Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Stage 16 - Tuesday, July 19: Mourenx - Pau, 180.5 km

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I really don't have much to say about this stage. Nothing really happened, aside from the very end of the stage. There were attacks, but nothing happened. The overall GC stayed the same.

There were some strange events, like Andrey Kashechkin being hit in the face and riding backwards through the peloton. And the whole thing with Cadel working so hard and then Oscar beating him, in a similar way to what George did to him on Sunday.

I did have a bit of fun yelling for Phil Gilbert when he was racing to fifth place. But other than that? It wasn't that interesting of a stage. I don't if it was because I was in a foul mood or if it was just a stage where nothing happened. All Phil and Paul could talk about was how this was Lance's ride through the mountains in a yellow jersey. And how we should get our look now, because this was it. And, honestly, that didn't really interest me that much.

Aside from cheering for Pereiro and Gilbert, I enjoyed learning about Xabier Zandio. Not only is he adorable, but he almost won the stage. He started his attack just a bit too late. Not bad for a guy in his first tour.

But back to the stage. It was really nice to see Pereiro win and it was nice to see him so happy to win.

"I am delighted to get this after my disappointment the other day," said Pereiro, his dark brown eyes and big, friendly smile gleaming in the afternoon sun. "I dedicate this win to my wife who is pregnant, where we are expecting a child at the end of October, and also to my family and friends.

Again I say, good for him! I hope tomorrow proves to be more interesting. Although I highly doubt the GC will change at all. And I think that's one of the problems with the tour. This year's Giro was uncertain for as long as it could be and it was amazing, although quite stressful for me. I was rooting for Paolo, of course. But at the same time, it was exciting and a lot of fun to watch. As I've said before, I hope that next year's tour will live up to this year's Giro.

One more picture of Pereiro and I hope I have more to say tomorrow.

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