In a shocking turn of events, Basso came thought the first time check 7 seconds faster than Lance and 17 seconds faster than Ulrich. WOW!! But in the second time check Lance was up on Ullrich by 19 seconds and a minute ahead of Basso. Ullrich passed Basso by 34 seconds. Now thats what we expected! At the third time check, Lance was up by 32 seconds over Ullrich and 1:18 over Basso.
The pressure was on Rasmussen to protect his podium spot. Ullrich is a much better rider in the TT. This TT has some big climbs which favored Rasmussen. Sadly Rasmussen crashed early which pretty much killed any chance that he had to hold off Ullrich. Then later he had to change bikes like three or four times. Then he crashed again. Unreal. A very sad way to loose his position. But Rasmussen won Stage 9 and won the King of Mountains and contended for the podium. Not a bad performance his first tour.
At the finish it was Lance, then Ullrich (+:23), then Vino (+1:16), then Jurich (+1:33), then Basso (+1:54), then Floyd (+2:02). Thats three Americans in the top five and four in the top six!
The top ten in the GC is unchanged althought the order has been shuffled. Heading into Paris it looks like Basso has held off Ulrich for second but has fallen to an amazing 4:40 behind Lance. Ullrich, Mancebo and Levi all move up one spot. Vino moves up to sixth. Rasmussen falls to seventh. Evans moves to 8th. Floyd and Pereiro hold 9th and 10th respectively. An awesome tour for all and three Americans in the top 10 - probably a first for that too.
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