Friday, July 14

TdF: Stage 12

On a day when the French media was crowing about the demise of Lance Armstrong's legacy at the Tour de France, three of Lance's lieutenants made a big splash during the 12th stage of the grueling event. Less than 24 hours after it did indeed seem that Lance's team and his friends were crumbling under the pressure of a rugged five-climb stage across the Pyranees, the Discovery Channel riders redeemed themselves with a great strategy that culminated in stage win by Ukrainian rider Yaroslav Popovych. And Floyd Landis, another of Lance's old teammates, held on to the maillot jaune after he won it decisively during the mountain stage the day before.

The torrid 211.5K stage from Luchon to Carcassonne featured a brilliant breakaway led by Discovery's George Hincapie before the final successful attack by Popovych. It appears that the rumors of the demise Lance's legacy are more than a little premature.

Once again, the General Classification standings have been shaken up in this most surprising and exciting of Tours:

1. Floyd Landis (USA)
2. Cyril Dessel (France)
3. Denis Menchov (Russia)
4. Cadel Evans (Australia
5. Carlos Sastre (Spain)
6. Andreas Kloden (Germany)
7. Michael Rogers (Australia)
8. Juan Miguel Mercado (Spain)
9. Christophe Moreau (France)
10. Yaroslav Popovych (Ukraine)