Alexandre Vinokourov pulled off an impressive and improbably victory in todays Tour de France finishing alone and more than five and half minutes in front of the Yellow Jersey. It was a bold, gutsy stage win for the pre-race favorite, but a little too little and a little too late after cracking on the slopes of the Pyrenees yesterday and giving up nearly 29 minutes to the leaders.
Michael Rasmussen remains the Tour leader, after battling off attacks from Alberto Contador, the rider who sits in second, two minutes, 23 second back. Contador will continue to test Rasmussen on Wednesday, the final mountain stage, before attempting to wrest the Yellow Jersey off his back on Saturday in the final individual time trial. Tomorrow is a rest day before tackling the 136 mile stage from Orthez to Gourette, up the Col d’Aubisque. The stage is considered the most demanding of all stages this year.
The dark clouds over the sport of cycling grayed a little more today, as Pat McQuaid, President of the UCI, the governing body for International Cycling, commented that a Tour win by Rasmussen would be bad for the sport. His comments were in regards to the Danish rider skipping two scheduled drug tests earlier this year, casting a cloud of doubt as to how clean he is. Back to back Tour champions with suspicions of doping would certainly not help cycling premier event.