Good day, Bad day – stage 5

Another bad day for the Italians and another good one for the French. But don't use the phrase 'savi

MILLAR David ( GBR )

Another bad day for the Italians and another good one for the French. But don’t use the phrase ‘savi

More wind and rain – some more moans and groans – principally from the Italian contingent (notably Gilberto Simoni) and another success for French cycling. But will all this huffing and puffing change the final outcome of the race.? BAD DAY Alessandro Petacchi: Looks like the Jet Plane’s Tour is grounded. Fassa’s sprint king was in hospital tonight with a suspected dislocated shoulder after his fall in kilometre 104 of stage five. The pain, he said, was “bearable” when he was riding into Chartres -but with the mountains still to come, will he carry on? Marks out of 10 – a poor four, but at least he’s in the news at last Laurent Jalabert: Spotted by rubbernecking drivers re-packing the boot of his car on the hard shoulder of the Lille to Amiens autoroute after a vicious spat with long-term manager Philippe Crepel, seemingly over whose hard shell suitcase should go in the boot first. (Well, that’s what it looked like, but we could be wrong, of course). Marks out of 10 – Jaja gets six for choosing a discreet and practical blue colour for his mega-case, while Crepel lags far behind – his was cerise. Euskaltel: The Basques are not best pleased with Jean-Ren Bernadeau, directeur to Thomas Voeckler’s Brioches La Boulangre team. The voluble Jean-Ren was stunned that Euskaltel could have two riders declared “unfit to race” by the UCI blood tests inside a month. And he said so. loud and clear. “These are the arguments of a jealous man,” responded Miguel Madariaga, Euskaltel’s enraged boss. “He should watch his mouth.” Marks out of 10 – 10 for tact for Madariaga after taking the heat out of a tricky situation GOOD DAY Thomas Voeckler: Eloquent, available, tactically astute, brimming with ambition – and by all accounts ‘clean’ as a whistle – Voeckler appears to be the rider that the French have been waiting for. “But please don’t make him the next saviour of French cycling,” warned one old pro, as the French media crowded around him. Marks out of 10 – a deserved set of full marks for giving a nation hope again. David Millar: Yup, his presence – or lack of it – was felt today, particularly by an emotional Stuart O’Grady who, after taking a lot of stick since the race started, dedicated his victory in Chartres to his absent friend. Procycling sources in London indicated that Millar was equally emotional on hearing of O’Grady’s success. Marks out of 10 – O’Grady gets a solid seven for guts and character London bobbies: It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for – those bluebottles will be on the Tour tomorrow (Friday). According to a communiqu last night, five ‘bobbies’ (aka London policeman) will arrive on the Tour tomorrow, no doubt saying ‘ello, ello, ello – wot’s all this ‘ere then – you’re nicked son’ just like all London bobbies do. It’s all part of an exchange plan apparently Marks out of 10 – three years and take him down, m’lud