Lance Armstrong called it one of the coldest stages ever in the Tour de France. Stage Thirteen’s 124-mile hilly race from Vittel to Colmar climbed over three mountain passes in a constant rain. The bad weather didn’t give up and neither did Germany’s Heinrich Haussler of Cervelo, who finished four minutes ahead of his nearest competitor. “I’ve done some of my best races in the rain,” said Haussler. As they say in France, “victoire douce!”
Kudos to the roadside fans who stuck out the wet and cold.
On the final descent, a terrorist (or dare we say “tourrorist”) shot pellets at New Zealander Julian Dean of Garmin-Slipstream and Spaniard Oscar Freire of Rabobank. Freire was reportedly hit in the thigh and Dean in the thumb. Both riders finished the race and are fine. Too bad the gunmen weren’t in eye-shot. I like it when the racers punch out ornery onlookers.
Italy’s Rinaldo Nocentini retains the yellow leader’s jersey, while Belgium’s Thor Hushovd took over the sprinter’s green jersey once again from Britain’s Mark Cavendish.
–Le Tour Babe