Wednesday 6 July, 183km, Chambord to Montargis
Australian Robbie McEwen won, edging out sprint rival Tom Boonen with Thor Hushovd in third.
Your Tour experiences and comments
Robbie McEwen: Aussie Aussie Oi!...Oi! Oi! Oi!
San Diego, California, US of A
Lance Armstrong, not only a great cyclist, but is also a great sportsman; he's gesture of refusing to wear yellow jersey today stamps this! He's going to win, again.
I feel so bad for David Zabriskie and CSC. The TTT was an amazing race that came down to only 2 seconds! Everyone knows Zabreski didn't have much of a chance of holding onto the Yellow jersey, but no one wanted him to lose it on a crash. Lance showed a lot of class by initially refusing to put the jersey on at the start of Stage 5.
It drives me nuts that people continually declare Armstrong to be the best cyclist of all time. I would not argue against him being the best Tour De France rider ever but Merckx obtained results in all three grand tours. For me there is no contest.
I don't care if Lance wins or loses. What I hope is that Basso and Ullrich or Vino can keep it close and dramatic. I want maximum tactics and breathtaking finishes. And if Lance wins out under those circumstances, bravo! But if he dominates from the TTT forward, well, yawn, yawn.
Boston, MA, USA
You can't argue with Andrew, S Wales and Matt, Exeter - Merckx is the best of all time cos of his record in all three 'majors'. But you cannot take anything away from Armstrong, he is a legend! He sets his stall (and life) out to win the tour each year, and invariable does so...and barring accident or injury I can't see anyone beating him this year either. In his last ever ride, he would not even have put his helmet and lycra on if he wasn't 100% sure that he will finish in yellow!
The great thing about sport is that there are so many variables in every contest. Training and preparation control most variables, but anything can happen. I am a fan of Lance, but this early in the race, there is no way to know who will avoid the unfortunate accident, or who will capitalize on the unexpected. That is the fascination of sport. viva sport! Good luck to all of the competitors.
Bellaire Michigan, USA
As Andrew in S. Wales says, and even Lance Armstrong himself agrees, Eddy Merckx is still the greatest cyclist of all time (although that should take nothing away from Lance's phenomenal and inspirational achievements). I wonder then: Has it become the case in the modern age that the Tour de France can only be won by a cyclist and team dedicated to the one event? Or in the wake of Lance will the next great emerge as a success in all of the grand tours?
Lance is the greatest of all time. He has 6 trophies that say so. Winning the big one is all that counts. It is the grand slam of cycling. All the rest are just bike races.
Todd mentioned the Tour De France as the grand slam. I would disagree. Tennis has the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open. These are all part of a tennis grand slam. Allow me to suggest that the Tour de France, the Giro (Italy), and La Vuelta (Spain) would comprise the cycling grand slam. How as Lance fared in the Giro and Vuelta? Merckx rules!
Cycling was never something that interested me until the accomplishments of Lance Armstrong became front-page news. The sheer determination and will to win that Lance has shown not just over the last six years, but his whole career has motivated and enstilled a personal love for the sport of cycling within me. There will be no athlete to accomplish as much as Lance for many years to come. I believe he will win his seventh Tour in a row and forever cement himself into history. It is nice to know that the man who brought hope to millions of people around the world will end his career at the top of the sport he loves.
Joe Yates ,
I think Lance's luck might have finally run out, He'll finish on the podium but not in yellow.
Lance forever - he has left the greatest sporting legacy since Mohammed Ali. Simply incredible. What he has achieved will never be rivalled by anyone in sport. He will win again and cement himself as the greatest endurance athlete of all time!
I echo ALS, London's comments re Lance. Lance Armstrong is a true sporting legend who can never be matched. If he wants to win the tour he WILL win the tour and barring accident/injury there's nothing else anyone can do about it.
Boring... Boring! Boring!! When is Jean-Marie Leblanc going to wake up? Sure Lance is determined, talented and has the full backing of corporate America. He's also a first-rate megalomaniac fully capable of controlling the media while advancing his agendas. Hey, wait, doesn't that pretty much describe most Texans? We're sorry World; not everyone in America loves Lance.
I've followed the tour sporadically since Greg Lemond achieved his success. For the last 6+ years, I've been tranfixed by Lance and the rest of USPS/Team Discovery. After watching Tuesday's team time trial, I can't help but wonder if destiny continues to shine upon him. Much can still happen, but I think Lance might just be in the best form in his career. Now, that's what I call going out on top!
Sherman Oaks, California
As a long time rider it gives me a great passion to whatch it daily.May God save all the riders from injury.
We were staying in the Vendee last week and realised that the Tour was passing close by on Sunday. Never having experienced a 'proper' cycle race, we went to have a look as it passed through the village of St. Vincent sur Jard...awesome. I had no idea you could get that close to the action, you could feel the hot air pulse as they shoot past. Despite the fact that the group takes a few seconds to pass the impression of speed and power is incredible.
The Loire Valley was the playground of French nobility, who used the nation's wealth to transform the area with many earnestly extravagant chateaux. The largest and most lavish is the Château de Chambord (1519). It was built by King François I, a rapacious lunatic who was fanatically dishonest with his subjects' money. Begun in 1519, its Renaissance flourishes may have been inspired by Leonardo da Vinci, who lived nearby from 1516 until his death three years later. Construction of the chateau, during which François unsuccessfully suggested the rerouting of the Loire River so it would be nearer to his new abode, took 15 years and several thousand workers, although the king died wizened and drooly before the building's completion. Inside is a famed double-helix staircase that buxom mistresses and priapic princes chased each other up and down, when not assembled on the rooftop terrace to watch military exercises, tournaments and hounds and hunters returning from a day's deerstalking. From the terrace you can see the towers, cupolas, chimneys, mosaic slate roofs and lightning rods that comprise the chateau's imposing skyline.
Lonely Planet France
After watching the Team Time trials, it suddenly dawned on me that Lance REALLY wants to win. Let's forget what Ullrich and the other challengers have to say.... Mr Armstrong is about to win his seventh straight tour (barring accidents like Zabreski's... guess Lance is more experienced for to make that error)
Moses Arabome, Lagos, Nigeria
I always watch when the Tour de France is on TV, if only because Lance Armstrong is competing. This phenomenal athlete and man is an inspiration to millions and is head and shoulders above the majority of so-called sporting icons.
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