Sunday, July 10, 2005
TdF Stage 9: Jens Voigt Takes Yellow Jersey
Perhaps of more importance, however, to those following Lance's progress, is that today he gave up the yellow jersey to Jens Voigt of CSC (pictured at right). Voigt joined the group chasing Rasmussen, and formed an intermediate group, finally crossing the line 3 minutes, 4 seconds after Rasmussen. Going into the day, Voigt was 1 minute behind Lance, and since Lance finished another 3 minutes behind Voigt (with the main pack, +06:04 off Rasmussen), Voigt will wear the maillot jaune on Tuesday's stage 10. This isn't much of a worry to the Discovery Channel team. Voigt is known more as a sprinter than a hill-climber, and I think that Lance et al expect that he'll tire himself out and that they can get the yellow jersey back in the mountains. The team still considers Lance's biggest competitors to be Vinokourov (1:26 behind Lance) and Ullrich (1:36 behind Lance).
As expected, David Zabriskie pulled out of the TdF today. Though he did start, he pulled out early in the stage. This isn't exactly as a surprise--with his injured ribs, he can't breathe very well, making long-distance cycling a difficult prospect. Hopefully he'll bounce back from this injury and have a good finish to the season, and we'll be able to talk about him again in next year's TdF.
Top 3 Finishers, Stage 9
1. Mickael Rasmussen (DEN), Rabobank, 4:08:20
2. Christophe Moreau (FRA), Credit Agricole, +03:04
3. Jens Voigt (GER), CSC, +03:04
General Classification Top 5 After Stage 9
1. Jens Voigt (GER), CSC, 32:18:23
2. Christophe Moreau (FRA), Credit Agricole, +01:50
3. Lance Armstrong (USA), Discovery Channel, +02:18
4. Mickael Rasmussen (DEN), Rabobank, +02:43
5. Alexandre Vinokourov (KAZ), T-Mobile, +03:20
(Image from http://www.halfdan.dk/Cykel/profiler/jens-voigt.htm)