Stage 16: Cuneo – Jausiers
Today we left Italy after a much needed rest day. The route was practically empty until the base of the first climb, the Col de Lombard, where it was packed with Italian racing fans, better known as tifosi. I continued on ahead to the Col de la Bonette-Restafond which is the highest road in Europe.
Schumacher from Gerolsteiner attacked on the Col de Lombard and stayed away with a lead of 4’40” but was caught by a group which included Evans, Vandevelde, Hincapie, Valverde, Menchov, Sastre, Sanchez, Schleck and Kohl. Frenchman Dessel and his group were ahead and he won the stage. Frank Schleck is still in yellow. Kohl and Evans are 07 and 08 seconds behind so depending upon what happens tomorrow at Alpe d’Huez, it could all come down to the time trial. Christian Vandevelde lost a lot of time and is now 3’15” behind.