Monday, July 23, 2007


STEADY ATTRITION. And then there were...160. Two weeks in, twenty-nine proud starters of the Tour de France have had to abandon the race for one reason or another. Today's most difficult stage claimed Stage 5 winner Filippo Pozzato of Italy and American sprint specialist Fred Rodriguez. Rodriguez was involved in two major crashes in earlier stages.

INJURIES & TIME. Most riders abandon because of injuries. Some of these wounded warriors soldier on as long as they can. Some cyclists are disqualified because they cannot finish the stage within the allowable time. This is typical of pure sprinters during the toughest mountain stages. This happened to Robbie McEwen during the Alps, though he was already suffering from his Stage 1 injuries. I can't imagine the disappointment of being in either situation. Maybe next year, gentlemen...

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