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Tour de France 2011 Stage 8 Route for the strongest man

TDF2011Stage 8 sunflowers (AP)

TDF2011Stage 8 sunflowers (AP)

Who would have thought that this would be Thor’s Tour? Even he said that he was prepared to relinquish the yellow on yesterday’s climb; but, he’s proving himself stronger than all predictions and keeps the jersey. Today, he says the team is tired.

Nonetheless, today’s is supposed to be a relatively easy route, not favoring sprinter or climber alike. One analyst called this a challenging “leg breaker,” with undulations, cross-winds, tough conditions. We’ll be looking for a breakaway.

Contador made up enough time to be only 15 seconds behind Hoshovd. With the mountains looming ahead, he’s likely to start showing the climber we’ve come to know, if he can focus and stay clear of trouble in the peloton.

We might see some of the top veterans shine today, as well. But, when Bob Roll says the route is challenging, you can bet it’s really a beast.

UPDATE: Nasty crash claims Vinokourov, who abandoned the race after falling off the side of the road where Contador’s wheel hit a barrier and started a chain reaction in the peloton. Jurgen Van Den Broek, who finished 5th last year, will also be taken out of the race with injuries.

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