RadioShack’s Paulinho wins Bastille Day stage into Gap
Sergio Paulinho cleverly out-sprinted a world champion sprinter to win Stage 10 of the Tour de France– 111 miles through sweltering 95-degree heat in the Alps. It was the first stage victory in this Tour for RadioShack, which now has something to celebrate after its team leader Lance Armstrong crashed on Sunday, losing 12 minutes to the top contenders and any chance of an eighth Tour championship.
Paulinho and Vasil Kiryienka of Caisse d’Epargne were the last survivors of an early break of six riders. The peloton finished the race 14 minutes behind them. But the time gap didn’t matter to Saxo Bank’s Andy Schleck, who still retains the Tour leader’s yellow jersey.
Of memorable note today, the tour traveled the same precarious road where in 2003 Joseba Beloki slid on the hot tar, crashed and broke his arm and leg. At the time, Armstrong was right on Beloki’s rear wheel but skirted around the fallen rider, crossed a field and caught back up with the break. That crash ended Beloki’s cycling career, and Armstrong went on to win his fifth Tour de France. During today’s stage, a banner and yellow line mark the spot across the field where Armstrong escaped injury.