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    <h2><span class="stage-span"><a href="/race/tdf2008/stage6/">Stage 6</a></span></h2>

Stage Summaries









Tour de France '07 Stage 6 Link Roundup


Updates 7/14 6:30AM: Bradley Wiggins Post-Race, Daily Peloton Stage 6 Jambon Report, Lanterne Rouge: Degano, Vino Stage 6 Diary, Millar Stage 6 Diary



Stage Summaries/Reports:





Boonen - FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images

Boonen outsprinted the pack to take the stage win, restoring the green jersey to his shoulders. Boonen battled all day for the sprint points, taking the first two intermediate sprints to move into the virtual green jersey while still on course. He then sent his teammates to nullify the final intermediate sprint to save his legs for the big mass sprint. Boonen came around Gerolsteiner's leadout in the final sprint and held off Freire and Zabel. He managed to do so despite wrecking his rear derailleur in Mark Cavendish's front wheel]( -- "The bike's rear end was making noise. I was forced to do my sprint in my 11 [a very high tooth gear] and it was not possible to shift" (good ole' 53x11). There was no sign of McEwen.

It was perhaps the quietest day of the Tour so far as the peloton rode slow and the typical breakaway catch was easy. The peloton only let one rider go -- Bradley Wiggins -- and they left him off the front as long as they could, waiting until 7k to catch him.

Degano abandoned today after a crash in the feed zone while LeQuatre didn't start after his similar crash yesterday. Kloden and Vinokourov both rode on today, though Vino was making a sign across his throat at the end of today's stage, perhaps indicating that the mountains are not going to go well for him.

Stage 6: Lisieux - Vitre


McEwen gets his sprinting hat trick (how can I not just pick this guy every day?). Lampre and Quickstep lead the charge to the finish with Boonen riding sixth wheel and McEwen way back, but McEwen had an excellent lead out from Steegmans that took him straight to the front. Boonen tried to catch McEwen's wheel but it looked like he got frozen up by Caspar jumping in from his right. Boonen tried to reaccelerate using Bennati's wheel, but neither Bennati nor Boonen could catch McEwen. Boonen has to be the unhappiest-looking man receiving the yellow jersey ever. Much has been made about how Steegmans was making up for his blown lead out yesterday -- he went too early and apologized to McEwen -- but if I could do a leadout like Steegmans I don't think I would ever apologize.

Robbie McEwen had some post-race commentary on that little arm waggling victory dance he did:

"I had a bet with Levi Leipheimer... we've been talking about it since March in Tirreno-Adriatico. He told me to do a victory salute, but a special one: the Dumb and Dumber move, from the movie. When you saw it, you know that it looks like you're running really fast," he said, swinging his arms. "Levi will be happy with that and now he owes me!"

This appeared to be an entirely uneventful day, leaving the peloton very thankful. Despite a bit of drizzle there were no casualties, the break stayed a way a bit long but was reeled in proper, and there wasn't much competition at the intermediate points except for Pineau going for a the third place KOM points on the only climb of the day. Boonen did make it into an early 18-man break, but with the yellow jersey on his shoulders that wasn't going to work. 15 of those riders were reeled in, leaving Backstedt, Geslin, and Brard to maintain the break for the rest of the day until the final kilometers.

Tomorrow is the time trial! My pick should be obvious. It'll be nice for the overall standings to start taking real shape.

Prediction check: * Boonen first, McEwen second * McEwen first, Boonen third