Stage stats: Stage 8
This report filed July 15, 2007
Weather: Very much, highs in 80s, intense alpine sun, brisk cross-headwinds
Stage winner: Michael Rasmussen (Rabobank) claimed his third career Tour stage with a daring attack on the Cornet de Roseland. The former world mountain bike champion known as "Chicken" spun his slender legs to reel in the day's early break that included George Hincapie (Discovery Channel) and soloed in for victory at 2:47 ahead of Iban Mayo (Saunier Duval-Prodir).
Race leader: Rasmussen erased enough time to overtake leader Linus Gerdemann (T-Mobile) to claim the yellow jersey for the first time of his career. The Dane started the day 39th at 4:42 back and now leads the German by 43 seconds. He's the sixth Dane to have the maillot jaune in Tour history.
Green jersey: No major shakeups as an early break scooped up points in the day's two hot sprints. Tom Boonen (QuickStep) leads Erik Zabel (Milram) 147-134.
King of the Mountains: Rasmussen took leading points over all three of the stage's Cat. 1 climbs to move firmly into the King of the Mountain in what would be his third consecutive climber's crown if he hangs on to win. He took 15 points at each of the Cat. 1 en route and 30 at the Cat. 1 summit because the stage finished atop a mountain. He now leads overnight leader Sylvain Chavanel (Cofidis) 82-42.
Best Young Rider: Gerdemann retained the white jersey after finishing 20th in the stage. Alberto Contador (Discovery Channel) surged into second at 2:27 back with Kanstantsin Siutsou (Barloworld) in third at 5:35 back for the U25 competition.
Best team: Rabobank took away the lead from T-Mobile, which fell to seventh. Caisse d'Epargne is now second at 1:18 back.
Most aggressive rider: Rasmussen won the day's prize, with the eight-man panel exhaulting him because "he's already accustomed to big feats and an expert of the hold-up. He succeeded in another big coup. He doesn't need to thank anyone."
Lanterne Rouge: Charles Wegelius (Liquigas) finished last in the stage (three others were beyond the time cut) while Wim Vansevenant (Predictor-Lotto) slotted into last in GC at 1h17"14 back. Yesterday's laterne rouge - Mark Cavendish (T-Mobile) - abandoned.
Top American: Levi Leipheimer (Discovery Channel) finished 12th at 3:59 back and nudged into 13th overall at 3:53 back.
The peloton: Michael Rogers and Mark Cavendish (both T-Mobile), Stuart O'Grady (CSC), Romain Feillu (Agritubel) and Ivan Parra (Cofidis) - all DNFCedric Herve (Agritubel), Robbie McEwen (Predictor-Lotto) and Danilo Napolitano (Lampre) - hors délais (outside time limite) . The peloton is now 172 riders.
Medical report:O'Grady (CSC), crash on descent off Cormet de Roseland: punctured lung that immediately required draining, hairline fractures in three dorsal vertebra, five fractured ribs, fractured shoulderblade, sprained shoulder, transferred to hospital in Chambéry for observationSinkewitz (T-Mobile), crash with fan after stage descending to team hotel - facial traumatism, fractured nose, transported by helicopter to hospital in Chambéry, fan suffered facial injuries, also airlifted to ChambéryRogers (T-Mobile), crash on Roselend descent, traumatism to right shoulder, other superficial cuts, abandonScholz (Gerolsteiner), cut to right handParra (Cofidis), abandoned due to digestive problemsArroyo (Caisse d'Epargne), crash on descent off Cormet de Roselend, cuts to left handNiermann (Rabobank), crash on descent off Cormet de Roseland, multiple cuts and scrapes, requiring three stitches to the left elbowWeglius (Liquigas), crash on descent off Cormet de Roseland, minor cuts and scrapes, headacheRighi (Lampre), digestive troublesBruseghin (Lampre), digestive troublesNuyens (Cofidis), abdominal painsCuesta (CSC), crash at 140km, multiple cuts to right elbowTurpin (Ag2r) and Napolitano (Lampre), nosebleeds at finish lineMillar (Saunier Duval), allergy to sun
Jury decisions:Ivanov and Rast (both Astana) - fined 100 CHF "comportement incorrect"Ventoso (Saunier Duval) - fined 50 CHF for irregular feedSaunier Duval sport director fined 200 CHF for illegal feed to PaulhinoRodriguez (Predictor-Lotto) - fined 100 CHF, penalized 10 points and 20 seconds for illegal pulls using bidon with team car two times, following riders fined 50 CHF, penalized 5 points and 10 seconds for illegal bidon pulls: Leipheimer and Gusev (both Discovery Channel), Mercado (Agritubel), Wiggins (Cofidis), Jegou (FDJeux), Camano (Saunier Duval)Leipheimer (Discovery Channel), fined 50 CHF for irregular mechanical assistanceDiscovery Channel sport director fined 200 CHF for above offensessport directors from T-Mobile and Euskaltel fined 100 CHF each for driving infractions200 CHF fine for T-Mobile DS for "incorrect actions" toward other sport directorsfollowing riders hors délais (beyond time limit): Herve (Agritubel), McEwen (Predictor-Lotto), Napolitano (Lampre)
Forecast: Continued warm and sunny, perfect to dry the team jerseys on the line during the rest day
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