Good day, bad day – stage 12

Not much doubt about how had a good day at La Mongie and who didn't. Lance and Basso will be smiling

Not much doubt about how had a good day at La Mongie and who didn’t. Lance and Basso will be smiling

PICTURE BY TIM DE WAELE BAD DAY: Jan Ullrich, Tyler Hamilton, Iban Mayo, Roberto Heras, Oscar Sevilla, Haimar Zubeldia. all the riders who signed big money contracts at the end of last season, had entire teams built around them, their schedules fixed months in advance, all with this day in mind. When the key moments came, they were found lacking. As Tyler Hamilton said, “there are no excuses.” Marks out of 10 – a feeble four GOOD DAY Lance Armstrong: Showed once again that he is always at his best when in a corner, that he can survive all the brickbats that the European media can throw at him, that he can retain his focus and attention to detail, despite the circus that goes on around him during the Tour. An impeccable performance at La Mongie, if not one to rival with his most devastating attacks at Hautacam and Alpe d’Huez. But in this Tour, his current level of excellence looks likely to be enough. It was a very good day to be a Texan. (And they even kept Pavel Padrnos in the race too.!) Marks out of 10 – a nearly perfect nine Ivan Basso: At last the timid Italian grasped an opportunity for glory with both hands and with a stylish and measured ride, held off Armstrong to take his first Tour de France stage win. Under Bjarne Riis at CSC, Basso appears to have flourished and gained the confidence he needed to become a contender. But how far can he go with this re-birth? Marks out of 10 – a surprising seven Thomas Voeckler: Could hardly keep the pedals turning in the steep final kilometre, but the 25 year old showed the character he has shown since taking the maillot jaune in Chartres to maintain his overall lead by five minutes. Chapeau! Marks out of 10 – a super eight for courage against the odds