Just wanted to flag the nice little feature on cyclingnews.com about the weight of national pride being carried by Team Astana.
It's a shame that Alexander Vinokourov crashed: even though it is a part of professional cycling and he has still earned significant kudos for riding with stitched-up knees. I still can't count him out... if anyone could pull out a Floyd Landis/Oscar Pereiro-type comeback stage win and earn back a significant margin, it might just be Vino. Today, though, the evidence seems to suggest that he will now be playing second fiddle to Klöden... or maybe even the upstart Kashechkin.
BIG POINTS: Mauricio Soler deserves a celebration! And Barloworld must be very pleased with their investment. What a great win for the wild-card entry team at the Tour. And yes, that's newly-elected French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, in the car behind Mauricio.
It's also going to be interesting to see what happens with Discovery. Alberto Contador is certainly a white jersey contender, but is Levi Leipheimer (as I believe) saving himself and warming up for the Pyrénées? or will we see him play lieutenant to Contador and try to get him in yellow, as well?