Vino’s Cork Unpopped

Tour’s most aggressive rider wins Stage 13.

Vinokourov wins Stage 13.

In today’s stage of the Tour de France, Alexandre Vinokourov wore a Merlot-colored number “9” on his back, designating the race’s most aggressive rider. Today, he proved why he earned that honor. The Astana teammate of defending Tour champion Alberto Contador, attacked on a short but steep climb about four miles from the finish line and held off the fast-approaching peloton to win the stage.

The 122-mile race from Rodez to the medieval town of Revel traveled over gentle rolling hills until the Côte de Saint-Ferréol, which race organizers included near the finish to torture the sprinters.

But the fast guys survived. Mark Cavendish won the field sprint, crossing the line 13 seconds after Vino. Alessandro Petacchi was right on Cav’s wheel and earned enough points to steal the green jersey back from Thor Hushovd. The race for the sprinter’s green jersey is turning out to be as interesting as the race for yellow. And speaking of the maillot jaune, Andy Schleck still has it on his shoulders.

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