from the summit of the Izoard before being caught again later, but then was able to stick with Landis and Kloeden once the break splintered apart, outsprinting them to take third on the stage.
Widely believed to be the man who could prevent Floyd Landis from winning this year's race ahead of the stage to Alpe d'Huez, the Russian lost 1-11 to the American, leaving him in fourth place at the end of the day's stage, now 2-12 down to the new maillot jaune. There's still Wednesday's stage to La Toussuire to come, and the following day's stage to Morzine, but, judging by the Vuelta champion's twisted facial expressions on Alpe d'Huez, and facing a time trial against specialist Landis on Saturday, it's going to be a tough task for the 28 year old. Still, despite third-placed Cyril Dessel's heroics, a podium place come
Normally the kind of sprinter who could make it through the Pyrenees and the