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A Tour fanatic's take: Stage 16


By Russell van Hyer

Published: 6:19PM Wednesday July 22, 2009 Source: ONE Sport

Time to hit the Mince and Cheese Martinez!

In a day when the patrons of the Tour let the minnows away for their time on the telly and kept the big fighting amongst themselves, it was the Polka-dotted Pellizotto who benefited the most.

Sneaking into the main move of the day, Pellizotto, who ignored all the Brumbies cream buns that his main rival, Martinez had put along the road, nabbed as many 'skinny boy' points as possible while he was away.

His lead is now up to 58 over Martinez, so Martinez may as well start eating again as it is a huge ask to get that back before Paris.

Also in the main move of the day again was '87 Tour winner Stephen Roche's son, Nicholas. Ending up fourth on this stage it looks like we'll have to wait until next year before Liggo does an updated version of his famous "it's Roche, it's Stephen Roche!" quote again.

Dog Eat Dog

Dressed head to almost toe in Yellow, Bertie was just waiting while Saxo Bank lined Schleck Jr for the attack on Col du Petit Saint Bernard. It came, Bertie followed, as did Wiggo, Nibali and Kloden.

The two diesels in the pack, black-socked Armstrong and defending Tour champion Sastre then clawed themselves up to them as only the old boys can. Not a smart team move by Armstrong as it looked like he was thinking more of defending his second place instead of Bertie's Yellow.

And with Zabriskie eventually making this group and doing his fair share at the front, it was Wiggo's Garmin team who are starting to look strong in the final week.

I reckon if Wiggo sells his weight loss secrets to Jenny Craig he'll make a fortune! The big news was that missing from this move was Aussie Evans, who is now over 7 minutes down on Bertie, slips to 17th and is effectively out of the Tour.

Super loss for Schleck's Saxo Bank

Saxo Bank's super domestique and habitual attacker, Jens Voigt crashed out of the Tour on the descent of the col du Petit Saint Bernard on Wednesday, with serious injuries to his face and elbow.

Voigt was unconscious for a while after the crash and will have a full body scan on Wednesday night.

This is a great loss for the Team Schleck, and he will be missed during Thursday's nasty four cat 1 stage. Time is running out for Schleck Jr, and he needs to find a way of breaking Bertie's elastic band around his seatpost.

Man of Steel

One man who is getting his money's worth out of this year's Tour is Lanterne Rouge Van Hummel.

Instead of speeding along missing out on all the scenery, Van Hummel cruised in last in 161st place, whiskers within the time limit, and off the back of the last of the laughing groups. The thing is, you know he's riding just as hard as everyone else - dig deep fella, the thoughts of everyone who's ever seen the bunch ride away from them are with you! Chapeaux Van Hummel!