After years of being “oh yeah, that guy,” American Levi Leipheimer is looking like a big threat to Lance’s quest for number 7. The Gerolsteiner rider took second by a second for the second time in the Dauphine, bested over the 47k TT only by Phonak’s Santiago Botero, who is himself looking no chump for the upcoming race. Lance was 3rd, 26 seconds back, which based on the Texan’s past Dauphine performances, doesn’t mean a whole hell of a lot. On the next stage, which sent riders to the top of Mount Ventoux, Levi remained calm, losing no more than a handful of seconds to his GC rivals, while Alexandre Vinokourov took the stage win. Botero lost over two minutes, boosting Armstrong to second on GC, some 21 ticks back.
I should be out of the office for about 10 days. Nothing exciting is happening except for the Tour de Suisse, which is basically the same as the Dauphine, only with Jan Ullrich as the star attraction. Keep thinking about your Tour picks and I’ll be back before you know it.