Today's stage 15 was a great day for Lance's long time teammate and right-hand man, George Hincapie. He has never won a stage in the Tour de France, and today came out fighting. As a part of the lead pack just 27 km into the stage (out of just over 200 km total for today), I'm sure George didn't have any real hopes of holding on for the stage win. Whether or not it was expected, though, he certainly did, earning himself a first-ever stage win and also the first win for a teammate of Lance's since 1999. George definitely had a banner day today, leading into tomorrow's rest day. Congrats out to George!
I haven't been reporting on the TdF lately, which is purely a result of trying to re-read the Harry Potter books prior to the release of book 6, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Thursday I re-read book 4 (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), Friday was spent with Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (book 5) and Saturday, I went to Barnes & Noble at around 9:30 a.m. to pick up my copy of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I was able to finish the book in about 8 hours of disjointed reading, and am now back in full action to cover the final week of the Tour as they race into Paris. In case you weren't following the stages very carefully, the results from stages 13 and 14 were as follows...
Stage 13 Top 3 Finishers
1. Robbie McEwen (AUS), Davitamon-Lotto, 3:43:14
2. Stuart O'Grady (AUS), Cofidis, +00:00
3. Fred Rodriguez (USA), Davitamon-Lotto, +00:00
Stage 14 Top 3 Finishers
1. Georg Totschnig (AUT), Gerolsteiner, 5:43:43
2. Lance Armstrong (USA), Discovery Channel, +00:56
3. Ivan Basso (ITA), CSC, +00:58
And, finally, today's stage 15 results, as well as the overall General Classification after today's stage. There's been a little bit of a shake-up at the top, as Lance now has over two and a half minutes on the second-place rider.
Stage 15 Top 3 Finishers
1. George Hincapie (USA), Discovery Channel, 6:06:38
2. Oscar Pereiro (ESP), Phonak, +00:06
3. Pietro Caucchioli (ITA), Credit Agricole, +00:38
General Classification Top 5 After Stage 15
1. Lance Armstrong (USA), Discovery Channel, 69:09:59
2. Ivan Basso (ITA), CSC, +02:46
3. Mickael Rasmussen (DEN), Rabobank, +03:09
4. Jan Ullrich (GER), T-Mobile, +05:58
5. Francisco Mancebo (ESP), Illes Balears, +06:31
(Image from http://www.roadcycling.com/news/article496.shtml)