Official Communication of the Tour de France
Weather on Saturday: Cheerful with cloudy patches, fresh temperatures. Isolated precipitation. Wind from northwest with 20kmh to 30km/h.
Verbrugghe (Bel): Break of the right collar bone- operation not necessarily
Pinotti (Ita): Was allowed to leave hospital . Pinotti will have an operation in Italy later this week for his severe facial injuries and broken nose
Shefer (Kzk): Substantial face injuries. Hospitalised for X-rays.
Brandt (Bel): Wounds of the right knee and of the right thigh
Millar (Gbr): Wound of the right knee, cts on the right thigh
Seigneur (Fra): Swollen left wrist. Hospitalised for X-rays.
Mattan (Bel): Swelling around the left Achilles' tendon
Bouyer (Fra): Pain in the right shoulder
Nazon (Fra): Wound of the left knee
Oriol (Fra): Wound of the wrist and the right knee
Decisions of the Racing commissioners:
Caution for Fagnini (Telekom) because of in-correct Sprint
Gian Matteo Fagnini (Telekom) - became the first rider in the Tour to face a caution from the Tour Commissioners.
The jury found that Fagnini had been "in-correct" during the sprint which had "dangerous consequences during the final sprint" - in addition he had a dangerous attitude when he raised his arms aloft to celebrate Zabel’s victory.
As well as a caution Fagnini was fined 200 Swiss Franks (136 Euro).
Certainly Fagnini did seem to impede the progress of Oscar Freire - although the victory of Zabel has not been questioned by the jury.
British rider David Millar says he is determined to carry on despite suffering cuts and bruises after two crashes during the sixth stage of the Tour de France.
Millar crashed after 11km of the 199.5km stage on Friday and again near the finish, cutting both knees, his right ankles, hip and elbow. A bruise below his right knee caused some swelling but Millar said the injuries were not serious.
"I went down twice because everybody in the race is really nervous," he said with his injuries wrapped in bandages.
"I wasn't hurt in either crash, but, as I was getting going again after the first one, everybody rode into me from behind. I was flipped over, landed on my side and got pushed along.
"Everybody was lying on top of me and there was nothing I could do. Then I noticed a swelling on my leg. I thought I'd broken it at first but it's okay and I managed to finish the stage."
Despite being battered and bruised, Millar said he was determined to stay in the Tour.
"My injuries look worse than they are," he said.
The only thing which hurts is the bruise on my right leg but I'm definitely carrying on."
Armstrong Visits Talty Family
The Associated Press
Lance Armstrong took time from his quest for a fourth straight Tour de France title to meet with the family of a New York City police officer killed in the Sept. 11 attacks.
Armstrong spent about 20 minutes with the family of Paul Talty, who was killed when the World Trade Center collapsed, race organizers and team officials said.
A French police officers' school helped organize the trip by Talty's wife, Barbara, and three children for the visit with Armstrong on Wednesday morning at a hotel in Reims, one of the stops in the 21-day race, officials said.
"My children would have never imagined that they would have a chance to come to France and meet Lance," Barbara Talty was quoted as saying in Thursday's edition of Le Parisien. "It's really kind of him to take time to show his support for the families. I also want to wish him good luck for the race."
Armstrong, who overcame testicular cancer, opened his title defense Saturday by winning the Tour prologue in Luxembourg and taking the overall leader's yellow jersey. He was third after Thursday's fifth stage, in good position to take the lead when the mountain stages begin next week. The race ends in Paris on July 28.
Officials at Armstrong's U.S Postal Service team said he wanted to be discreet about the visit with the Talty family.
"He wanted to see these people on a private basis - no cameras, no journalists," team spokesman Jogi Muller said. "He's always ready to give something back, but he doesn't need any hoopla around it."
Another U.S. Postal official said the visit didn't distract Armstrong from the race.
"He's obviously one of the most focused people in the sport and meticulously prepares for the Tour. He leaves nothing to chance," said Dan Osipow, the team's director of operations. "The fact that he took time to do that is remarkable, yet natural. Everybody wants to show compassion for the families."
13.07 - Stage 7: Bagnoles de l'Orne - Avranches 176 km
The riders leave from the lakeside of Bagnoles de l’Orne and race acoss Normandy towards Avranches. Whether the riders will have bathed in the town’s thermal spa (which were discovered by the Comte Hughes in legend) and benefitted from its healing powers is unsure. The waters are especially beneficial to arteries - possibly Stuart O’Grady who had an iliac artery operation earlier in the year should go for a quick bath. The Domo management may have had trouble keeping Richard Virenque from the small town's lakeside Casino though!
The race last finished here in 1968 when André Desvages won the stage - and when it started here in 1977 Den Hertog won after a long solo break. Visit this link to see the legends of Bagnoles de l’Orne.
Today could well see a successful escape again. As well as two fourth category climbs, the roads are rolling all day; this combined with the coastal winds should all help a small man break keep clear.
A nasty 92 metre climb at the finish in Avranches, which lies in the heart of the Mont Saint Michel bay, will be enough to sort out the strongest man of the day. The town was the scene of heavy fighting in World War Two, when Patton broke through the German lines, and today’s winner will need similar steely determination. In 1993 the GB-MG Team triumphed here.
Daily Peloton’s Stage Prediction
A day of mental toughness for the would-be contenders. The coastal winds could easily cause splits - and woe betide the team leader who is caught napping at the back of the peloton if this happens. Expect to see the usual suspects try and make an escape - Durand, Agnolutto, Simon, Wauters, De Groot and Turpin will all be looking for Stage glory. In 1997 Agnolutto stole away on stage one of the Tour of Switzerland to win by over ten minutes. Incredibly, inspired by wearing the race leader’s jersey, he hung onto the overall position until the very end of the race. Agnolutto could well be the winner today - but it would seem very unlikely that he will be in yellow in Paris this year!
“Demarrage” - An escape or breakaway by a rider or group of riders that gains an advantage on the rest of the field.
Born: 12 March 1925, St Meen-le-Grand, France
Died: 13 March 1983
One of Bretagne’s legendary sons. A true great all rounder, at home in the mud of Flanders and on the slopes of Mount Ventoux. Triple Tour winner. Louis was his real name but he became better known by his nickname Louison(and was also called "Cheri Pipi"). Please visit this link to see the Museum, dedicated to one of the Giants of the road - great pictures and information on this cycling legend.
1950: 1st French Road Race Championship, 3rd Tour de France + Mountains
1951: 1st Milano-San Remo, 1st Giro di Lombardia, 1st Criterium International, 1st French Road Race Championship, Giro d'Italia Mountains
1952: 1st Paris-Nice, 1st Grand Prix des Nations, 1st Criterium International
1953: 1st Tour de France, 3rd French Road Race Championship
1954: 1st Tour de France, 1st World Road Race Championship
1955: 1st Tour de France, 1st Ronde van Vlaanderen, 1st Dauphine Libere, 1st Tour of Luxembourg, 2nd French Road Race Championship, 3rd Paris-Roubaix
1956: 1st Paris-Roubaix, 3rd French Road Race Championship
1957: 2nd World Road Race Championship, 2nd Criterium International
1958: 2nd World Road Race Championship
1959: 1st Bordeaux-Paris Roma-Napoli-Roma