Tour st 17: Good day, bad day

Despite the foibles of procycling's WIFI connection, yesterday's off-beat review of the action is fi

Despite the foibles of procycling's WIFI connection, yesterday's off-beat review of the action is fi


Good Day:

The Disco' Boys:
That moniker may sound a little like the Village People, but then the French have always enjoyed 'camp' nicknames. Yet another swaggering powerhouse day for the American team as Big Tex's Discovery mowed down the oppostion with a stage win, the maillot jaune, top spot on the team's GC and the best young rider classification all within their grip.

Jan Ullrich: In one moment, as he led over the final climb, churning a huge gear, T-Mobile's iconic leader showed why he still gets pulses racing. Ullrich's turn of speed left all but the best (and you know who we're talking about) breathless. As usual he looks far better in the final week of the Tour than he ever did in the first. Reproduce that form in the final time trial and the podium beckons...

Alexandre Vinokourov: Vino's overdue escape from the house of Ullrich (he's confirmed that he definitely won't be a T-Mobile rider next year) is a smart move and revealed that the cohabitation of 'Ulle' and 'Vino' was never truly a marriage made in heaven.

Bad day:

T-Mobile: Ahhh, the best-laid plans of mice and men. It's all very well having a trident of team leaders (Ullrich, Vinokourov, Kloeden) but if you don't have the tactical nous to match it, trouble is never far away. Now it's all down to Jan fighting on his own, after Kloeden's abandon and Vino's apparent desertion of the T-Mobile cause.

French cycling: In with more than a shout in the stage-long breakaway with five riders in the 17-man break, the home nation still couldn't win. Sebastien Hinault gave it his all on the final descent, but struggled to hold the wheel in the finale and had no chance of matching Savoldelli. Cue more 'cyclisme a deux vitesses' articles perhaps...?

Stomach problems: Hot weather and long stages spell one thing - gut rot. It seemed like half the peloton was suffering yesterday; better double the number of portaloos at the start village then.

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