A Great Day for the French

July 8 2009, 1:06 PM
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. 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.