Well so far I have been wrong about every stage winner until today. I don't know why, but with about 90km to go I looked at the course and the previous winners and of course crashers and figured it was about time that Hushovd won a stage and look what happened. And with the time bonus for the stage win he is in second overall (though that is looking likely to change tomorrow).
Today was pretty similar to yesterday's stage only with a few bumps, granted bumps rated cat 4 but looking ahead to next week's climbs, bumps they were. So we got a small break that stayed away for most of the stage and then were caught in time for the mass sprint.
It was nice to see Chavanel not take the max points on the last climb to leave Auge in the fabulous polka dot jersey.
It remains to be seen if all this work protecting the yellow jersey by CSC will come back to haunt them in the mountains, but it's nice to see Cancellera still in yellow.
Tomorrow's stage is being compared to Liège-Bastogne-Liège so it might be a chance for Valverde to show that it isn't just hype (of course just finishing would be a big step for him I guess). personally I'm gonna go with Velonews' other possibilities-Schleck or Schumacher.
1 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Team CSC 19.49.55
2 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Crédit Agricole 0.29
3 Andreas Klöden (Ger) Astana 0.33
4 David Millar (GBr) Saunier Duval - Prodir 0.41
5 George Hincapie (USA) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 0.43
6 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone
7 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone 0.44
8 Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 0.45
9 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quickstep - Innergetic 0.46
10 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Caisse d'Epargne
And of course my boy Boonen held onto the Green Jersey for another day
1 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quickstep - Innergetic 98 pts
2 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Milram 86
3 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Predictor - Lotto 84
4 Robert Hunter (RSA) Barloworld 81
5 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Crédit Agricole 79