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Sun, Jul.11.2004:11:01 AM

Stage 8: Lamballe-Quimper

07-11-04.stage8 profile

Hushovd took another stage today, easily out sprinting the pack. McEwen had made an early go at the line, following the tail of Bettini, but Bettini would have none of it and dropped back into the pack. McEwen grabbed a crucial fourth place over O'Grady. McEwen out sprinted O'Grady at crucial bonuses to put himself into the lead once more for the green jersey. The back-heavy Tour design (i.e. mountain stages at the end) has certainly been beneficial in putting the green jersey battle out front.

Today was another Jakob Piil attack day. I forget the exact statistic, but he has spent something like 600km of the Tour on the attack. That's a lot of hard riding out front that has paid off well in respect, if not in stage victories. Today was also familiar in that there was the usual rain and a couple of crashes, though none seemed serious.

The riders will certainly enjoy Monday's rest day as their road rash heals and they stay mostly out of the rain.