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Is this the broken Tour? said it

If at first you don’t succeed, keep on trying. This was the motto of Matthias Kessler who stuck to his guns and won the classic stage from Esch-dur-Alzette in Luxembourg to Valkenberg in Holland.

The previous day he had been wiped out just 50 years from the line, but not this time. It seems a lot of riders were tired after over 10 hours beneath a very hot sun in the past two days. But behind the joy of a German winner, the was a lot of sadness as Alejandro Valverde, Fred Rodriguez and Eric Dekker all left the race with broken bones. Fred is the main lead-out man from the US for Aussie Robbie McEwen. Fast Freddy, as he is known fell badly with Dekker and first reports say that he broke his wrist while Dekker has done the same to some teeth. All three were personalities that the race badly needs, but the loss of Valverde means the loss of a real overall favourite. This, ironically, will favour the fortunes of American favourites George Hincapie, Floyd Landis and Levi Leipheimer, who today saw a danger man leave the Tour.

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This year’s Tour de France, man. A lot of broken men, broken bones, doping allegations, Lance sitting at home in Austin. What’s going on? I’m watching this year, and pulling for Hincapie, Landis, Leipheimer and the Norwegian Thor Hushov (it’s in my blood).

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