KRUSHING THE TOUR: Stage 8

There were more French riders in the break today, than at a Peugeot/Citroën sale in Saint-Ouen.

Vive la France!
Never mind that Thibaut Pinot won today's stage, and in so doing, he spared Marc Madiot an annurysm, the fact is that France had to wait for the Tour to go to Switzerland to have a great stage.

With 30k to go, there were no fewer than six French riders with a legitimate chance at the stage and two seriously chasing the White Jersey. Thibaut Pinot, Tony Gallopin, Jeremy Roy, Blel Kadri, David Moncoutie: Sounds like the starting line-up for Nantes. It has become a bit of a joke just how bad the French do in their National Tour, but among the names above there's a few young, upcoming quality riders that may (just may) be the future of French cycling. And, yes, I'm well aware that "the future of French cycling" has been announced innumerable times since the days of Hinault.

Marc Madiot narrowly avoids a heart attack as Pinot crosses the line in Porrentruy

Other Heroes of the Day
Yes, the French had a great day and Frederik Kessiakoff of Astana rode like a beast, but you know who surprised me today? The Lotto-Belisol duo of Jurgen Van Den Broeck and Jelle Vanendert. On the last 1st category climb, they went up to the front of the Leader's group and destroyed it, reducing the gap to breakaway by 40 seconds in just over 5k. Van Den Broeck jumped 4 spots in GC today, and now sits in 8th, 2:11 from Wiggins.

Euskadiko Hondamendi Izugarri
(Terrible Disaster for the Basques)
Just one day after losing Txurruka and Astarloza in the crash into Metz, today Euskaltel-Euskadi lost Gorka Verdugo (due to injuries suffered yesterday), and Olympic Gold Medalist Sammy Sanchez due to a nasty crash with 98k still to go in the stage. Early reports were that Sanchez had fractured a wrist and his clavicle, but apparently, the collarbone is just bruised. Whether or not this academic difference is enough to keep Sanchez's dreams of defending his Olympic Gold alive, is yet to be seen.

Of Note
Thibaut Pinot is the youngest rider in this year's Tour. Second youngest, Peter Sagan. Between them, they have won half of the stages so far.

One Last Thing
Unless something amazing happens tomorrow (no, a change in the top 5 on the GC does not mean "amazing" in my book), I have a feeling my report of the TT will be very brief, since, chances are, I'm not gonna watch it. Yawn... getting sleepy just thinking about it.