TRANSITION STAGE. This late in the race, it's hard to get focused on the goings on within a transition stage. Finished with the Alps, the Tour is moving back into central France--transitioning from the mountains to the flatlands. Today, a series of breakaways and jockeying for points over minor climbs produced, at the line, yet another stage win for American-based Team Columbia with Germany's Marcus Burghardt prevailing. The sportswear company is getting great mileage out of its recent choice to sponsor a team!
IT ALL COMES DOWN TO SATURDAY. The spotlight for the overall win--the General Classification--remains on Saturday's individual time trial (ITT) showdown between current Yellow Jersey man Spaniard Carlos Sastre and pre-tour favorite Australian Cadel Evans. The Tour championship will be won and lost based on the ride of these two worthy riders. Trailing Sastre by 1 minute, 34 seconds, Evans must ride the time trial of his life and hope his time is at least 1 minute, 35 seconds better than Sastre's. Sastre will be the last rider on the ITT course. It will come down to the very last second. Hang on to your hats!