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A Great Day for the French

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It was a fairly uneventful day for the overall leaders of the Tour de France—but a huge day for French cycling fans, as the eminently likable Frenchman Thomas Voeckler won the 122-mile stage out of a breakaway.

The victory was Voeckler’s first Tour de France stage win, although he wore the overall leader’s jersey for 10 days in the 2004 Tour.

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The race moves into Spain tomorrow for a 113-mile stage from Girona to Barcelona. This will be an important stage for many American riders, including Christian Vande Velde and much of the Garmin-Slipstream team who make their European home in Girona.

The short uphill finish into Barcelona could lead to a shake-up of the overall classification if Lance Armstrong, who’s less than one second behind race leader Fabian Cancellara, decides to attack. More likely, Armstrong and his Astana teammates will make a move on Friday on the steep six-mile climb to Arcalis in the Principality of Andorra. For casual and die-hard Tour followers alike, Friday’s stage is a must watch.

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