Christophe Moraeu can be added to the list of contenders that are not in a place to contend. Team Astana struck like a cobra in the crosswinds of the transitional stage to help put Moreau out of contention in the Tour de France. Maybe Astana was exacting a bit of revenge or just happened to take advantage of an opportunity to gain back time for Vino. Whichever, any GC contender has to be on alert at all times. Resting can only be done when you get back to the hotel.
Michael Rasmussen took the initiative in what is seen as an annual break to gain the Polka Dot climbers jersey. The difference this year is that he was also able to snatch the Yellow Jersey. The wiry Dane dominated an early breakaway with Michael Rogers. It looked like Rogers would take over the Yellow Jersey from his young teammate Linus Gerdemann. Rogers at that point was the team leader for T-Mobile and he took an early opportunity to flex his muscles and make a claim for the Yellow. But cycling is a ver unforgiving sport. Going down the Col de Roseland descent Rogers crashed with breakaway companion David Arroyo of Caisse D’Epargne. Arroyo went over the guard rail and into the trees while Rogers crashed on the road. Arroyo looked OK, but Rogers never recovered and had to retire from the race.
On a similar descent Stuart O’Grady crashed hard and had to be taken to hospital where it was determined that he had cracked ribs but no spinal damage. Robbie McEwen came in outside the time limit and was eliminated. Any remaining Aussies in the race should count their lucky stars. The elimination happened in threes so other Aussies should theoretically be OK to keep riding.