Alberto Contador, Team Astana and Lance’s teammate, won today’s Le Tour de France stage and finished a couple of minutes ahead of yesterday’s leaders (Nocentini and Hincapie), which puts him in the yellow jersey (“maillot jaune” if you speak French). Today, Alberto leads on two levels: stage win and is now in first overall.
The peloton was about a minute behind the leader when it started the climb. Astana played it cool and kept its pace heading into the climb. When it started into the climb, Lance and Alberto paced it well, allowing Alberto to attack up the mountain. Once he started, there was no slowing down – Contador flew up Verbier – all, of course, on his new Trek Madone.
Lance continued his pace, assuring his teammate the yellow jersey. He and teammate Andréas Klöden kept the pace of the chase group in check. All the while, Alberto continued to fly up the mountain, passing other riders and securing his lead.
When Contador crossed the finish line, he was more than half-a-minute ahead of the next person to finish (Andy Schleck). Lance finished about a minute-and-a-half behind Alberto. The rider in the yellow jersey, Rinaldo Nocentini, finished just over two-and-a-half minutes behind; George Hincapie (second as of yesterday) finished over four minutes behind. Lance secured his spot in second overall.
I am happy that Team Astana won its second stage and finally secured the yellow jersey. Contador is an awesome climber, and he has a great team supporting him, including Lance. Unfortunately, Levi Leipheimer left the Tour with a broken wrist a couple of days ago – my thoughts are with him and I hope he has a speedy recovery.
So congratulations to Alberto and to Team Astana for winning today’s stage and the yellow jersey.