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Tour de France, Stage 5: Lance Still 0' 0" Behind

So where is Lance huh huh huh TELL ME! America's Favorite Nude Interviewee is still in second, exactly 0' 0" ↵behind Fabian Cancellera after the 122-mile stage from Le Cap d'Agde to Perpignan. BTW, that's a Rick Reilly ESPN column I actually found informative. Also, this happened. Coincidence? Well, yes, but I thought I'd say something nice about the WWL for once. ↵

↵Okay, so I know someone won but crashes! I want crashes! Nothing spectacular to offer you today, but we do have a ↵spectacular feat of fast-twitch reflex work from Stage Four. How this didn't end up taking out two riders instead of one we'll never know, since the guy moves like a vampire to get his foot out of the clips, somehow maneuvers around a man and bike sliding around in front of him, and then rejoins the group. This is more coordination displayed in five seconds than we've had in our entire life: ↵

↵ ↵⇥ ↵⇥ ↵⇥ ↵⇥ ↵⇥ ↵⇥ ↵ ↵
↵Comparison to me is really meaningless here, but still, that's impressive on most scales. ↵

↵So what actually happened besides crashes and Lance? A long-delayed victory for a Gallic homeboy, that's what. Thomas Voeckler of France has long been a breakaway specialist, but a beautifully timed burst at the end sent him to victory, his first in the Tour de France at the age of 30 and an emotional one at that. ↵Voeckler wept as he crossed the finish line, wine was passed around, and Parisian transit workers announced their intention to celebrate by going on strike immediately. (That last part didn't happen, and French workers don't need a reason to strike, anyway.) Voeckler is over six minutes behind Cancellara and is a non-factor in the rest of the race, so it translates to a nice milestone for a veteran rider that takes nothing away from the contenders in the race. A race this big has plenty of milk bones to share for everyone. ↵


↵Events of interest: The Tour de France is unique for many reasons, but here's another: a train halted the race for 12 minutes. Thankfully, everyone showed good sportsmanship by stopping and waiting until all riders could proceed safely and fairly. Wind was a real factor on another day of scorching weather, as the peloton struggled with a cross-breeze for most of the day, though the lead breakaway group Voeckler rode to a win had few problems with the breezes. More flatland and rolling hills until Friday when the tour hits the Pyrenees and we see if Lance is headed for a quiet retirement or the most lucrative Cialis and Bengay endorsement contracts ever by staying in contention. ↵


This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.