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Alan Perez Lezaun was held up in one of the many crashes in the last 10km and came in 119th today. However, some others were held up even further in the crash marred stage where Lezaun relinquishes the Lanterne Rouge and is now in 175th place (out of 177 remaining). You gotta hand it to him – after 6 days of racing he’s gotta start to be feeling tired but isn’t giving up. No longer being in the Lanterne Rouge may give him the added motivation to make it to Paris. Fingers crossed that he doesn’t get caught up in a crash that forces him to leave.
Speaking of crashes, I’m disappointed to see one of our favorite Aussies Michael Rogers in a nasty spill that put him down to 159th on GC (from 16th). He lost over 13 minutes today and is now 14’46” back. Hope his wounds are superficial and he manages to continue on tomorrow. If Rogers didn’t have bad luck, he’d have no luck at all…
Interesting fact that one commenter brought up about Alan Perez Lezaun before we leave our Lanterne Rouge coverage on him.
Lezaun’s closest thing to a Grand Tour victory was on Stage 6 of the 2008 Giro d’Italia where he got 2nd. The bloke who won that stage was Matteo Priamo. CONI recommended a 1 year suspension for cream and other anabolic steroid based pharmaceuticals found at his home after this. Emanuelle Sella who was busted for being on CERA testified against Priamo as being his dealer to get a reduced sentence for his own suspension. In the end Priamo was cleared because of lack of evidence against him. I only have my brief Google research to base this on, but you can make up your own mind if Lezaun was robbed of his one and only chance to have notched up a big win. Sounds like Priamo has a dark cloud hanging over his head on this one.
Now in the Lanterne Rouge is Kenny Robert Van Hummel of Skil Shimano. Kenny is 25′ 06″ down on GC. He was second last in the TT in Monaco, 20th in stage 2, 30th in stage 3, last in the TTT in stage 4, 14th in stage 5, and second last today (177th). He probably crashed got dropped in today’s stage and lost heaps of time. He’s mixing it up in the sprints and obviously has no GC ambitions. He’s purely here for the experience of racing his first Grand Tour. He has some great results in the past and has many respectable placings in this TdF so far. Demonstrates how good even the Lanterne Rouge is…
This is what Kenny had to say about today’s stage (from his website through rough translation):
At 76km to go I was in trouble and he had to let the pack go. I had a difficult day. The team has brought me to the tour to gain experience and I also benefit from repeal. Each day I drive more, for my profit. If I get to Paris, I am more content to house. I let myself really not disconcert. Myself, Hutarovich and Furlan have difficulty climbing up. I’ve already seen French riders who struggle more than I do.