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Gap to Alpe d’Huez, 187km
By Andrew Hood
Sunny early in stage, building clouds, afternoon showers, highs 32C
Frank Schleck (Team CSC), 4h52:22, 38.376 kph – The 26-year-old became the first Luxembourger to win atop cycling’s most famed climb. Schleck was part of the day’s winning move that also included Americans George Hincapie (Discovery Channel) and David Zabriskie (CSC). The Amstel Gold winner attacked Damiano Cunego (Lampre) with about 2km to solo in for the victory to score Team CSC’s second win in three stages.
Floyd Landis (Phonak), 2,866.1km, 69h00:05 – Landis nudged back into the jersey by 10 seconds from overnight leader Oscar Pereiro (Caisse d’Epargne). Landis was fourth at 1:10 back while Pereiro was 14th at 2:49 to slip to second. There are still six riders with three minutes of Landis, who was fastest up Alpe d’Huez in 38:34.
Robbie McEwen (Davitamon-Lotto) popped a wheelie as he rode across the line 132nd at 34:11 back. He had reason to celebrate. Second-place points rival Tom Boonen (Quick Step) abandoned the Tour, leaving McEwen holding a comfortable lead to Oscar Freire (Rabobank), 252-207.
King of the Mountains
David de la Fuente’s (Saunier Duval) worked himself into the day’s main break and scooped up valuable points at the HC Col d’Izoard and the Cat. 2 Col du Lautaret to widen his grip on the polka-dot jersey. Schleck bounded into second place after defending best climber Michael Rasmussen (Rabobank) helped Menchov and finished out of the points. De la Fuente leads Schleck, 108-74, with Rasmussen third at 73.
Best Young Rider
Damiano Cunego (Lampre) was the top young rider for the second stage in a row, finishing second and gaining back 5:05 on Marcus Fothen (Gerolsteiner), whose lead to Cunego is cut to 6:58.
Team CSC was tops in the stage and widened its lead to Caisse d’Epargne to 20:29.
Most aggressive rider
Stefano Garzelli (Liquigas), third in the stage, impressed the eight-member panel after leading the way over the I’Izoard.
Wim Vansevenant (Davitamon-Lotto) moved into last place, 152nd at 2h23:26
152 riders – Four abandons
Beat Zberg (Gerolsteiner), Bram De Groot (Rabobank), Tom Boonen (Quick Step) and Andriy Grivko (Milram)
Walter Beneteau (Bouygues Telecom) digestive problemsAll crashes on Izoard: Egoi Martinez (Discovery) traumatism to right finger and multiple cuts; Nicolas Portal (Caisse d’Epargne) cuts to right knee; Steven De Jongh (Quick Step) cuts and scrapes; Ralf Grabsch (Milram) cuts and scrapes; Maxim Iglinsky (Milram) cuts and scrapesSebastian Lang (Gerolsteiner) bloody nose Francisco Ventoso (Saunier Duval) stomach acheJoost Posthuma (Rabobank), Bram Tankink and Stephane Auge (Cofidis), all insect bites
Andreas Klöden, Matthias Kessler and Patrick Sinkewitz (all T-Mobile) fined 100 Swiss francs for not signing in
Twenty-three riders from three teams – Saunier Duval, CSC and Gerolsteiner – underwent blood controls between 7:45-8:15 a.m. None were declared unfit to race.
Sunny in morning, chance of showers in afternoon, light mountain breezes, 20C on high cols, 28-30C in valleys.