Juan Miguel Mercado strikes for the little guy, but sees his headlines stolen by Armstrong and Simeo
PICTURE BY TIM DE WAELE BAD DAY: Filippo Simeoni: “Ooh, I’d quite like to be in that breakaway, too,” thought Simeoni, jetting out of the bunch to chase the front group. But a glance over his shoulder, and who did he see on his back wheel? Only the yellow jersey Lance Armstrong himself, armed with a vendetta against the Italian. “Out of respect for my colleagues, I gave up the attack,” Simeoni lamented. Marks out of 10 – full marks. Poor Simeoni spent the rest of the day at the back of the peloton feeling sorry for himself. What’s a boy gotta do to get a break? Lance Armstrong: Seemingly not satisfied with his picture being splashed across the sports pages all over the world for his impressive three straight stage victories in the Alps, what should have been a quiet day for the Texan got him major media coverage again. Not all of the positive kind this time, though. Marks out of 10 – Like Simeoni, a full house – for pure column-inch greed. GOOD DAY: Juan Miguel Mercado: He has to be here. A victory for skinny-types everywhere. The sight of Mercado switching across the road with 300 metres left to go, coming from behind and surprising fat(ter) bloke Spaniard Vicente Garcia Acosta – who would surely have won in a mano a mano sprint – was priceless. Marks out of 10 – nine, but only docked a point because he left the table the previous evening without eating his dinner because he felt a bit peaky. Then again, how else do you manage to stay so skinny? Sheryl Crow: That French lot were blasting out the American chanteuse’s greatest hits at the start in Annemasse. “I-I-I-I-I wanna soak up the sun.” it went, as the rain bucketed down. Who says the French don’t understand irony? Everyone now knows her as Armstrong’s girlfriend, but exposure to her catchy pop tunes will have the French rushing to their local Fona, quick-smart. Marks out of 10 – seven. Some French people stayed at home to watch on telly, so they wouldn’t have been able to hear it.