Nine stages of the Tour de France are complete. Monday is a rest day. Time to take a look at what’s happened over the first week.
THE GOOD (Le Bon)
- Lance Armstrong returns to the Tour after a three-year retirement.
- Switzerland’s Fabian Cancellara wins the stage one time trial in Monaco, which puts him in the yellow leader’s jersey.
- Spain’s Alberto Contador, once a lousy time trialist, beats his teammate Armstrong by 22 seconds in the opening day time trial.
- Britain’s Mark Cavendish proves he is the world’s fastest sprinter after winning two flat stages.
- Britain’s Brad Wiggins of U.S. Team Garmin Slipstream turns heads, staying in the top six in the overall classification.
- Frenchman Thomas Voeckler, who wore the yellow jersey for nine days in the 2004 tour …. won his first tour stage.
- Italy’s Rinaldo Nocentini is in yellow for the past three stages.
- Spain’s Luis Leon Sanchez wins in the Pyrenees the same day his team leader quits.
- Team Astana wins the team time trial.
- Three Americans– Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer and Christian Vande Velde– are in the top ten.
THE BAD (Le Mauvais)
- The Tour’s anticipated main contenders give little for fans to cheer about.
- Australia’s Cadel Evans fails all attempts to breakaway from peloton.
- Spain’s Carlos Sastre, who won last year’s Tour, is three minutes back in the overall standings.
- Russia’s Denis Menchov fell during the team time trial.
- Team radios are banned in stages ten and eighteen.
- AG2R takes overall team standings ahead of Astana by three seconds.
THE UGLY (Et le Vilain)
- Contador attacks Armstrong and the peloton on the climb to Arcalis.
- Fan who falls in the middle of the road causes race to stop temporarily.
- Rabobank’s Lauren Ten Dam goes over the handlebars riding out of the Pyrenees.
- Belgium’s star sprinter Tom Boonen, allowed in the tour at the last minute despite snorting coke, crashed and hasn’t recovered.
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–Le Tour Babe