Stage 8: Good day, bad day

Jan Ullrich hasn't enjoyed too many successes over Lance Armstrong, but today was one of them. Good

Jan Ullrich hasn't enjoyed too many successes over Lance Armstrong, but today was one of them. Good


Bad day:

Discovery Channel: 'What happened?' seemed to be the question on everyone's lips after the previously infallible Discovery team faltered on the higher reaches of the Col de la Schlucht in the Vosges. Team leader Armstrong promised prompt action. But was it just a one-off or a sign of things to come.?

Christophe Mengin: The French 'hero' of the stage to Nancy for his aggressive breakaway, which ended in his finishing straight crash, was forced out of the Tour because of facial fractures. Mengin failed to start today and appeared on French TV nursing a very nasty black eye. He will undergo surgery on his injuries - ironically, probably in Nancy.

Race security: Not the most dignified or successful road closure in the Tour's history at the summit of the Col de la Schlucht saw tail-enders Jan Kirsipuu and Jean-Patrick Nazon dodging camper vans, fans and motorbikes as they chased the main field. It will need to be better from here on, messieurs.

Good day:

'It's the first time it's worked!' said a surprised Jan Ullrich of the T-Mobile trident that stymied Lance Armstrong on the Col de la Schlucht. There's little doubt that there's plenty of spring in Vino and Kloeden's steps - but what about 'Der Kaiser' himself? Will he lead or follow?

Rabobank: The Dutch team have made up for lost time with an impressive double whammy in the Vosges through the cheery Pieter Weening and the unsmiling Michael Rasmussen. While Weening took a gutsy stage win, finding the grit to outsprint Andreas Kloeden in Grardmer, Rasmussen capitalised on an early breakaway to score maximum points on all of the day's climbs except the last. Maybe now the Dutch media will give them some good press.

Cadel Evans: At last, after years of false starts, Evans was mixing it up with the big boys in the Tour de France and today moved up the race classification to 24th overall. Things are looking good for the ex-mountain biker - who needs to also stay upright if his Tour campaign is to really take off.

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