Stage 12, Luchon to Carcassonne, 211.5km
By Andrew Hood
Mostly sunny, very hot once out of Luchon valley, high 41C
Yaroslav Popovych (Discovery Channel), 4h34:58, 46.151 kph – The Ukraine shot away from the day’s winning four-man breakaway with 3km to go to win his first Tour stage of his career to ruin France’s Bastille Day.
Floyd Landis (Phonak), 2,268.6km, 42.042kph – Landis retained his eight-second lead to Cyril Dessel (Ag2r) to enjoy his first full day in yellow. There were no major shakeups in the overall standings beyond Popovych moving up from 23rd to 10th at 4:15 back.
Robbie McEwen (Davitamon-Lotto) retained his lead, but Oscar Freire (Rabobank) jumped from third to second ahead of Tom Boonen (Quick Step) after taking 26 points on the day after working into the day’s winning break. McEwen was sixth in the stage to score 15 points to lead Freire, 232-207.
King of the Mountains
Friday’s undulating stage featured four rated climbs, but David de la Fuente (Saunier Duval) retained his hold on the polka-dot jersey despite not winning any points on the day. Defending KOM champion Michael Rasmussen (Rabobank) moved into a tie for third with 61 points after winning the day’s main climb at the Cat. 2 Col des Ares and finishing second at the Cat. 4 Cote de Pujos early in the stage.
Best Young Rider
Marcus Fothen (Gerolsteiner) finished safely in the main back to retain his 12:15 lead to Damiano Cunego (Lampre).
Discovery Channel was best team on the day while T-Mobile retains its grip on the overall.
Most aggressive rider
Daniele Bennati (Lampre-Fondital) wins the honors from the eight-man panel of judges for his courage.
Sebastian Joly (FDJeux) regained his last spot in the GC, now 160th at 1h49:08.
160 riders – 5 DNF, Benjamin Nozal (Discovery) intense muscle pain; Paolo Savoldelli (Discovery Channel) hematoma and 10 stitches from crash in Thursday’s evacuation; Isaac Galvez (Caisse d’Epargne), Jose Martinez and Samuel Plouhinec (Agitubel), back pain.
Sylvain Calzati (Ag2r), Cedric Vasseur (Quick Step), Christian Knees (Milram) – minor cuts and scrapes in crash; Robbie McEwen (Davitamon-Lotto) pain in left knee; Peter Wrolich (Gerolsteiner) lung problems; Patrick Calcagni (Liquigas) digestive problems; Walter Beneteau (Bouygues Telecom) insect bite; Chris Horner (Davitamon-Lotto), David Arroyo (Caisse d’Epargne) and Thomas Voeckler (Bouygues Telecom) all headaches.
Filippo Pozzato (Quick Step), Luca Paolini (Liquigas), Dider Rous (Bouygues Telecom) all fined 100 Swiss francs for missing sign-in; Cedric Vasseur (Quick Step) and Jerome Pineau (Bouygues Telecom), fined 50 SF, 5 points penalization, 10 second penalization for illegal push by team car; Thomas Voeckler (Bouygues Telecom) fined 400 SF (two fines of 200 SF each) for “comportement incorrect” in front of the public.
Mostly sunny or sunny, highs in 30s Celsius.